Any Christian who has participated in a Walk to Emmaus or a Chrysalis Flight knows the concept of a "fourth day" faith. For those not familiar with the phrase, here is a brief explanation so that you can understand the rest of tonight's musings. The retreat weekend is 3 days (72 hours) set apart from the world to focus on your personal relationship with Christ. There are talks on faith, action, etc. There's music, fellowship, food, prayer, tears, etc. that are typical of church retreats. There are special moments and blessings galore. However, when all is said and done, it's only been 3 days. The real test of faith begins when you return home - the fourth day. Every Christian must live each day God has blessed them (me) with purpose so that this fourth day is honoring to God, and the next one, etc.
Life should forever be fourth days, where each new day is an opportunity to draw closer to God. I was reminded of the fourth day journey when I was invited to join some sinner saints (aka Christians!) at their welcome-home dinner tonight for a pilgrim who just attended an Emmaus Walk. They celebrated her new perspective on God's grace and unconditional love (agape) and dined together. It was nice to spend time with friends - new and old. It felt good to be in fellowship. Even sharing some of the struggles felt good because we were being genuine with one another and the sharing resulted in prayer support. We were also reminded to use our John 3:16 cards - pray for God's people to recognize His work on the cross...3 people, 1 time each day set aside, 6 days a week.
I'm now thinking (and praying) over who my 3 people should be on this card. I pray for others, but these will be three who specifically receive prayers...and knowing me, messages of encouragement based on my prayer time too. I already have one person because I want to pray for them. I already have one person because I don't want to pray for them and I know this is God's will that I pray for those who have persecuted me/caused me pain. I'm praying God lays one more person on my heart so that I can specifically pray for her/him. I'm also praying God uses this increased focus on prayer to do a work in my own heart/life.
Luke 22:32 says, "But I have prayed for you Simon Peter, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." I know 2008-2009 was failed faith and turning away from God and His ways/plans. Now that I am once again acting like the daughter of heaven that I am, I can reach out to others.
How beautiful is the Body of Christ. You know the song, but have you felt it lately? The sound of good news and the love of the King are ringing in my ears and resounding in my heart with a big "Amen." Be blessed my friends. I am - even when I feel shaken to my very core, unworthy, despised, broken, etc.
The Lord be with you as you journey through your next fourth day!
Love and prayers,