Drawing Away and Drawing Near to God

MAP (Mentoring Aligning Process) Silent Retreat 7 – 9 January 2022

Reported by Lay Leng

Exhausted they came, a few of them testified, and energised they left. In the time of intentionally drawing away from the busyness of life, they drew away from the competing voices demanding attention and submission.

The MAP Silent Retreat kickstarted on 7 January with MAPpers setting aside the time of intentionally drawing near to God in silence for the purpose of hearing from Him. 

Exiting from a flurry of activities, Wen Hao shared that he entered the silent retreat, grateful that he could take time to ‘stare at the giant tree’ in front of him and God challenged him to grow “slow and strong” in Him. Karen also testified that she is learning to give “unhurried time, don’t rush”’, to pray with a heart that hears what God wants to speak to her and to pray what He wants to pray for His people.

When we allow space and time for the Holy Spirit to surface and deal with our misalignments, it prepares us for upcoming assignments or enable us to do our current assignments better. God invited Jonathan to realign to Him and release forgiveness to people whose names He brought to his mind. Maisie receives the Lord’s affirmation of her extended family as her kingdom assignment.

In their closing exhortation, both Pastor Susheel and Pastor Henson reminded us to record what God is saying to us so that we may review these alignment checkpoints, remember His love, grace and faithfulness and most importantly, respond to Him in obedience.

It certainly rang loud and clear to Lilian. Two weeks before the retreat, God has given her two words “Move Forward” and a vision of someone at the verge of a waterfall rowing a boat and trying to detour. During a time of praying with one another at the retreat, through Yeen Peng’s sharing, Lilian understood the vision, that she has to move forward in obedience and step into the water.

At the same time, God also prepared Lee Chien’s heart two weeks ago on trusting and obeying Him. While praying, she had felt the Lord asking her “What do you see?’ When she asked the Lord to show her, she was led to Jeremiah 1:11 “Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.”

To Archippus Awakening, an eleventh-hour message to sound the clarion call to awaken saints in the body of Christ to know and fulfil our kingdom assignments, the almond tree is significant.

Pastor Henson writes in Say to Archippus,

“Having studied this before, I knew that the almond tree was known as the ‘awake’ tree because it blossomed very early in spring whilst other trees remained asleep. That moment, the Spirit whispered in my heart, “AWAKENING”, and I immediately knew what the Lord was saying to me. There is to be another awakening and I am to be part of it.”

Lee Chien read up on the almond tree too and learnt that the almond tree is also known as the “watchful” tree. Pastor Henson explains in Say to Archippus that cleverly, God used the “soqed” (almond) to draw Jeremiah’s attention to the word “soqed” (watch). Symbolically, the almond tree would depict the Lord’s watchfulness over Hs word that He might bring it to fulfilment.

So, in the silence and unhurried duration to seek God, MAPpers heard Him loudly. The next step is to respond in obedience to His word. When we do our part to align to His word, His will and His ways, He will more than do His part to watch over the word to perform it.

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