As a man of faith and even during the seasons when I lost my faith or lacked faith, I have always known intuitively that I was somewhat a prisoner, even though externally I may have looked free.
Whether it was the need for a coffee in the morning because I was entering a meeting that I knew was going to be a tad complicated and anxiety-provoking, or the bouts of anger that would seemingly come out of nothing, or the lethargy accompanying the 5am wakeups, or the loss of meaning through ‘Groundhog Day’ experiences, or choosing my apathy over fervent prayer, or choosing myself over connecting deeply to others, or choosing that donut over a fragrant offering of self-denial for the conversion of souls, there was always this lingering sense that I wasn’t truly free on the inside.
Exodus 90, for me, has been a great gift from God. Exteriorly, it looks difficult, unnecessary, and even crazy in a world that yells “Do what you want”. But this initial impression belies its true worth as an opportunity to enter the river of God’s grace, to slip-stream into His ways and come closer to fulfilling His will. It is a chance to partner with God’s Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit that gives a strength of resolve beyond any human understanding, and through this, to meet more fully the person of Jesus Christ in a more personal way.
Exodus 90 is comprised of 3 main pillars, namely, prayer, asceticism and brotherhood/fraternity.
The prayer is deliberate and planned out, with readings each day (via the Exodus 90 app) to ponder and reflect on. There is a daily examen each evening, providing an opportunity to catch what was possibly lost due to a lack of awareness or from being overly distracted throughout the day. This practice gives one the space and opportunity to relearn the lessons that may have been missed; a space where God can show you where you may have fallen or simply ignored an invitation to a new possibility in the Spirit, and then gently encourages within you a resolve to do better the following day. The prayerful rhythm of Exodus 90, though challenging, can result in a deeper sense of meaning, a sense of purpose through daily prayer, becoming like a gentle heartbeat that is predictable and life-giving to the soul.
The fasting and acts of penance I have found at times very challenging and at other times easy. This part of the program has taught me that ‘all is gift, and all is grace’. The self-denial has created more room for love in my heart, love for God, love for my friends and family, and a healthy love for self. The fasting, whether from foods, technology, the legendary Croatian ‘kolači’ or unnecessary leisure pursuits, has reminded me that we are more than flesh and blood, and that saying no to something is an opportunity to say a greater yes to God’s kingdom within me. This reminded me of the hunger that I should have for God the Father and His eternal promises. The point of the No’s is to say a bigger Yes; a yes to the things that really matter by creating time and space for better choices that help us to grow in character and virtue, self-understanding and acts of service.
Exodus 90 is an opportunity to dig deep, to be challenged, to really see how attached we are to passing things that, deep down, give a false sense of security and esteem. Much that we may have held on to in regard to building our identity is but straw and cannot be taken with us from this life into the next.
Brotherhood Is an important part of Exodus, whether weekly or fortnightly via phone or in person. This is where relationships are created and forged, and where the two wings of understanding and encouragement help us soar like a plane. We discover we are not alone and are in this together. It can be powerful when we know others are doing it with us. At different times on the journey, we can connect to settle, to reflect, to share on what has gone well and what needs improvement, and then to refocus our intentions ahead in a spirit of hope.
Emotions can arise, even anxieties, during the program, but these are moments of grace to see ourselves presently as we really are. To ask “how dependant am I on my loving God?” and to realise that our self-sufficiency has impeded and blocked us off from God’s love. Even though competency is a good thing in the natural realm, it needs to be submitted to a supernatural God who sees and knows all and desires what is best for us. We have the opportunity to become more childlike in our trust and thus gain an internal freedom where we do not have to worry about the future or be haunted by the past – to live in freedom of the present moment.
From experience I must admit that some of the freest seasons of my life have been whilst doing Exodus 90. I also confess, when I have finished the program in the past, I have run back to the sweets and the warm showers, but ultimately felt a sense of sadness and was somewhat unsatisfied, as these comforts didn’t fill up the ‘God-shaped hole’ in my heart. Another really positive outcome was the daily exercise routine, the cold showers and minimum 7 hours sleep. These 3 physical disciplines, together with all the spiritual practices, was a game changer in regard to my physical health and well-being. I just felt stronger, sharper, more aware and healthier overall. I experienced less sluggishness, and was generally more vibrant and creative with my time and energy. Even though I am somewhat hesitant about doing Exodus 90 again, I am also excited about what it may hold for me this time, the inner freedom I know with some certainty I will experience. I also have expectant faith that the new spaces in me that are created will in turn translate into blessing in regards to new insights, dreams and holy desires that will unfold to lead me in the journey of becoming the man of God I am called to be.
So I encourage every man who wants to enter into God’s grace, to find more of his favour, and discover their sonship and a deeper sense of identity, to take on Exodus 90 with humility and intention. Take time to stop; spend the coming days praying and writing a list of what you desire and the graces you seek. Create a list of 3 desires you have for each of the following areas of your life-
1) Your relationship with God
2) Relationship with family/friends
3) Personal hopes in regard to your own faith and virtue development
4) Your desire for authentic and real brotherhood
5) Your service to those who are in need or at the margins.
Ultimately, the rigour of Exodus 90 will give each of us the opportunity to find out more fully who we really are and to come to the land of peace within us; to lay our burdens down and let God who is the ultimate good to slowly and gently heal us.
Exodus 90 has the potential to give a glimpse of what is possible in us. God, in his grace and through the existing cracks of our lives, can bring us to a newer hope and a deeper experience of his power and resurrection. If you start and stick to the program, I am confident you will be blessed in many seen and unseen ways.
God bless, and may Mary lead each of us in her maternal love. I leave you with the words of our Lord from Revelations 21:5
“Behold, I make all things new.”
Bog i Hrvati
How it Works https://exodus90.com/how-it-works/