“And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. ” (Mt. 14:23)
A healthy spiritual life requires moments of solitude. You need moments when you can retreat and have opportunity for: Self-examination, Evaluation, Meditation and Serious prayer. Being always in a crowd may never allow one to reflect himself and the world as it really is. Do not be content to see yourself through the mirror of the crowd. The image you receive from the crowd about yourself is most often artificial and unreal. We get real when we can retreat by ourselves, rest, reflect and allow God to speak to us. Roger Foster calls this “The Discipline of Solitude.”
History reveals that great leaders of the past were men and women who spent a great deal of time alone in meditation, self-examination, reflection and planning. During these times God met with some, others received inspiration and came out to change their world.
Do you ever have moments of solitude? Froude expressed this sobering reality.“We enter the world alone, we leave it alone”. If the entry and the exit are both in solitude, then solitude must be an important factor in life. Ask great writers and they will tell you. They conceived great works in moments of solitude. Nathaniel Hawthorn, the great American novelist said “What would a man do if he were compelled to live always in the sultry heat of society, and could never better himself in the cool of solitude”
Great encounters with God are obtained in moments of solitude:-
- “Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day.” (Ge 32:24) This retreat gave him a new name Israel (A prince).
- After Moses 40 years retreat in the wilderness, he came out as a special instrument that God used to bring a nation out of captivity.
- Joshua met the angel of the Lord in an early morning meditational retreat (Jos.5:13-15).
- Elijah’s 40 days retreat to Horeb, produced an Elijah who no longer feared Jezebel and had power to bring fire from heaven.(1K.19)
- John the Baptist was in a long retreat that made him the special instrument to announce the coming of the Messiah (Lk. 1:80)
- Even Jesus started his ministry with a 40 day retreat in the wilderness.(Lk.4:1, 14)
Jesus told His disciples; “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” Every serious believer in Christ should schedule moments of solitude in order to retreat and refresh, in God’s presence. Then you will come out strong and inspired to face and change the world around us. Do you want to change your world? Here is the secret. Take time to be alone with God.