by Rex Rouis
This is huge. If you cannot be alone with yourself, and you are not comfortable with Godly solitude, you will never fully develop as a Christian.
Yet the news about [Jesus] spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear Him, and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5:15
When He was alone…the twelve asked Him about the parable. —Mark 4:10
Jesus spent a lot of His time alone – with His Father. Yes, He was fully God but He was also fully Man, and apparently, He needed to spend almost every night in the solitude of prayer to do what He needed to do. Even to the point of staying up two and three days straight. That is why He fell asleep once in the back of a boat. If Jesus needed it, you and I surely need it.
All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.Blaise PascalWhen we are not comfortable with the quiet, there is usually something in our heart that we are running from. Stop and deal with it. Most addictions, including being overly busy, are really created distractions from what is going on in our heart. Lost people know they are lost and destined for Hell. That is why they fill their lives with everything they can to keep from thinking about it. True solitude is when you finally decide to stop running. At least be willing.
For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength. But you were not willing. Isaiah 30:15
One’s inner voices become audible. One feels the attraction of one’s most intimate sources. Wendell BerryThe speed and roar of the world make this difficult. The Devil sees to it that our world is embracing more and more noise. And what is sad is that we’ve become so accustomed to it, that we’ve almost forgotten how pleasant and soothing peace and quiet can be. However, we need it and our world needs it. In 1654 French scientist and Christian philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” If that was even partially true then, think about how much more we must strive for this ‘productive solitude’ today.
Many years ago, I went through an especially hard time. I was going through a tough moral test and I felt heavily oppressed. I had heard a message at Church on getting up very early and spending quiet time with God. I knew it was for me and I decided to do it. I would get up at 6 am, splash some water on my face, open my Bible and look at a verse for a moment, and then I would settle into the couch and do my best to keep my mind clear for up to an hour. I would close my eyes and focus on the darkness in front of me. I would shut off all my thoughts. Whenever my mind wandered, and it did (I am moderate ADHD), I would catch myself, pull myself back, and focus again on the clear darkness. Fortunately, I am groggy in the morning. That helped but it was still difficult.
This life of ours will never be all that it should be unless we are much alone with God.C. E. OrrIt took a couple weeks for the quiet to get easier. Then a beautiful thing happened. It became a wonderland. It got to the point where I would look forward to it every day. It became easy to get into the ‘zone.’ The quiet actually seemed to have its own presence. There was no sound but it was rich like sound. Wonderful. The loudness of true quiet is amazing. Now, I look back on that ‘hard time’ as one of my best times. People we have to do this.
Be still and know that I am God Psalm 46:10
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Psalm 4:4b
He makes me to lie down in green pastures: He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. Psalm 23:2,3a
Jesus cannot teach us anything until we quiet all our intellectual questions and get alone with Him.Oswald ChambersAll the greats did it. Abraham left Ur and his kindred, and he was alone with God. Moses was sent to the backside of the desert of Midian, and at the burning bush, he was alone with God. While alone Elijah was disciplined by God at the Brook Cherith. Jeremiah walked a lonely path, but God was with him. John the Baptist was alone in the desert, but God was there. Before Jesus was released into His public ministry He spent forty days and nights alone in the wilderness. During His ministry, He spent almost every night alone with God. Paul had two years of solitary confinement in that same wilderness. It was God’s opportunity to clear out the old way of thinking and to prepare him for his new life. The Apostle John was exiled on the lonely isle of Patmos, but God was with him. God is with you too. Go to the quiet place and meet Him. You have to get quietly near Him to hear Him.