Hello and welcome,
It feels so good to share God’s Word with us again on this platform. Today, I will be speaking on an important subject (centered on Christian personal retreat), which plays a key role in promoting the spiritual progress of the believer.
In my last post, God helped us to understand productive ways to spend time with Him.
‘Personal retreat’ was enlisted in the number. You might want to scan through this article (as a quick one)!
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The topic of our discourse today is : Why and when is a Christian Personal retreat needful?
By God’s Grace, I’d want to address some questions you may have, as regards personal retreat.
Hence, I decided to write on this subject today. If Christ tarries, we shall continue, on a subsequent post!
What is a Retreat?
Merriam Webster Dictionary described retreat as:
“An act or process of withdrawing especially from what is difficult, dangerous, or disagreeable. A place of privacy or safety : refuge.A period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study, or instruction under a director”.
I love the way Vocabulary.com puts it (In the form of a noun)
“The noun ‘retreat’ means a place you can go to be alone, to get away from it all. A spot under a shady tree might be your favorite retreat from the sun, or your bedroom in the basement may serve as a retreat from your siblings”
Hence, retreat can be used in the context of a place or a process (act).
Therefore, we can see that a retreat is a period of withdrawal from the normal; a time of rest.
Interestingly, I have observed that people often take a break observe some rest. . The understanding lies in the fact that people need rest after prolonged periods of work!
People who have not obeyed this principle of retreat (rest) often come down with several health conditions that might necessitate a compulsory bed rest in the hospital.
Hence, we all need rest!!
Therefore, what is a Christian retreat?
For the purpose of this text, I wish to stick to the word ; ‘Christian retreat’
This is because ‘spiritual retreats’ could mean different things with respect to religious sects e.g Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism etc.,
A Christian retreat is a period of time set aside to be with Christ. The participants here could involve a group of Christians.
However, a Christian personal retreat involves a period of withdrawal, seclusion and waiting on God.
You could ask these question:
I am a sound Christian…Why would I need a personal Christian retreat?
When is the best time to go for a personal Christian retreat?
I am not under any pressing spiritual need… is it needful to still retreat?
I have received clarity from the Lord over a pressing matter…is it needful to still retreat?
My relationship with God has gone sour over the months… Do I still fall into this class.
To the topic before us:
Why and when is a Christian personal retreat needful? I will start with the ‘WHYs’ and end with the ‘WHENs’ (smiles)
Why is a Christian Personal Retreat Needful?
Christian personal retreats are always periods to look forward to… Truly, they are preludes to unimaginable discoveries and revelations about and/or from Christ.
To Build Intimacy
There are depths of God that one may never reach if our routine devotions are all that constitute our Christian experiences.
Time, they say, is the currency of life.
God requires your space, time and willingness to work in, on and through you.
Retreats helps you to stay alone and alone indeed… with God!
Moments of Rest at the Master’s Feet
It is not an aberration to be silent or even fall asleep in your times of retreat. Retreats are important moments of rest at the Master’s feet. These are periods of intentional stay with God.
Unfortunately, the busyness of minds has become a limitation to God’s speaking to us. Hence, dreams and sleep are great mediums of spiritual communication.
Hence, it is advised that you take time to rest in course of your retreats, and ask God to speak to you while you sleep.
Additionally, this offers a great way to unwind both psychologically and spiritually.
A Moment of Purposeful Inquiry
Part of what is done in this exercise is a purposeful inquiry. It shows that one has attained a level of maturity in Christ.
One will ask a question when one is interested in being shown the way.
A popular quote states thus;
A person who asks questions never misses his way.
Jesus Christ models a pattern when He departed to the wilderness for 40 days to pray. He understood the enormity of the task ahead of Him. Direction, focus and understanding were needed. Hence he retreated to pray.
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. (Matthew 4)
An Evidence of Commitment
It shows your responsibility and commitment to Christ and Kingdom agenda. It also portrays your willingness to see God’s Will actualized in your life.
Every father desires to have intentional moments of true talks with his son. Therefore, the onus lies on the son to express his willingness and interest to learn from his father.
I smiled a bit when this subtopic popped up in my head!
Clearance is too needful. There are long overdue issues that need to settled with God.
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18)
A christian personal retreat allows for an in-depth scrutiny and harvest of facts on the tables of God’s judgement.
However, this could depend on the burden for which we have come before God!
Men and brethren, there are important issues of prayer that require times of retreat so as to buy sufficient time on the throne room of Grace.
Truthfully, God will not cast his pearls before swines. A readiness, comportment and deliberateness on our parts will be the ruling factor.
When is a Christian Personal Retreat Needful?
I often hear people asking about when to go for a personal retreat…
God can call you to come. Also, you can decide to go to him too, He will not not push you away!
Christianity is not a stereotyped relationship. Our relationship with Christ is sponsored by our convictions.
Personally, There is a specific time of the year that I usually go for my personal retreat with God. It was a practice that I started some years back. Therefore, I am duty bound to cancel every engagement that might be an interruption.
My blog reader, irrespective what is written below, feel free to obey the Holy Spirit whenever He wants to spend more time with you.
Although, the list below is not exhaustive; However, I trust that God will help you see light therein:
- Discernment of a strong/urgent burden to be with God
- Marking important events exclusive to you
- The beginning and/or end of the year
- Incomprehensible spiritual activities: This could be in the positive or negative perspective
- When taking a major decision or a making a major change: Jesus spent the whole night praying before choosing his disciples in his ministry
- Focus/Direction for a new phase of life. Example:Relationship/Marriage/ Birthday etc
- An urgent need to seek the face of God
- A plea for mercy
If Jesus tarries, We shall be considering yet another important part of this discourse together!
How to prepare for and what to do in a retreat?
Thank you so much for reading and God bless you!