Marking out our Pathways to Solitude. “Alone Time,” Making Time with God, Having our Time with God. Luke 5:14-16

Luke 5:14-16 The Message

14-16 Jesus instructed him, “Don’t talk about this all over town. Just quietly present your healed self to the priest, along with the offering ordered by Moses. Your cleansed and obedient life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done.” But the man couldn’t keep it to himself, and the word got out. Soon a large crowd of people had gathered to listen and be healed of their sicknesses. As often as possible Jesus withdrew to out-of-the-way places for prayer.

The Word of God for the Children of God.

Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.

Sometimes we each find that our hearts and our souls get crowded out by life.

This way, that way, every way, by someway outside of our sphere of influence, life envelops us, immerses us in tornado force whirlwinds and deep whirlpools.

Surrounded By Souls – A Poem

I’m in touch with the thought, the idea’s in my mind,
This fleeting dream, doesn’t leave me behind.

I need to hold on, to these glimpses of pure life,
To bypass the confusion, the agony, the strife.

The simple life is there, just there, now gone,
Between the bursts of light, I think I’m alone.

But alone in the sense of being comfortable with me,
Not lost in a desert of all that I see.

But now I feel that I’m not alone at all,
The world’s full of souls, I just need to call.

Alan Bruce Thompson

Why “Alone Time” With God?

Why should we spend time alone with God?

Why is meeting with God in the “solitary places” so important?

Until we gain an understanding of the immense value and the opportunity of encountering the shekinah Glory, the presence of our Living God, we will never consistently engage in this foundational, vital practice: “Time Alone With God.”

As we prayerfully come together, discover God’s heart to meet with us in order that we might experience the depths of his love, I pray that our lives would be marked by a new grace to consistently and powerfully encounter the living God.

Luke 5:14-16 Amplified Bible

14 Jesus ordered him to tell no one [that he might happen to meet], “But go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your purification, just as Moses commanded, as a testimony (witness) to them [that this is a work of Messiah].” 15  But the news about Him was spreading farther, and large crowds kept gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their illnesses. 16 But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray [in seclusion].

Why is time alone with God so important?

Why can’t just going to church, a community group, or a Bible study be enough?

Those of you who have grown up in church or have been going to church for many years have been told and repeatedly taught that time exclusively spent alone with God is indescribably vital to our connection, relationship with him.

Many of you, including me, however, were never given a reason why.

And in order for us to consistently and effectively engage in this abundantly life giving, life sustaining crucial practice, must understand why it is so important.

Here’s what we learn from Scripture about having time alone with God.

Scripture makes it abundantly clear that Jesus spent time alone with his heavenly Father. 

Luke 5:16 states, “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” 

Mark 1:35 states, “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.” 

Often in Scripture, Jesus withdrew from the crowd to pray.

So the first reason to spend time alone with God is because Jesus did.

If Jesus needed time alone with his heavenly Father, we can all be sure we need it even more.

Jesus walked in God’s presence constantly.

Jesus constantly responded to God’s will for his life.

He is our perfect example.

And even still, He needed time alone with God.

God–seekers welcome lonely places at times.

They will sometimes go miles in any direction just to find a place where open sky, wide spaces, and the starry heavens and winds are their only companions.

Even though God’s presence is clearly to be found among his children (as our Lord promised when two or three gather in his name—Matthew 18:20), God also meets us in those far away places, miles from humanity, in times of solitude.

Jesus often sought solitude.

He began his ministry by spending forty days in the desert (Matthew 4:1–11).

He spent a whole night in the desert hills before calling his twelve disciples (Luke 6:12–15).

After a powerful healing mission, he called his disciples to come with him “to a quiet place” (Mark 6:31).

For his transfiguration, he found a lonely mountain (Matthew 17:1–8).

And to find strength to face his death for us, he sought out the solitude of the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36–46).

Solitude rescues the lonely from loneliness.

As Richard Foster, a teacher and writer on Christian spirituality, points out, “Loneliness is inner emptiness; solitude is inner fulfillment.”

Solitude is the discipline of tuning our hearts to hear nothing but the voice of God, whether it comes to us in a whisper or a roar.

When we “pick ourselves up” to move into solitude, we seek to silence all other voices which clamor for all our attention, just to be attuned to hear God’s voice.

Psalm 19:1-5The Message

19 1-2 God’s glory is on tour in the skies,
    God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning,
    Professor Night lectures each evening.

3-4 Their words aren’t heard,
    their voices aren’t recorded,
But their silence fills the earth:
    unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.

4-5 God makes a huge dome
    for the sun—a superdome!
The morning sun’s a new husband
    leaping from his honeymoon bed,
The daybreaking sun an athlete
    racing to the tape.

We also see from Jesus’ example that time alone with God empowers us and inspires, refreshes, invigorates us, to carry out God’s purpose for our life.

It was after withdrawing into the wilderness in Luke 4 that we read he began performing miracles.

Jesus entered the Garden of Gethsemane filled with grief and sorrow, asking God for a way other than his own death to achieve salvation for his people.

After spending time alone with God, he came out of the garden empowered to endure the worst atrocity in history.

Spending time alone with God empowers us, quickens us to live a life filled with a knowledge of God’s purposes and the ability to faithfully see them through.

Lastly, Jesus is clear in Matthew 6:5-6 how we are to pray.

Scripture says, 

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” 

God rewards time spent alone with him in prayer.

It’s by praying in secret we clearly and tangibly encounter God’s love for us.

It’s by spending meaningful, quality time alone, in solitude, in quiet, thru engaging in quiet conversation with the Spirit that we learn what his voice sounds like, who it is we are responding with the entirety of our lives to.

It is only by asking God questions we come to discover His solitary, abundant will.

And it’s by spending time alone with him that our lives gradually become laser focused, centered not around our lonely, but around his nearness and goodness.

All of the money in the world cannot buy the rewards God longs to give you.

All the favor of men will not satisfy your insatiable desire to be fully known and fully loved more and greater and best by someone, something other than “self.”

God’s desire to spend time alone with you is not meant to add stress or pressure to your life but to relieve you from it.

He is not a God who is after you religiously checking off a quiet time box, but a good, good Father who longs to fill our lives with his grace, power, and love. 

Receive right now, in this exact and exacting the best gift you could be offered, one-on-one communion, one-on-one Koinonia, with your heavenly Father.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Guided Prayer:

1. Wherever you are, find a place to get alone and pray.

Seek out a place that you can find solitude that will be uninterrupted.

“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16

“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

2. Read and pray through this Scripture.

May God give you a revelation of his provision and love for you as you pray Jesus’s model prayer.

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.” – Matthew 6:9-13

3. Engage in conversation with God. 

Ask him how he feels about you.

Come before him with anything which is weighing you down and lay your burdens at his feet.

Rest in the peace that comes from his singularly unique, peaceful presence.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Father God, giver of every good and perfect gift, by thy grace and mercy, give me a heart that welcomes solitude and quiet places as openings for your voice to be heard and your glory to shine. Keep me quiet, keep me quietly in tune with you, I pray.

Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.

Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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