Have you ever just needed a “Me day”? A day where you can just get away by yourself and do the things that make you happy?
Maybe your ideal “Me day” or “Me time” involves going on a shopping spree, getting your nails done, going fishing or hanging out with your friends.
These types of activities would be referred to as your self-care routine and play an important part in our health and well -being.
But, self-care is more than just taking a moment to get away from the daily grind and doing fun activities that you want to do.
It also involves taking care of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
As a believer in Christ, our spiritual health should be one of our main priorities.
When we make a conscious effort to take care of our spiritual well being the other areas of lives will improve.
Spiritual self-care is an important part of building and maintaining your spiritual foundation.
Today we will be covering an important, but often misunderstood spiritual discipline, solitude.
What is solitude?
What do you think of when you hear the would solitude? What emotions or feelings does the word bring to mind?
Before I understood the importance of solitude in a believers life the word inspired feelings of loneliness and isolation.
It also brought to mind images of an old cranky cat lady holed up in her home with just her cats to keep her company.
According to Psychology Today ,” what we think of as solitude is more correctly identified as loneliness. While solitude is a state of being alone without being lonely and can lead to self-awareness.”
Solitude is a state of being alone without being lonely and can lead to self-awareness.Psychology Today
Why Is Solitude Important for Believers?
Making time to intentionally schedule moments of solitude is immensely important to the life of a believer.
Even Jesus took time out of his ministry to find moments of solitude.
After dismissing the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone. Matt 14:23
Instances of Jesus going away by himself to pray can also be found in Mark 6:46 and Luke 6:12.
It is when we create these moments of solitude that we experience the following:
1.Communication and a Deeper Relationship with God the Father
Moments of solitude provide us opportunities to communicate with God through prayer. The bible says that we should pray without ceasing ( 1 Thess 5:17).
But sometimes life gets in the way and we forget to pray.
Or perhaps the only prayers that have been said are grace and a hasty prayer at bedtime before I drift off to sleep.
This is not the type of prayer life that will cause our relationship with God to grow and develop.
In order for that to happen, we have to intentionally set aside time to pray to God without any distractions or interruptions.
Notice in the scripture above that Jesus did not take his disciples with him.
This was his personal time to communicate with the Father.
Sometimes life can just be downright hard and discouraging.
Or maybe we’ve worn ourselves to thin with various commitments and obligations.
Instead of just falling into bed hoping that you will be able to fight another day, seek a moment of solitude with the Lord.
The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want, he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul…Psalms 23:1-3
Matthew 11:29 says,
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
When we take solitude in God he will restore our souls and give us rest from our troubles.
Sometimes we have to make big decisions or maybe we feel God leading us down a specific path but we are not sure what to do.
We desperately need an answer from Him, but it seems like our prayers are not being heard.
Jesus had a hard decision to make in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Instead of seeking the advice of his disciples he went to a place in the Garden by himself where he cried out to God,
“O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”Matthew 26:39 KJV
During times of chaos, King David often sought God for direction and help.
When we take time to habitually practice moments of solitude God can give us guidance and direction in and for our lives.
So how do we experience these moments of solitude?
Schedule A Spiritual Check-Up
Let’s face it most of us are so busy with our every day lives that we barely have time for ourselves.
The only way that we will ever experience moments of solitude with God is to intentionally schedule it into our plans.
Just like you make appointments to go to the doctor. We need to make appointments to meet with God.
I’m sure some of you are looking back at the list on why we need solitude and thinking that this is something you can do or get during your regular quiet time.
But the discipline of solitude and quiet time are two very different things.
Solitude vs Quiet Time
I used to assume that the spiritual discipline of solitude was the same as my daily quiet time.
Quiet time is something that you do daily and usually involves the basic discipline of prayer and reading your bible, memorizing scripture, etc.
These activities can take anywhere from a 1 minute to an hour depending on how much time you have in the day.
Your daily quiet time is where you learn and equip yourself with the tools that you need to live a life holy and acceptable to God.
It can also become a habitual routine that ultimately becomes ineffective and we either abandon the practice altogether or we just go through the motions because we know we should be doing it.
But solitude is different as stated before solitude can lead to self-awareness because it involves self-reflection.
The Apostle Paul tells us to examine ourselves to see if we are still in the faith (2 Cor 13:5).
This is not something that most of us get during our daily quiet time.
But, when we practice the discipline of solitude it often leads to repentance and a deeper understanding of God’s love, grace, and mercy.
This discipline is often accompanied by praise and worship, prayer, and self- reflection.
We become like King David where he cries out to God,
God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast[a] spirit within me.Do not banish me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore the joy of Your salvation to me, and give me a willing spirit.”Psalms 51:10-19
Unlike quiet time, solitude often leads to a radical and profound change in the life of a believer.
This is not just a quick in and out session with God.
This is the time where we get real with God about who we are and how we feel.
It is a time where we can experience:
- true healing from past hurts and disappoints,
- deliverance from hidden sin,
- breaking of strongholds in our lives,
- and the power to do everything he has created us to do.
That is the difference between quiet time and solitude.
Many people don’t like to practice the discipline of solitude because it exposes those areas of our lives that we would prefer to keep covered and hidden.
Trust me when I say the enemy doesn’t want you to do a spiritual check up.
He’s happy with you being alright with where you are in Christ and thinking you’ve got it all together.
However, those solitude is an important part of every believers life no matter how new or how old your are in the faith.
When we draw near to God he will draw near to us (James 4:8), but we can’t draw near to him if we refuse to get real with him.
However, moments of solitude do not come easy and we have to make sure that we schedule and keep our Spiritual Check-Up appointments.
As we draw closer to the Father our spiritual foundation is strengthened and we become better disciples for Christ.
Now, it’s your turn.
Have you practiced the discipline of solitude? How has the lack of or use of this discipline affected your walk with Christ?
I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments section.
Unfortunately, this is the end of the Building A Firm Foundation Series.
I pray that you were blessed and gained new insight to help strengthen your spiritual foundation and deepen your walk with Christ.
As always don’t forget to like this post and share it on social media!
Until Next Time,