Overflow from Our Fall Retreat

Within God’s people—whether among the Israelites of the Old Testament or among today’s believers—there is an aspiration to be revived. Six centuries before Christ, the prophet Habakkuk wrote, “O Jehovah, revive Your work / In the midst of the years” (Hab. 3:2). The apostle Paul indicates that not only God’s people but even all creation is looking forward to the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose (Eph. 3:9), writing in Romans 8:19 that “the anxious watching of the creation eagerly awaits the revelation of the sons of God.”

At our Fall Retreat at Harvey Cedars, we were encouraged to seek this kind of revival—something that affects not only our personal spiritual life but also meets God’s need for men to cooperate with Him for His purpose and brings the Lord Jesus back!

Here is some of our enjoyment and appreciation:

I really appreciated the big picture view presented in the retreat regarding the need for a new revival. We talked about it from both a personal and communal point of view. As believers in Christ, we are all members of His body, and the three central points of the retreat gave a strong focus on how we can become more one with the Triune God. I pray that we can become overcomers in this constantly changing world and that we can really strive to reach the highest peak of the divine revelation, become a God-man, and satisfy the need for shepherding and being shepherded. (Brian, Villanova University)

It was such a blessing to be reminded and refreshed with a vision of the Lord’s need for a new revival today. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind, so I’m glad I could get away for a weekend to receive a fresh word on what it takes to bring about an age-turning revival. Specifically I was touched by the need to learn how to shepherd, cherish, and nourish my fellow believers. We are shepherded when we shepherd others. We need to stop thinking only about receiving care and focus instead on how to take care of others. May the Lord give us His heart for people and teach us how to eat more of Christ so we can feed others with the living bread! (Patrick, Swarthmore College)

I really enjoyed all the messages that were shared by whoever was delivering them. It was a fruitful and joyful weekend like I have never experienced before. Also, during the weekend I got baptized. Oh Lord, I love You so much! (Angel, Temple University)

I saw, as I never had before, God’s intention in giving the law, the Ten Commandments (Exo. 20:1-17). I thought that since God said not to say His name in vain (v. 7), I needed to patrol myself and others in case anyone had a slip of tongue. Now, I realize that the law is like an engagement covenant between us and God (Exo. 34:27-29; Jer. 31:32). He doesn’t want us to say His name as a curse; He wants us to say it in a loving way. Lord, we want to be loving seekers and not letter keepers! (Vivian, University of Pennsylvania)

Although God has many children, He still cares for the one that is lost and rejoices when that one is found (Luke 15:24). We don’t have to feel ashamed or obliged to do work when we come back to the Lord (vv. 19-21). Just let the Lord feed you and clothe you with Himself (vv. 22-23). Just enjoy Him! We have such a wonderful Father! (Laura, Eastern University)

I enjoyed that freshly revealed truths are not God’s new inventions; rather, they are man’s new discoveries. It is very sweet to read the Bible and see a verse in a fresh way or to hear the truth and have it become clear to you. One new discovery I had during the conference was the importance of cherishing and nourishing others (Eph. 5:29). To cherish people is to make them happy and comfortable, helping them to let their guard down and open up to being nourished. Nourishing is the goal of cherishing. To nourish people is to feed them with the Christ we have enjoyed ourselves, to “give them food at the proper time” (Matt. 24:45). This is the way the Lord is carrying out His eternal plan. (Matt, West Chester University)

I was impressed that we need to shepherd people according to the pattern of the Lord Jesus. When we enjoy Christ, we can share Him with others to nourish them. The Lord is burdened for all kinds of people, no matter what their background and upbringing may be. The Lord met with many different people to shepherd them, not to judge them. For example, at the well in Sychar Jesus asked the Samaritan woman to draw water and give Him something to drink (John 4:7). However, He didn’t go to the well to drink water, but to shepherd the Samaritan woman and satisfy her thirst forever. Jesus helped her turn to her spirit to contact God the Spirit to drink of the living water (John 4:14, 24) and through her many more were saved (v. 39). We are able to go on in our Christian life because we were shepherded by others, but we can also shepherd people according to God’s way by cherishing and nourishing them with the all-inclusive Christ. (Viktor, Cumberland County College)

The Lord was a man in whom Satan had NOTHING: no ground, no chance, no hope, no possibility in anything (John 14:30). This wonderful overcoming Christ is now installed forever in our spirit, and He is making us the same as He is. As He increases and becomes everything to us, we decrease and our oldness is purged out (John 3:30). His resurrected and ascended life overcomes in us and becomes in us the faith to praise Him and love Him with our whole being. Then, no matter how harsh or hopeless our outward situation is, we will truly praise Him as the only worthy One. Christ is reigning and ruling over every situation, and our destiny is in and with Him. (Janette, Temple University)