Mark Affleck

I Thought Solitude with God was Closing My Eyes

August 2, 2021
Spiritual Growth

The hot wind of July has flipped the calendar’s page to August and brought us a new topic to explore–SEEKING SOLITUDE WITH GOD. I begin this journey with much anticipation and high expectations for what God can do in our lives. IF, that is, we are not too DISTRACTED.
“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” Mark 1:35
Seeking peaceful, meaningful time with God is difficult today because the world has hijacked SOLITUDE under the cover of “reason.” That development is scary and destructive on its face, of course, but it also has some nasty roots that can choke out a Christian’s faith fire.
Those roots have produced a generation of “spiritual short-cutting” that goes something like this: 1) Read God’s Word; 2) Understand its basic meaning; and 3) SKIP working it into your heart.
That was ME early in my faith walk. I thought solitude with God came when we closed our eyes. Ouch.
We need to bust the MYTH that says: “Read God’s Word without too much thinking and just let God speak to you.” NO! God speaks to us after we figure out what the Bible says. We need to take the truth we’ve learned and turn that learning into purposeful fuel like the coal shoveled into the belly of a vintage train.
Doing that is difficult, in large part, because we approach God with a heart that was not warmed by MEDITATING on his Word. Approaching God with a cold heart has us jumping immediately into prayer before connecting with God.
Cold hearts read prayer lists. Warm hearts praise God, surrender, and then listen.
We need to make our next PRAYER APPOINTMENT and solitude with God because we WANT to pray, not because we “NEED” to pray or “HAVE” to pray. We must want to have our heart examined. We must want to see our wayward steps exposed. We must want to repent and be forgiven.
Solitude with God is so much more than simply closing our eyes.
I ask God to help me look out for the world’s cacophony of chaos raining down on my vulnerable soul. That I make it a spiritual imperative to have his Word in my heart so it becomes “personalized” in a way that transfers his full power and promise.
Do you struggle to bring God’s Word into your heart so it can direct your faith walk? If so, what can you do this week to interrupt that pattern?
“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10

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