Prayerful RetreatHow often do you have a “prayerful retreat” with God?
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My name is Jackie Burgess. I am happily married, and have two wonderful children. Eight years ago, God spoke to me, saying that I needed to give my life completely to Him and turn from my old ways of having one foot in the church and one foot in the world. Little did I know the journey that was to unfold. Seven months after I walked away from my old life and old ways, God pierced my heart with the truth of my past, and things that held me back from His fullness. I was delivered from childhood abuse; I released the hold they had on me and took the path of forgiveness. This was a battle between light and darkness that I will never forget. Thats when I encountered the awesome presence of God"ÃÃÂ¢ÃÃÂ¢s healing love. I started growing in the things of God and in His Word. Through my devotions, I was being challenged to live a life of holiness. I must confess that I have not done so well. Once God started revealing old wounds that needed to be healed, I shut down and struggled through the years to overcome the hurts inflicted upon me as a child and as an adult. I had to learn to trust God to be the healer of my wounds, instead of trying to heal them myself. I started to believe that I needed to be perfect before He would accept me. I was so wrapped in guilt and shame, not to mention fear of rejection. What I failed to remember was that He had already conquered these battles; all I had to do was walk through them.
Today I AM STANDING AND WHEN I DON'T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO I STAND! Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Eph. 6:13
Pressing on Toward the Goal
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.