Post Spring ESSC 2024 Reflection (8)

Spiritual Retreat: Draw Nearer to God

In whatever we do, more is not always better. Especially with today’s explosive amount of information, instead of making life more convenient, simple, Godly, and beautiful, we are often stressed out and burnt out.

Retreats offer a sacred space for individuals to detach from the busyness of everyday life and draw closer to their faith. Our family finds the transformative power of retreats in advancing our spiritual journey.

A spiritual retreat is far more than a temporary escape from the demands of life; it is a sacred pilgrimage toward deeper intimacy with God.

Ultimately, the purpose of advancing in faith is not for personal gain, but for the sake of God’s kingdom and the spread of His glory. As we retreat to draw near to God, we are propelled forward into the world, carrying His light into the darkest corners and advancing His kingdom.

Here are a few Bible verses that we hear all the time but touched me deeper during my translation for pastors during the recent spiritual retreat, True Jesus Church, Chicago’s Evangelical Service and Spiritual Convocation (ESSC).

1. Seeking Solitude: “So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed. – Luke 5:16

Jesus Himself recognized the importance of solitude in nurturing a deep connection with God. In retreating to solitary places, we emulate His example, creating space for intimate communion with the divine. It is in the quiet moments of reflection that we can hear the still, small voice of God guiding us forward on our spiritual path.

2. Renewal and Refreshment:He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. “- Psalm 23:3

Just as a weary traveler finds solace in an oasis, so too does the soul find renewal in the refuge of retreat. Through prayer and reflection on Scripture, we allow God to refresh our spirits and realign our hearts with His purpose. Retreats serve as a spiritual reset button, enabling us to emerge strengthened and empowered to live out our faith more fully.

3. Community and Encouragement: “Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

While retreats often involve periods of solitude, they also provide opportunities for fellowship with like-minded believers. As we come together in community, we find encouragement, support, and accountability in our spiritual journey. Through shared experiences and mutual edification, we advance together, each one lifting the other toward greater faithfulness and maturity.

4. Vision and Direction:Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”Psalm 119:105

In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and become ensnared by distractions. However, through focused time in prayer and study of Scripture during ESSCs, God often reveals His plans and purposes for our lives with clarity and precision. As we surrender our will to His, He illuminates the path ahead, guiding us toward our ultimate destiny.

5. Empowerment for Mission: But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:8

Of course, easier said than done. But I’d love to encourage you to unplug from electronic devices, spend a few days in the woods regularly, with your loved ones and a Bible. Reconnect with God through His words and the beautiful serenity He created on this earth. Not to mention it is very healthy for the body, which is the closest temple of our spirit.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; “- 1 Corinthians 6:19

May we heed the call to retreat, knowing that in drawing near to Him, we are advancing His kingdom and fulfilling His purposes in our generation.

Hallelujah, may all the glory be upon His name.

Come join us to worship of God on Sabbath Day and draw nearer to Him.

True Jesus Church
4N550 Church Road
Bensenville, IL 60106
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