Today we took over “big church” (that’s what students and leaders in youth ministry call the main sanctuary where all the adults go to service on Sunday mornings). We shared a little bit of our camp experience with those that could not be there. We played a slide show. Our student worship band took the stage and lead worship. A few students shared their personal testimony about their camp experience. And Blake, our youth pastor, spoke.
Blake is an amazing speaker. In fact, it was one of the post-camp Sunday morning services that made me realize I needed to get involved in youth ministry. He is passionate and transparent. He sets aside his ego in order to let God use him. He is constantly checking to make sure his actions are in line with God’s will. He is one of my best friends, and my spiritual mentor.
Now, I listened to all of his sermons throughout the week at camp. I had a pretty good idea of what he was going to talk about going into last week. Shoot, I even helped come up with the idea and wrote the devotional for the week. But I heard something this morning that I missed all last week; something I really needed to hear.
Our theme was Reboot. It is the idea that when things are going wrong with your computer, often the best remedy is to reboot the machine. One way to do that is to hit CTRL, ALT, Delete. Likewise, when you are stuck in a spiritual rut, you may need a spiritual reboot. One way to do this is to check who is in control of your life, alter some of the things in your life, and delete some things in your life.
I understood control. Reading through the bible, especially Romans, it is easy to see how out of control humans are. Once we recognize that we are not in control of our lives, and that we either give that control to God or to Satan, then we recognize our sinful nature and we can begin the process of putting an end to Satan’s reign over our lives. Thanks to God’s gift through his death on the cross and resurrection we are no longer a slave to sin.
I understood alter. Once you recognize the sin in your life, then you can start to figure out where those sins originate. You find out that more often than not, Satan uses little things to pry his way into your mind. Once he has control of your mind then your actions tend to follow suit. Little sins turn into big sins. It’s that whole snowball rolling down a hill thing you’ve heard so much about. So if you can recognize, and change how you handle the small things, keep your mind focused on what is true, what is good, and what is right, then you can avoid going down those dark roads.
I thought I understood delete. To me, delete meant to delete those little things you identified in control and alter. It meant deleting music, movies, books, magazine, web sites, and friends that lead you to a place of temptation and ultimately sin; basically, protecting the gate to your mind and heart. And all those things are true. What I got today was that you also have to delete those ideas that you have held onto for so long that have held you back from making real progress towards a life of joy and peace (which, by the way, doesn’t necessarily mean an easy life filled happiness where all your dreams comes true and you live in a mansion on Candy Cane Lane).
There has been an idea in my head; a thought or a fantasy, whatever you want to call it, that I have been holding onto. It’s something that I convinced myself was true, but isn’t. It’s an idea that I have carried for years and years and one that I am going to work on ridding myself of…quickly. It has been a huge stumbling block for me and I am excited about letting it go.
Thinking back to last week, I can recall Blake saying this very thing, but it didn’t hit me until this morning. Apparently I wasn’t ready to hear it. I can also say that I wasn’t very focused on myself last week. My main focus was the students and making sure I was there for them. So thank God for post-camp Sunday morning service. This might be the second time it has changed my life for the better.
What ideas do you need to let go of?