RENEW | Day 23 • The Life-Changing Power of Solitude

Friday, October 23, 2015 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

NOTE: Excerpt from "Renew: Principles of Change for a Better Life." Get the ebook or book and Join In this 30-Day Devotional

1 Samuel 62:5, My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.

Isaiah 30:15, For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” But you would not, 16] and you said, “No, for we will flee on horses”--therefore you shall flee! And, “We will ride on swift horses”--therefore those who pursue you shall be swift! 

Confusion, nervousness, instability, and distraction are common problems among people today – including Christians. We have become a non-stop, noisy, and distracted society. We pay a high price for neglecting solitude in the presence of God.

Our lives become ordered by the pace and practice of this world and not by God. We experience bewilderment, disorientation, and random thoughts – like a machine that is operated outside of its tolerances. We become prone to misunderstanding people and purposes because of a lack of personal, inward focus. We feed on noise and clamor – becoming addicted to confusion and preferring it over quiet.

Jesus gave us the perfect example of human existence according to divine order. His entire ministry was birthed and sustained out of the crucible of solitude and silence – He could know His Father’s direction no other way. His preparedness to minister and the level of anointing upon Him was in direct proportion to His solitary time with the Father and with His own thoughts. Jesus lived a life of devotion to God interspersed with periods of ministering to others – not the reverse. Jesus began His ministry in the wilderness, in solitude, gaining strength for what lie ahead. When Satan came to tempt Him, he was at His strongest point, not His weakest point.

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35)

“Because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, [Jesus] said to [his disciples], ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.” (Mark 6:31-32)

“Jesus constantly sought solitude from the time of his baptism up to the Garden of Gethsemane, when He even went apart from those he took there to watch with him. It is solitude alone that opens the possibility of a radical relationship to God that can withstand all external events up to and beyond death.” (Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines)

Jesus was not driven by the needs of people, but by the purpose of God. Because of this Jesus gained the power to meet the needs of people in a dramatic, miraculous fashion. If He labored with people more than spent time with God, he would not have been as successful, and neither are we. Because Jesus spent time with God, His times of public ministry were dramatic and miraculous. He got more done in a shorter period of time.

Matthew 12:19, He will not quarrel nor cry out, nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. (”...neither shall any man hear his voice above the street noise” NAS)

Reflection Question: What is your plan for solitude with God?


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