The parking lot is full of young people and adults! The suit cases are being loaded into the bus! You can sense the excitement in the air! For some the trip will be long, and for some the trip will be very short, but for all, the trip will be a life changing experience. They are on their way to a week at camp. The week ahead will be a help to the campers and counselors alike for the rest of their lives. For some it will be the week that they accept Christ as their Savior. For some it will be the week they will give their lives to serve the Lord. Then, for others the decisions will be varied, but for all there will be life changing decisions.
The question is asked, “Why the importance of going to camp?” I would like the Word of God to answer that question for us. The apostles had been out preaching and teaching. As they came back together the Bible says in verse 30, “And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.” They were talking amongst themselves and to Jesus about their life with people that they had been ministering to out in the world.
Examples that we could relate to would be, fathers and mothers going to work, visiting with a neighbor, and/or going to the store and having opportunities to talk to people about the Lord. Young people going to school or community activities, going soul winning or working on a bus route. The apostles were about the work that the Lord had called them to.
On a daily basis we are to be about what the Lord has called us to do. We are all full time Christians. Daily we should ask the Lord to help us be soul conscious about trying to reach everyone with the gospel. It should be a burden of our heart to be so given to Christ that He may use us wherever we are and whatever we are doing.
Being in the world as we all are, there are times as a Christian that we get so burdened down with the sin of this world. Every day we hear the world’s language and music. The world’s dress and lack of dress is all around us. The lies and hopes of this world are constantly pounding away at us to try and prevent us from living and serving the Lord. Thank the Lord for the privilege and joy it is when we get to go to church and fellowship with other Christians, hear and sing Christ honoring songs, enjoy the fellowship and have the privilege to be under teaching and preaching of the Word of God.
The apostles came together and there was an excitement about what they had done and about what they had taught, but in the next verse look what Jesus told them to do. Verse 31 states, “And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat” Notice that he talked to “them”. He is speaking to all of us. Men, ladies, youth and teens need to come away from the world.
The Bible goes on to say, “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place”. The Bible is full of references telling us the need for separation from the world. Do you also notice that Jesus said the importance of going to a “desert place”? That is camp out in a rural area where the sounds of the world are gone and the freshness of being in a place alone with the Lord where there are no distractions to compete with the Lord speaking to us. The verse continues to let us know that we must go to a place that we can “rest a while”.
At a week of camp, we keep the campers busy. We fill a week up with powerful spirit-filled preaching, unbelievable fun activities, the most delicious food this side of heaven, and fellowship that you will remember for a life time. Even with all that is going on, there is a “rest” about being at camp because of being away from the filth, hustle, and sin of this world.
The verse finishes talking about how they were very busy doing what they were doing because “many were coming and going”. They had no time for “leisure so much as to eat”. That is being too busy. We have learned to live the Christian life so mechanically that I am afraid it is one of the main reasons we have little or no personal revival, as well as not seeing revival in our churches. How can our nation have revival and souls be won around the world if we do not have a personal time away from the world and the things of this world, to keep our spirits, lives, homes, and churches refreshed to keep on for the Lord?
Camp is for all ages. There is not one group exempt from camp. That is why we have youth week, deaf week, combo weeks, senior weeks, family camp and retreats throughout the year. As the world gets worse, and it is, we need more time to go to a “desert place” and “rest” for our Lord and His service. The temptations that this world offers are destroying lives that could be salvaged if we took advantage of attending camp.
Let me take a little time and talk about what goes on during a camp activity. Every day begins with a time of morning devotions at the flag pole, then off to a great warm breakfast. Right after that is a time for separate split sessions where the preachers and teachers can deal with specific subjects relating to all the men and to all the ladies. After the split sessions is a time of fellowship and games, and then off to the main morning service. There is always a time of singing, skits, and fun before the preaching. Right after the morning service there is a time of chapel competition. This is an opportunity for young people to use the gifts that the Lord has given them in singing, Bible memory, Bible reading, crafts, Bible storytelling, men’s preaching, etc. Right after the chapel competition we serve a great noon meal. The afternoon is full of activities that are designed and planned for ladies and there are those planned for young men. It is now time to head back to the cabins to get cleaned up and ready for supper and the evening service. After the evening service there is a time of fellowship, candy shop, camp store, hay rack rides, bonfire, and other activities. A retreat has a different schedule, but the focus and end results are the same.
Camp is for everyone. The longer our Lord tarries, the more important it will be for God’s people to “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while.” May I personally invite you to come and be with us at Circle C Baptist Ranch! I know personally of pastors, missionaries, evangelists who surrendered to the call of God while attending camp as a young person, and are now faithfully serving. I know personally of Godly lay people that are now serving the Lord faithfully in their local church who made life changing decisions while attending camp. Families have been strengthened, marriages have been renewed, young people have made decisions that have given them the strength to go on. We are waiting for you. We want to serve you at Circle C Baptist Ranch, and allow the Lord to do a great work in your heart. It is now time to “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while”.
Circle C Baptist Ranch