Earlier this month we took the time to practice silence because of the reality that all we do is listen to noise and the information that comes with it. If you did that this week you may have found it difficult to keep the silence going. One of the reasons is we can be easily disturbed by the elements around us. That could be people, circumstance, or things but one thing i know is that it is easy to feel like someone is tapping me on the shoulder in my normal circles of life.
Solitude is a practice that has been established in Christ followers because of what we see in the ministry of Jesus. passages like " 15 But the news about Jesus spread all the more, and great crowds came to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses.16 Yet He frequently withdrew to the wilderness to pray." Luke 5: 15-16 show us that this was something that Jesus "frequently" did because of the pressures of ministry. That need to get away is not just something that Jesus feels and he took the time to "go up in the mountains" with a few of his disciples. all of this was to help them focus on what should be the driving and guiding force for their ministry.... God.
These men are constantly being instructed by Jesus on the importance in prayer and they show us that they consistently dropped the ball. In one passage the disciples could not cast out an evil spirit from someone and Jesus says this "28 After Jesus had gone into the house,His disciples asked Him privately,“Why couldn’t we drive it out?”29 Jesus answered, “This kind cannot come out, except by prayer.”… Mark 9:28-29 so the need to learn dependence on the Spirit is obviously something we will struggle to learn and Jesus is asking us to get better at.
Solitude means to get away from distraction so here are some practical ways you can practice Solitude this week......
1) Ask Yourself- What is it that is the most distracting for you and your connection to Jesus, once you know what pulls you away from Him you can know what it will take to help your focus.
2) Make Decisions- once you know what you need to get away from (work, phone, people, to do's, etc) to help your focus. Ask .....what are you going to do to get away? ......What times work best for you to get away? ......What will you do while you are in solitude? All of these have an answer that fits best with your personal walk with Christ and once you make those decisions you can take the steps to truly experience solitude.
3) Make It Happen- In order to experience Solitude, you have to do more than just decide what it would look like, you actually have to put yourself there! ex. Go in the backyard, turn your phone off, set up a comfy chair, and close your eyes for 5 minutes. This is going to look different for every person and regardless of what decisions you made to get in Solitude.... you still have to do it. so pick a day...... get away.... and PRAY.
4) Don't forget your spirit- It is easy to take something that is meant to build up your spirit and make it about bodily satisfaction. go and kick your feet up somewhere.... but you didn't bring Jesus. Let Jesus be there with you, let Him speak, take the time to thank Him for the moment with Him, share your heart with Him. are you upset? happy? blessed? afraid? Get away.... to be with your Lord and not just to get away.