She is one of the ladies I am privileged to mentor. Shall we call her Chinda*
Awesome darling. She had shared with me the challenges, especially financial she and her hubby had faced middle to end of last year (and it was quite dire) and so she was going to go off the radar for a while… No BBM, Phone calls, Blog-hopping, and all the other social media stuffs sha. Why? They were going to seek the face of God as a family at the end of the year with absolutely ZERO DISTRACTIONS. She went totally incommunicado.
When she returned, she reached out to me but we never found the time to speak in detail until fast forward to Valentine period this year and my girl was sending me a picture of a car hubs got her as a val’s pressie. My oh my!!! Talk about 0-100 at the speed of grace. I asked her how the story changed cos I knew how bad it was so I was blown away surprised at this car gift from her hubs and she detailed me of how hubs business began to pick up right after the family retreat and so mightily did this business grow that they could not only meet immediate needs but also a few luxuries. I was wowed.
Now obviously, the going away as a family had afforded them the opportunity to invoke the spiritual into their circumstances which made all the difference, without discounting the fact that he added WORKS to his faith and then plus the grace factor.
No doubt we live in a very noisy society, physical/human distractions aside, we have the very present very accessible, very cheap (at least relatively) social media to keep us eternally occupied if we so desire.
The truth is even our quiet time has even been compromised no thanks to the noise. How many of us wake up and pick up our phones FIRST before anything else. Today I have to make a deliberate effort to leave my phone off till I have prayed and done a few ‘to-dos’ for the day before the phone comes on otherwise, me and twitter can go on forever. #DontJudge #YouKnowYourOwnNoise
Now aside our daily quiet time, I believe that If we are going to break into some kinda ‘next level’ in our lives, we would need to take some time off away from every kind of noise and just seek God’s face in a retreat. Tons and tons of times I did that as a student especially when I felt activities were crowding me out (and I was a very busy student, dang!!!). There was this amazing chalet which was affordable for my student budget and then this catholic place which was totally free. I would take 2/3 days away and lock up myself in that place. Wouldn’t even tell people where I was off to. Just me, my bible, various books and resource materials and my God. I would turn off my internet and my phone would be mostly off. And when I came out, literally I would know that levels don change with me sef.
Frankly, if we are going to hear God, we are going to be DELIBERATE about it especially those times when our instructions for the next level would come NOT in an earthquake or a fire but a STILL SMALL VOICE…
And no hunnay, you can’t be too busy for God ooo. I have heard a couple of MOG I listen to who find time to disappear from all the noise and just go and refresh
Kenneth Copeland does his in GRAND STYLE… I hear he gets into his private jet, puts it on auto cruise, tunes away from all the noise and tunes into HEAVEN. At that height, OF COURSE you will hear God lol. But really that’s something mehn!!!
I know Pastor Taiwo Odukoya taks a trip outside Nigeria in order to find that time to just retreat.
I have heard PK talk about he and his wife taking a trip to Ghana and locking themselves up in a hotel for their personal retreat.
I have also heard Pastor Poju talk about taking his own retreat to Ghana too.
Of course I am not saying every AWAY has to be outside Naija ooo. I told you I did that a lot as a student and it was free/next to free to find my AWAY.
I recall late last year I had cause to wait on God for some stuff and I didn’t have the privacy I needed at home so I would stay back in the office one to hours after everyone had closed and gone and just spend my time with God. I did that for days till I got what I was seeking, Sometimes too I would stay back in church after every single soul had gone and find a quiet corner and hibernate for hours before going home because home had NOISE .
So if you are working and maybe don’t have the time or money, you may wanna consider these ways. Once in a while, switch off your phone weekends, lock your room and just enjoy your time with God. Not every time turn up or turnttt, sometimes QUIET IN!!! I heard PK actually share how he got the name of his church. He said he was still in his parent’s then and he just locked his room, told them not to bother about food as he would be locked in and on a fast. It was in that period of separation that he got the name of and vision for DAVID’S CHRISTIAN CENTRE. So you see, it can even be right in your room.
Some seemingly good activities/people can be noise too. There sure is a time for everything. I recall when my pregnancy was getting way overdue, I knew I needed to pray cos there were all sorts of voices and thoughts in my head and ever so often, fear would come in so I knew I needed to fight. I turned off EVERYTHING and stopped picking calls. Most of it were NOISE even though they were well intentioned of course wanting to know HOW FAR? But hearing those questions over and over again came with some level of anxiety plus none of the questions could help anyways so except it was HIGHLY important, I remained incommunicado and expended my energy converting my wavering faith to strong faith. You would agree with me that some kinda faith project you would be on and you would need all the physical energy you can muster. Noise can affect you not just spiritually but physically too.
I love what Jacob did in Genesis 32 on his way to seek peace with his brother Esau. At some point in the journey, he let the crowd go ahead of him while he tarried…
23,24 Jacob sent his wives, sons, servants and all he had over the brook, then Jacob was left alone and he had an encounter…
Literally, dude saw God. I am too sure that dude was seeking something when he sent the crew away… He found it.
And frankly, I also believe that church activities can NOT replace our time with God. I am not saying you shouldn’t serve in church ooo. You should. But when activities begin to crowd you out, tz ok to excuse yourself from some activities and just ride solo for a while before you return. Working for God is not the same as walking with God ooo. Meetings upon meetings upon activities won’t save you ooo
God bless churches that in the middle of all the general prayers and fellowship, they give you some time alone to present your own petitions before God. That was what I really loved about Shiloh. The morning sessions were personal. For an hour or so, we would gather in one place, yes BUT no general prayer point, like Hannah, everyone was enjoined to just pray for whatever concerned them.
Ana Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking…and she was in bitterness of soul and prayed to GOD and wept in anguish… 1Sam 1:9,10
I LOVED IT. LOVED IT LOVED IT LOVED IT!!! I recall that it was one of those mornings in the place of prayer that hubs and I got a particular scripture that has been working for us. Even if you go for those church conventions/retreats/camp meetings, don’t just spend all the break periods gisting and catching up with friends, take advantage of that atmosphere and enjoy a one-on-one. Hannah’s entire family was with her at Shiloh and I can imagine that after all the general gbogbo e prayer sessions, the woman found one corner for a good one-on-one before she got that revelation to make a vow and she got her Samuel.
Even Jesus did it. A whole Jesus. And when He returned, we see the exploits He did. I mean, you have to find a way somehow away from the noise. It MUST be found ooo, that time to fellowship AWAY FROM THE NOISE!!!