The following are notes I took during a Men’s Retreat for the Rocky Mountain Region of the Free Methodist Church back in 2003. The weekend retreat began on a Friday evening and wrapped up on Sunday morning. The speaker was Larry Walkemeyer from Azuza Pacific University. There are three parts to the notes. I hope you find the notes useful and helpful. Feel free to print and share the notes with others.
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” –Ephesians 5:15-16 (ESV)
Living under the influence helps us to stay / live spiritually safe and victorious. We cannot control the Spirit of God, but we can invite His Spirit into our lives. “Raise your sail” so that you can catch the wind of His Spirit.
4) Spirit-filled men live lives of prayerful dependence (on His Spirit), not of self-reliance.
- “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” –Philippians 4:13
- We have a tendency to live on self-reliance until things get out of control. Truth is, we are never in control – of anything. As we become aware of that fact, fear begins to set in. That is how and when God teaches us to trust and depend on Him. We turn our eye to him, make Him our focus, instead of our situation, and invite Him in – as God is always in control.
Commitment Prayer and Communion Prayer.
- Commitment prayer is regular, daily prayer.
- Communion prayer is a constant, living prayer (a breath prayer – fill me Lord with your Spirit).
- The degree that you don’t pray is the degree that you’re living on self-reliance. The degree that you pray is the degree that you’re living in God. See 1 Timothy 2:8.
5) Self-sacrifice vs. Self-centeredness
- John 13:35 “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
- Matthew 10:39 = Self-sacrifice.
- Spirit-filled men are consumed with God’s heart.
Philippians 2:3,4 – “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.”
- Getting rid of anger. Forgiving and forgetting. See James 1:19-20.
- Zechariah 4:6 (not by power or might, but by my Spirit)
6) Interdependence instead of independence.
- KEY TEXT: Ephesians 5:15-21
- James 5:16, 20 A man of the flesh lives in independence. A man of the Spirit lives in interdependence.
- Matthew 18:20 Joseph Garlington said, “When two or three of you guys finally get together, I’ll show up just to see it!” When you get close (to one another) you will (at some point) hurt one another, but you will also come to know one another like never before (and as God intends).
- 1 Samuel 23:16 Do I want the best for others in my life? Do I help strengthen their faith in God? Men need to be “Mirrors of Christ”
7) Identity vs. Security.
- Spirit filled men draw their identity from God, not the world. The insecurity comes from an identity that has no roots – the world. The world teaches the 4 B’s to men; Bucks, Babes, Brawn & Brains. Have you bought into the world system or the Word of God? Who are you? How secure is my identity?
- Mark 1:10-11 Spirit-filled men hear this message from God. It is not attached to [dependent upon] your performance. Do you hear your father speaking this to you? We need to speak this to our own sons and other young men. Our identity is not about our achievements or what we do.
- When you become rooted in the Father’s love and opinion, you are free.
- Who’s your daddy?
- Where are you drawing your identity from? Proverbs 29:23
8) Integrity vs. Compromise.
- Spirit-filled men live up to what they’ve been called to. They seek God’s standards for their lives. They live with/in integrity. What is your personal code of ethics? What are your standards? Are you compromising? Are you cutting corners?
- Daniel 1:8-17 You and I are living in enemy territory. Daniel refused what the king was offering. Are you eating what the world is serving up? When Daniel refused the king’s food and ate just the veggies, three things became obvious. He became;
- Spiritually empowered
What are you eating? What are the results? See Titus 2:11,12.