It’s finally Teen Camp here at Lake Agape, and I’m so excited to see what is in store for this week! In the past few years, Teen Camp has become one of my favorite camps because of the incredible energy and the special way the spirit moves in the lives of campers and staff this week.
This year, the theme for Teen Camp is “Manifesto”. A manifesto can be defined as a declaration of intentions, principles, opinions, or objectives. And this week, we are learning what God’s manifesto is for each of our lives.
Last night, our evening speaker, Tim Deporter, spoke about what it’s like to be poor. He talked about the desperation one must have to lay down their pride and beg at the feet of those that are better off. And as Christians, we can be poor in so many other ways than simply just lacking money. In a way, we are all spiritually bankrupt. As Tim defined it last night, being poor is the sense of lacking, or not having. But luckily, in our “poorness”, God meets us, satisfies us, and completes us.
Tim used an illustration from Matthew 14. He read the story of Peter walking on water. Jesus met the disciples halfway before Peter called back to him, asking for Jesus to call him out upon the water. Peter had to walk towards Jesus, and for a moment, he was lacking faith and his gaze shifted to the stormy waves and off of Jesus. And as we all know, Peter began to sink.
Many of us are like Peter. Jesus comes near to us, but then, just like with Peter, he calls us to him. He is looking for us to step out in faith and get out of the boat.
As Tim mentioned last night, many of us run from the conviction of Christ, and therefore, we are running from Jesus. We’re afraid that if we fully live for Christ, our friends and parents might not like who we become, or we have to give up things in our lives that we are holding on to so tightly. But living courageously for Christ isn’t easy, in fact, we are told in the Bible from Jesus himself that it isn’t easy. If it was, the world would be a different place.
The issue lies with the idea that if we aren’t living fully and wholeheartedly for Christ daily, we are being disobedient to Christ’s manifesto for our lives. Last night, Tim made an incredible point that obedience is the truest form of worship, but yet, it is the last thing we are willing to give to God.
We live in a world that lacks faith, and craves control. It’s a world of uncertainty, and Jesus is calling us to surrender to him. It might not look possible to us, but he is challenging us to live a life that is not possible without him. He wants us to step out of our comfort zones, and walk alongside him.
But first, we have to see where we are lacking. We need to realize that in someway, we are poor and incomplete. We have to see that Jesus is close, but he’s calling us to step out of the boat. It’s time for us to stop running, to be obedient. It’s finally time for us to let go of all that hinders and step out onto the water.