“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.

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