The theme of our International Camp Meeting in 2003 was “Leaving Our Own World”. You can download a PDF transcript of those studies by clicking the image to the right. The slideshow can be viewed or downloaded below.
There was also a song written to go with this theme, which you can view here: I’ll Leave My Own World Behind.
The studies started with a consideration of the ten virgins from the parable of Matthew 25:1-13. Five of these virgins were not ready to meet their Lord, even though they associated with those who were looking for that event, and professed to be preparing for it. What was it that prevented them from being ready? What did they do with their time when they should have been getting ready?
In the parable, the readiness is manifested by having “oil in their vessels”. Oil represents the Holy Spirit, and the vessel is the human soul. How is one filled with this oil? By “asking, seeking, and knocking” (Matthew 7:7,8). This filling of the oil represents the character work within the human, bringing him into likeness with Christ, and oneness with Him in His Father’s work to bless the world. It means centering in His work, and making that the first aim.
But the foolish virgins fail to do this, and the reason is that they have distracted themselves with “their own world.” They are actually centered in their own pursuits, ideas, and pleasures, but try to carry these on within the household of God. They try to marry God’s work with their own, so as to have the benefit of both.
But while they are able to keep up a good appearance in normal times, when the crisis comes, and God’s work requires a sudden sacrifice, they are found without the necessary character strength and faith that can handle this kind of pressure. The fig-leaves of their own righteousness are torn away, and they do not have the fitness to endure the test and carry on the work.
The rich young ruler (Mark 10:17-23) is an excellent example of this type of problem. He wanted to follow Christ, but Jesus discerned that he was building on his own earthly treasures and attainments. Jesus told him to “sell all” but this was too great a sacrifice. He could not let go of “his own world.” He had another god before the true God, and this robbed him of the joy and freedom he could have had in following the Saviour. His real potential was never realized.
Download: ODP (Open Document Presentation)