Our Unplug Retreats
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5:16, NIV
If God in the flesh realized the need to withdraw from the crowds and the pressures and the distractions of everyday life, we need to learn to allow ourselves that same privilege. We need to commit to a time to “retreat” from life’s demands on us, and to “unplug” so we can listen for the voice of God.
Withdrawing to a lonely place
In the Greek language, the word for “withdraw” is hupochoreo, meaning: withdraw, to go back, retire, retreat. Its origin is a combination of two words – hupo and choreo. Hupo means “under”. More specifically, it means “under authority of someone or something higher. Choreo means “make space”. Figuratively, it means to live with an open heart, i.e., with “available space” that embraces the “more important”, not just the “urgent” – to have space or room for receiving something.
The word for “lonely places” in the Greek is eremos, which means: an uncultivated, unpopulated place; a solitary place that also provides needed quiet (freedom from disturbance. In Scripture, a “desert” (eremos) is ironically where God richly grants His presence and provision for those seeking Him. The root of this word doesn’t suggest barrenness, but territory affording free range for shepherds and their flocks – an uncultivated region fit for pasturage.
Our Retreats have a purpose, and that purpose comes straight from the heart of Luke 5:16. It’s a purpose of hupochoreo and eremos.
A Retreat is a time to get away to a solitary place that provides needed quiet and freedom from disturbance – not to a barren place, but a place where The Shepherd would lead His flock to feed on His Word undisturbed. It is at this place of Retreat where we position ourselves under the authority of The One who created us, and to open our hearts to make room for, and to receive, what He deems most important for us.
Following the initial steps of discovering who God created us to be and what He created us to do, we continue to go further. We determine to be good stewards of our spiritual gifts. We work to develop our skills and talents. Strengthen them. Exercise them. Give them a spiritual workout.
So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, continue working out your salvation with awe and reverence. Philippians 2:12, NET
We have studies we can recommend for you to take back to the women in your home church. Or, we have studies we can present for you. You can always contact us to learn more about these studies and their availability.
The Great Commission
Just like God doesn’t comfort us to make us comfortable (2 Corinthians 1:3-4), He doesn’t teach us just to make us smarter. He teaches us so we can teach others. That’s what the Great Commission is all about.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20, NIV
We aren’t commissioned to make converts, or members of our man-made religion. We are commanded to make disciples. That means we are commanded to teach what God has taught us.
The verb “disciple” in Matthew 28:19 comes from the Greek word matheteuo, meaning to be a disciple and to make a disciple. To learn, then to teach what we learn. The Greek word literally means: a learner. At the same time, it means one who teaches others to learn as well. It means “helping someone to progressively learn the Word of God to become a matured, growing disciple.” It means “helping a believer learn to be a disciple of Christ in belief and practice.”
Discipleship is Christ’s call to action to all believers. That’s why it’s the call to action of our ministry. We learn, then we share what we’ve learned. We make more learners, who become sharers of what they have learned. Our call to action to the participants in our Retreats and our studies is this: Take what you have learned, what God has taught you, and teach others. Begin the process yourself.