O day and night, but this wondrous strange!
And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
- William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 5 -
We live in a world that’s enchanted—a world that’s buzzing with divine presence. If we learn anything from Scripture, it’s that God is always present and always active.
…Why, then, does He often seem so far away? Why do we go entire days without thinking about Him or enjoying His presence?
At this retreat, we’ll be reminded of how important it is that we wake up to God’s proximity and we’ll explore some practical ways to sharpen our spiritual senses.
PART 1: October 25, 2019
TITLE: Rejecting Disenchantment
TEXT: Psalm 19:1-4
SUMMARY: Most human beings are living disenchanted lives—science has explained the universe, God (if He exists) is far away, there’s no expectation of anything ‘supernatural’. The problem? The world in which we’re living these disenchanted lives is enchanted —the supernatural surrounds us everyday, God is close, and mystery abounds. In this message, we’ll explore what’s dulling our senses and be challenged to reject our disenchantment, becoming more alive and alert to the presence of God.
BOTTOM LINE: God is visible to those who look.
PART 2: October 26, 2019
TITLE: Speaking Up
TEXT: Philippians 4:5b-7
SUMMARY: Prayer isn’t just a response to the presence of God--it’s often a searching for His presence or a vehicle to experience His presence in new ways. If we want to live awakened lives, we should start speaking up.
BOTTOM LINE: We’ll explore 4 kinds of prayers that will awaken us to the presence of God.
PART 3: October 26, 2019
TITLE: Feeling Tremors
TEXT: 1 Corinthians 12:12-26
SUMMARY: As followers of Jesus, we are vessels of the Spirit of God--He lives inside of us. We aren’t the Source of divine power and presence, but we’re certainly echoes--tremors attached the earthquake that is God. For that reason, one of the best ways to experience the presence of God is to spend time with other disciples.
At the same time, there’s great value in getting away from people every once in a while. Jesus often retreated into nature to pursue time alone with God--time that connected him to the Father, filling, enlivening, and equipping him for reentry into the crowds and the busyness. Sometimes going away is the only way to come Home.
BOTTOM LINE: God can be found in the people and places He’s created.
PART 4: October 27, 2019
TITLE: Building Altars
TEXT: Genesis 35:1-7
SUMMARY: Often the best way to experience the presence of God is to stop and observe--listen, look, notice what He’s done, what He’s doing, what He’s enabled. In centuries past, God’s people would punctuate their observation by building an altar--making that spot a place of celebration and worship. The better we get at building altars of our own, the better we’ll get at recognizing, remembering, (and enjoying) the ubiquitous presence of God. We won’t be spiritual sleepwalkers, but, instead, awakened.
BOTTOM LINE: Build more altars and you’ll have more reasons to build more altars.