How do you explain to someone what really goes on at a Captivating retreat? The fact of the matter is, that it is different for every person attending. And one blog will simply not cover the scope of what an individual will experience during a four-day retreat. Our goal is a lot simpler to explain. Our hope is that a person will experience a personal and intimate encounter with God the Father. And God showed up once again for his captivating beauties.
It was our chef who said; “Mike, I’m not sure what you guys are doing between meals, but the women seem to be getting prettier by the hour” So right he was. And this was only Friday morning -we still had two days to go!
There is one word in particular that I would use to describe what really happened at last weeks event and that word is “restoration”.
Most of us are probably aware of the offer of the gospel, however many struggle with the condition. Oh, sorry! Didn’t you know that there was a condition? Well, there is a condition and the condition is this: intimacy!
Jesus explains the principle of intimacy and our relationship with him extensively in scripture, but in the gospel of John he says this; “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me” (John 10:27).
Restoration of the heart, clarity, freedom from things that keep us afraid or insecure. This is the offer, the offer of the gospel is life (Luke 4: 18-20 & Isaiah 61:1-2). The condition to actually immersing yourself into all that Jesus wants to give you, is an intimate conversational relationship. There are just not enough principles laid-out in scripture, nor are there sermons enough to listen to that will provide you with what your heart truly needs, restoration!
Just to receive a word of comfort or direction, a loving word from God the father like; “I love you” or “You are my beautiful daughter” or “Son, I am proud of you” can be the rescue you have been waiting for all your life. But to actually be able to receive this, we must surrender everything. Simply because stuff just gets in the way. Knowledge, preconceptions and beliefs are not useful when you are struggling in life. It was apparent that many women struggled with this last week, to surrender.
I realised not so long ago that loving God is only half of it. We must receive His love also, and to do this we must surrender all that we are to him. Not letting Jesus love you back can be a monumental barrier to having meaningful relationships with others. For if we cannot receive love, how then can we share it? We simply cannot live without the love of God. Truly knowing that you are loved by the Father will make all the difference.
The gospel is a gospel of restoration and if we are to find the life that God intended for us, then we must turn with all of our heart, mind and soul to God and surrender all that we are. Forget about what you think you need and simply ask him this: Father, what is it you want to say to me?
Oh man! How we need to experience His love. Just the stories of the women last week are enough to make you long for more. And I would encourage you to read a few. These are real people and real stories of what God is doing in the hearts of His daughters.
Some of the ladies have given us permission to share their testimonials and you can find them here.