Have you ever thought about getting an annual spiritual alignment? About once a year we take a week out of our schedule to align our life vision with our spiritual life. This spiritual and strategic retreat is essential to calibrating our listening to the Spirit of God and aligning our forward movement according to the revelation gained during that week. We have to do a lot of ongoing calibration throughout the year, but this retreat, without fail, sets the agenda for the next 12 to 18 months of our lives.
Continue reading for a description of how an annual spiritual and strategic retreat can be life changing for you. You may want to read the article, listen to the podcast, or both.
Getting an Annual Spiritual Life Alignment
The last two weeks in Calibrate Life we talked about alignment in our relationships and alignment in our purpose. In this episode we are discussing aligning life with spiritual insight and revelation.
Last week, as we stated in episode 26, we were at Broom Tree Farm, staying in a cabin and taking a week to calibrate spiritually. It is a time for us to take longer daily times of prayer to listen to the heartbeat of God and to examine our lives to make sure we are on track with our vision, and God’s vision, of what our lives are intended to be.
Last year we did a sabbatical reboot. We took 8 weeks to clear our heads and position ourselves to really listen to God’s revelation and what was in our hearts. We ended sabbatical with a strategic week at the farm. This year, as we went back to the farm and zoned in on where we were in life and where we were going, we found that we very much built upon the resolves we made last year on sabbatical.
The benefit of an annual prayer and strategic retreat is having an extended time to listen, renewing and recalibrating our revelation, strategically aligning with the revelation, and thinking through and establishing new patterns and paths.
An Extended Time to Listen [5:25]
In our day to day routines we have to take the time to listen to both the heartbeat of God and the passions that arise within our own souls. We may write down daily snippets and even take a day or a weekend here or there to calibrate, and those are very necessary, but there is value in taking an extended time to pray and think about the next 12 to 18 months, and longer.
When we think ahead we prepare ourselves to string together a divine plan to go further more efficiently. Writing a book or moving a major project forward sometimes requires a complete overview and a strategic plan. If we are always just planning as we go, we will get to some good places, but we will never get to the summit of what we, and God, intend.
[shareable]Planning as we go without long-range strategic foresight can take us good places, but it will not take us to the summit God intended for us. [/shareable]
In last week’s retreat, we came away with three verses of scripture that I believe were prophetically given to us as a foundation for our future.
[8:30] First was a bible story from 2 Kings 6. The King of Syria is angered at the Prophet Elisha because God keeps revealing the king’s strategy to the prophet, thus thwarting his plans. The king decides to capture Elisha and put him to death. He dispatches an army, places them on the hills surrounding the city where Elisha is staying, and prepares a maneuver. Elisha’s servant is dismayed because this looks like the end. But Elisha can see something calming the servant cannot see. Elisha sees armies of angels in the realm of the unseen that greatly out number the king’s armies. Elisha prays that the eyes of his servant be opened to see the spiritual reality. Once his eyes were opened, the servant understood Elisha’s calm. Elisha and his servant were delivered supernaturally from the king’s army.
The heart of God revealed to us through this story was to allow God to open our eyes to divine possibilities. To see what God was revealing to us and to calibrate our lives according to that revelatory vision.
[13:34] The second verse of scripture was from Jeremiah 33:3, “Call upon me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things you know not of.” This was an affirmation that as we spiritually align and calibrate our lives with the divine strategic revelation of God, we will operate on a higher plane than our simple humanity will allow. We will see and reveal things that we could only know if they are revealed by God.
[shareable]As we spiritually align and calibrate our lives with the divine strategic revelation of God, we will operate on a higher plane than our simple humanity will allow.[/shareable]
We believe true, real, and lasting transformation comes from the revelation of the glory of God. We see his glory when we take time to enter and live in God’s Presence.
[17:26] The third verse of scripture was from Zechariah 4:6, “…not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit saith the Lord of Hosts.” This verse reminds us that true success is not generated by our undirected efforts. When the Spirit of God working in us, directs our efforts with divine strategic input, the results are profound. We must point out that the speaker of these words is identified as the Lord of Hosts, a name indicating that he is the director of armies of angels. Remember Elisha?
[20:34] The fourth verse of scripture is found in Matthew [6:33], “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all of ‘these’ things will be added to you as well.” This is a revelation of the provision of God. If we seek God, his revelation, and his direction first — in other words, rather than seeking the outcomes, we are seeking God, then he will direct the outcomes.
As it relates to this podcast and this article, we would never come up with such encouragement and direction on our own. You see, this direction as revealed by God connected some major dots for us in how we are to proceed forward with our lives.
When we take an extended time for prayer and strategic revelation we align with God’s agenda for our lives in a greater way and we can scale higher summits.
Renewing and Calibrating the Revelation [22:05]
I was amazed that in last week’s retreat we had to go back and re-lay the foundations of our values, mission, and vision. We’ve worked on those things much in the past, but they needed calibration. No major changes, but adjustment and refinement.
You have to know your “why” before you can anchor your passions and efforts in it.
[shareable]You have to know your “why” before you can anchor your passions and efforts in it. [/shareable]
Once we circled back on our “why”, we were able to deepen the foundations and build on it higher.
If God reveals something to us, we write it down (which is an awesome first step) and we never look at it again, the divine revelation will not give us the intended lift. A longer retreat allows us to re-dig the wells of revelation and draw fresh water from them.
Alignment with the Revelation [24:03]
An extended retreat gives us the opportunity to calibrate our lives and align with God’s ongoing revelation.
Calibration is comparison to a standard in order to make a quantitative evaluation. When you establish your core values and your mission you are setting the standard. YOU define what God is saying to you, you define the standard, you define what it looks like. If your life does not look according to your standard, if it does not fall within acceptable range for the goals you’ve set and the Calibration Plan you’ve established, then you have to bring your life and the calibration point within specified tolerances.
Specified tolerances… we are not perfect and we are not where we are going to be, but we have to set a range, a tolerance. Are you within the specified tolerances for this season, level, or layer of your life.
Alignment is making an adjustment to bring your life into range. Alignment is making adjustment to bring the calibration point into alignment with the standard.
Establishing New Patterns and Paths [26:19]
I believe it is important to have a plan for how we will steward and move forward the things we believe God to be revealing to us about how to live our lives and how to move our ministries and businesses forward.
Ideally, we need a sabbatical reboot, an annual alignment, a quarterly evaluation, a monthly tactical, a weekly action plan, and a daily calibration. I call this the vision funnel. What we see, the revelation received in the intentional times brings transformation in its application over a longer period of time.
We’ve already established new patterns and paths for our lives moving forward as a result of what we saw and thought about during our annual prayer and strategy retreat. We’ve taken the revelation and broken it down into an action plan for living forward.
Calibration Tools… Calibrating Our Lives and Lifting Those We Love and Lead
- How long has it been since you’ve planned a few days of prayer and strategic thought? We want to challenge you to, right now, get out your calendar and block 1, 2, 3, or 5 contiguous days to lock in, listen, and review.
- Do you have listening intervals? In the routine of your life, do you have a monthly listening and planning day? Do you have a weekly block of time to lay out your short term strategy? Do you have a daily quiet time to allow you and God the time to calibrate the “right now life.” What new habits and patterns must you establish?
- Reflect on what you think God may be revealing to you. What steps must you take to clarify?
- Take an extended time to listen and think.
- Be intentional in renewing and calibrating the revelation.
- Periodically align your life with the revelation.
- Establish new patterns and paths to stay on track with your vision of life and living.
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