“Boot Camp” or “Who knows what I’m getting myself into”

I feel kinda ignorant–like I don’t have a clue what’s going to happen over the next few days. Boot Camp starts tomorrow and I feel so unprepared. Numerous friends seem to know what’s going to happen, but I don’t. Through phone calls and just face-to-face conversation, many have told me they are praying for me and are excited for me and that God is going to do some great stuff in my life through the retreat.

I’ve told them that I’m excited–but they could probably tell from my tone of voice that I hadn’t really given myself a chance to get excited yet. I spent the past week living in defeat of an enemy set against me having a breakthrough experience in Colorado. And while friends and family have triumphantly pushed forward in the battle through prayer, I’ve stood idle on the battlefield, staring upward at the clouds rolling past and birds flying by.

So I wonder for the 1000th time, "What am I going to do with myself?" Why don’t I put the time into things I know require the time? Why haven’t I been gearing up for the battle? The Ransomed Heart team gave me a heads up on what I’d be facing by writing a letter for us to read in preparation for the weekend. The first heading read: Expect God to Show Up.

And the next one read:

"Expect Opposition. Arguments with your wife. Health problems. Being inundated with demands on you at the office. Assaults against your strength, your character, your work, your reputation. Roadblocks coming up between you and the retreat. Men, please know, these are ALL indications that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. The evil one does not want you to walk forward and take part in what God has for you at this retreat."

So now I feel somewhat like a failure–both toward myself and the others who are warring on my behalf. I knew it was coming and I still caved to it. I feel like Maverick in Top Gun, who disengaged from the dog fight when those around him needed him the most. Just like Tom Cruise’s character, the lies are saying that it’s too late–that I can’t be effective, that the battle is already lost. I haven’t spent much time preparing so I therefore won’t experience God the way I could have this weekend.

But just like Maverick, I have people around me encouraging me, giving me tough love, offering unconditional support. And it spurs me to re-engage the battle–to come back alongside my wing-man and launch the crucial missile. It’s never too late.

Friends: you’re probably clueless how much it means to hear that you believe God has great plans for me and that he’s going to show me the next steps. Often, all I can think about is how frustrated it is to spin my wheels time after time and to push forward only to fall back again. But you have the outsiders’ perspective and see the potential. You see the God in me while I see the flesh. And it’s really only the God in me that matters, because that’s the only part of me that can accomplish anything of significance anyway.

Thanks for propping me up when I’m pushed down. I’ll try to do better doing the same for you.

Joel Maust

Joel Maust is a blogger, marketer and photographer living in the beautiful Flathead Valley of northwest Montana.

3 Comments

Randy

about 12 years ago

Trusting God on your behalf... that's what brotherhood is all about. This time it's your turn. And like I said to you early on... His mark is on you. I love you brother!

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Loretta

about 12 years ago

Joel; What an exciting time for you. I will keep you in prayer. When a person is full of doubt and feels as if his prayers are not going past the ceiling, as Randy says that is what the brotherhood is all about. You are surrounded by prayer!

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Joseph Hall

about 12 years ago

Hey man this is Emily Hall's little bother. She told me your message, I'll definently do the Wild at Heart Bootcamp one day, exspecially if i get accepted to FOCUS. Im really prayin that God's will is for me to go there, wishfull/selfish thinkin...but i just know how aweasome of an experience and how aweasome the content of knowledge is out there at that school. Dude the letter "Expect Opposition" is really aweasome. God has done and is doing an aweasome work in mine and a dear friend of mine's life. We both moved to Athens, GA to go to UGA in Janurary and God has continued to dump fertilizer on us. It really has been aweasome, I've never grown so much as I have this past semester. Anyway the letter is aweasome because before this semester really started we had a huge controversy with a very close friend of ours. I believe it not to be that person's fault I believe that Satan was tryin to use the situation and did to a certain degreee to prevent the growth of our Christian lives to grow. But we are long past that and have blown that one away, situation resolved. However another "issue" arrived but before it could even get started we deemed it a battle of spirtual warfare and knew that Satan was scared and tryin to stop somethin aweasome from happening again. TOO BAD FOR SATAN!! Im glad that you shared that letter with us all, hope there wasnt a copyright on it cause i used it in an email, Im sure John Eldredge will forgive me. And once again this past weekend and today exspecially, God proved that Satan did have a reason to be scared. I wish my eyes and ears were like a video camera and I could just replay the aweasome events that God is doing in my life but I can't, but I can praise him and share the best I can through words. Thanks for sharing some of your struggles, insight, and aweasome God changing events in your life with us all. Joe

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