I often take a personal retreat and encourage others to do the same. We live in a noisy world. My world, like yours, is filled with people I love, people I care about and minister to, responsibilities and obligations. In the middle of all that, it can feel difficult to hear my own heart’s desires and the delicate whisper of God’s voice.
The Psalmist wrote, “You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing” and, “He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him” (Psalm 145:16,19). Desire is a good thing. God placed those desires in your heart and mine. The problem is with all the noise in our lives, it can be difficult to find those desires and to hear what God’s intentions are for those dreams. Taking a personal retreat, whether for a few hours or a few days, allows you to create the intentional space to hear God’s voice and answer a few questions.
At the beginning of every personal retreat I spend significant time listening to praise music and worshipping God. This brings my heart into union with His Holy Spirit and also opens my ears to hear His voice more clearly. Then I often use questions to help structure my time.
Here are a few questions to get you started:
- Think back over the past few months and ask your-self, Is there a desire that keeps resurfacing? If so, could that desire be from God?
- What does God’s word have to say about that desire? (This question keeps my heart focused on God’s desires and not just my own. If I am able to answer this question positively, I can move on to the other questions.)
- How does my dream enhance or encourage others? This question insures that I am outwardly focused and not selfishly focused. God will always call me to dreams that will benefit and enhance others.
- What obstacles might I encounter? What will be my plan for overcoming those obstacles? For example, I know for me personally, that God often calls me to a dream that is bigger than my personal resources. Along the way, I will likely encounter discouragement while pursuing the dream. Knowing that, I need a plan for when the moments of discouragement come. My plan might include things like, surrounding myself with a group of people who can cheer me on when the going gets tough. I might develop a “praise play list” that will remind me of God’s call to persevere.
- What action do I need to take as a result of my personal retreat? This question is imperative to answer because often I have found that I had an amazing personal retreat and great time with the Lord but never thought through what needed to happen next. Thinking through and listing specific action steps keeps me on the road of transformation and progress. What I have discovered is that the road towards my dream is as important as accomplishing my dream.
This week my challenge to you is to set aside even a few hours and take a personal retreat. I’d love to hear from you. Let’s dream together. What is one desire that God has put in your heart? Leave a comment. If you leave a comment I’ll enter your name to win a free copy of my book, The 30 Day Praise Challenge. I’ll choose one winner and announce the winner on Wednesday!