Mark Affleck

How ALONE Have YOU Ever Been?

August 12, 2021
Spiritual Growth

I am fascinated by the TV series ‘Alone’ on the History Channel where contestants have to survive in the wilderness, completely isolated with little resources. The person who survives the longest walks home with $500,000.
Besides being great television, watching ‘Alone’ this season has elevated the subject of SOLITUDE to the top of my mind and helped me develop this month’s series on the spiritual imperative of spending time in SOLITUDE with God.
All of that has me thinking TODAY about how ALONE Christians are willing to be. In fact, that’s a direct question for YOU: “How alone are you willing to be?”
As adults we have developed an aversion to being alone because we have conflated ALONE and LONELY. Here’s how I would differentiate the two terms:
Being ALONE is a physical state where you are physically by yourself.
Being LONELY is an emotional state where you are disconnected from others.
Once we make alone and lonely one and the same, being alone is scary. We are afraid of our thoughts and “where our mind might go.” Afraid of being walled out of fellowship, family, and friends.
But there is nothing lonely or scary about being ALONE with God in SOLITITUDE because being alone with God means he is ALWAYS with us. Therefore…  

Seeking solitude with God is not HUNTING for God. It is KNOWING that God is already with you.
Once we have that truth established and alive in us, we can begin to nurture intimacy with God by giving him 100% of our mind and heart. But reaching a state of SOLITUDE with God is so much more than merely finding a quiet space and tossing your thoughts to God and then waiting for his response. Here’s what’s missing:
God’s WORD must be the foundation of our solitude with him. Without that in place, we are not alone with God. We are alone with yourself and one step away from being lonely.
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105
I want to give God my undivided and surrendered attention and make sure his Word is the foundation for my time in solitude with him.
Do you delight in getting away from the world to enjoy solitude with God and feast on his goodness?
“My soul will feast and be satisfied, and I will sing glad songs of praise to you. As I lie in bed, I remember you; all night long I think of you.” Psalm 63:5–6  

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