19 Apr 2018

Retreat To Advance

The excitement has been mounting for weeks now for the 11th Annual Esther by Design Women’s Retreat. Women are coming from far and near with great anticipation for an incredible encounter with the Lord. This year the theme is God’s Revolutionary Reign”. For 3 days there will be intense, continual prayer and worship as we enter realms of glory, while simultaneously bombarding the enemy’s territory. There is still time left for you to get there, this is one that I would not want anyone to miss!

Several weeks ago, I was conversing with a gentleman from Maryland that was sharing his life impacting experiences as a result of attending a conference hosted by a nationally known pastor and author. It is specifically for men and it is called The Advance. The moment he said that it captured my attention. But he drew me in even closer when he explained the reason for the title. He said that although it resembles a conference in structure and content, it is more like a retreat. But the word retreat is indicative or pulling back or back down, and that is quite the opposite of the objective and purpose for their gathering. That title and pointed description has stuck with me for weeks now. I wholeheartedly understand how the decision was derived and even to some degree, agree!

From that afternoon, I spent time reflecting upon the purpose of the Retreat that God has so graciously entrusted to me as Visionary and Founder. Even when something has been successful, and you have received God’s stamp of approval (which means everything to me), it is still in order and imperative to make sure that anything we do, especially for God is in alignment with His will. In my times of in depth reflection, especially as we were getting closer and closer to this weekend God began to speak clearly.

First of all, He assured me that I was not to change my focus or the branding of what we call our Retreats. I understood God clearly that as women, we have a myriad of tasks, and assignments that fall within our scope of responsibilities. We are pulled on from every direction, sometimes forced to handle situations that exceed our female physical strength. Yet, God not only gives us the grace, but also the compassion that enables us to perform beyond limitations. But as it relates to ADVANCE vs. RETREAT God showed me that it is necessary at times for us to step aside, pull away, and to temporarily withdraw, to RETREAT from all the normal things that consume us from morning to night on a constant and daily basis.

When we do so it allows us the opportunity to refuel, fortify, and energize ourselves spiritually, emotionally, and even physically. If we continue the non-stop pace that is dictated by life we are subject to burn out. Burn out is an ultimate result of underlying conditions that have been progressively taking a toll on us.

It is time for RETREAT when conditions such as complacency, a “numbness” that is evidenced by a lackadaisical attitude to everything around you. It is time for RETREAT when tiredness starts your day instead of the feeling of being invigorated. It is time for RETREAT when everything seems to overwhelm you, even the minuscule tasks. It is time for RETREAT when you recognize that you are not responding to those around you in a kind and god-like manner – everything agitates you and dances on that last nerve!! It is time for RETREAT when you know God is there but its seems impossible to hear Him or feel Him. It is time for RETREAT when you just want to be alone with your God!

The conclusion the Lord revealed to me is that from time to time, it is crucial that we RETREAT in order to ADVANCE! Once we take the time to slow down the pace, tap into what God has been wanting to say to us but we have been too busy to hear, we give Him the time and space that is imperative for the truly wholesome life that we all long for.

It is not too late, there is still time to pack your bags and get to this year’s 11th Annual Esther by Design Retreat, The Roberts Centre in Wilmington, Ohio. We’ll be waiting to welcome you, but more importantly your God will be waiting for you. It’s your time to RETREAT so that you can ADVANCE!!!

Source: First Lady Denise