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The Disciplines: Solitude
What are “spiritual disciplines?” Author and pastor John Piper describes them this way:
“The spiritual disciplines are those practices found in Scripture that promote spiritual growth among believers in the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are habits of devotion, habits of experiential Christianity that have been practiced by God’s people since biblical times.”
If something’s been practiced by believers since biblical times, it’s probably pretty important, right?
The answer is, of course, a resounding “Yes!” Yet many of us struggle to make these disciplines habits.
Today, we want to focus on just one of the many spiritual disciplines to help you grow in your walk with Jesus and equip you to begin to make these disciplines part of your daily life.
Let’s take a close look at the discipline of solitude.
Solitude is probably one of the most neglected spiritual disciplines in modern Christianity. While not often practiced, it is much needed by followers of Jesus.
Is solitude a regular rhythm for you?
Mark 1:35 shows us even Jesus took time away from the world to connect with His Father in heaven:
“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he [Jesus] departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”
If Jesus practiced solitude, we should too. Let’s take a moment to learn more about what solitude is and how we can begin to put this practice into our daily rhythms.
John Mark Comer writes, “The wilderness isn’t a place of weakness; it’s a place of strength. Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness because it was there, and only there, that Jesus was at the height of His spiritual powers. It was only after a month and a half of prayer and fasting in the quiet place that He had the capacity to take on the devil himself and walk away unscathed. That’s why, over and over again, you see Jesus come back to the quiet place.”
The practice of solitude is to disconnect from the world to connect with God. This is a place of strength, not weakness. A place to connect with God so we can fulfill His will.
Take a moment to reflect on the following questions and assess where you are in your practice of solitude:
1️⃣ Do you spend time in solitude with the Lord? If you don’t, what is keeping you from doing so?
2️⃣ How does it make you feel that solitude is something Jesus did often? Does it compel you or overwhelm you?
3️⃣ If spiritual solitude is disconnection from the world to connect with God, what are the things you need to disconnect from to connect with Him?
If you are seeking to practice more solitude, time with God, in your life, take a moment and make a practical plan. It’s going to be hard, and it’s going to take some sacrifice. You may need to put your phone down or turn off the TV.
Start small, bring a friend or a member of your Life Group into your plan, and hold each other accountable. Then, share all the exciting ways you begin to see God move in your life out of obedience to Him.