Seek Solitude (BEING CHALLENGE)
March 24, 2021
Exodus 20:8 NIV
The practice of Sabbath is important because it’s a time set aside to be with God.
Jesus’ solitude is mentioned nearly 40 times in the Gospels. We see him getting away from people overnight, early in the morning, and even for 40 days prior to His ministry. His habits illustrate this important truth – Solitude has to come .
We have freedom to practice solitude in any way that works for us, but it’s best to be and . God wants a deep, rich, strong relationship with you. He has the strength you need to accomplish what He’s called you to do. Will you meet with Him?
CHALLENGE: Assess how you “SEEK SOLITUDE” using the statements below. Scale of 1-5 (5 represents mastery, 1 represents improvement needed)
- I practiced solitude every day last past week.
- I understand what solitude is.
- It’s easy for me to spend time alone with just God.
- I have an easy time focusing on God and removing distractions.
- I can be quiet and alone in a room for ten minutes.
Based on your answers, where is your greatest opportunity for growth?
IS BEING GOOD?
When we look at Jesus’ times of solitude, we see that He didn’t get away so He could be isolated. He got away from all the noise so He could be with God.
James 4:8 NIV
God is approachable, not detached and distant. He loves to be with us, and He to be in our presence as we come near to Him. When we draw near to God, He speaks to us.
Solitude is the intentional practice of being alone (or at least quiet) with the purpose of hearing from God.
- Solitude uses your routine shower to create an intentional time of silence and reflection.
- Solitude uses a morning commute and transforms it into a time of prayer.
- Solitude uses your early morning or 20 minutes at night after everyone else in the house is asleep and makes it into a time of journaling.
- Solitude uses an ordinary bench during your lunch break and turns it into a time of reflection.
Psalm 84:10 NIV
God gives us the opportunity to be in a real with Him, to follow Jesus and to make a difference. Nothing can compare to this incredible privilege. Thankfully, God also gives us for the times that our minds and our hearts are off target.
CHALLENGE: Quiet Time – Sit in a room quietly, all alone, for at least 15 minutes, but try to stay longer. Remember that as you are in the room, God is with you.
As you thought about God, what things came to mind? Write down what you remember from the time alone. Did you feel God’s presence with you?
ANY ROOM FOR GOD?
Every day is a battle for our minds (people, companies, clubs, teams, groups, organizations) and we are bombarded with products and promises. What are you allowing in?
Distractions inevitably increase unless you take action to limit them. What are the distractions in your life? And more importantly, what are the distractions keeping you from?
Solitude can bring focus to a loud and noisy world. The ability to focus comes from spending time in solitude with God.
Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV
CHALLENGE: Distraction Check – There are many good things that can fill our hearts, but they can crowd God out of His rightful place as our focus. What are the top three things that are, or could become, distractions for you?
WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION
Smart phones can definitely contribute to the noisy, loud, distracting world we live in. But there can also be significant advantages…
- We can consume content that will bring us closer to God.
- We can educate ourselves on nearly anything in a more expedient way.
- We can stay in touch with our friends.
- We can collaborate with friends or partners without having to be in the same room/place.
- We can download apps that will help hold me accountable as we develop the keystone habits of Jesus.
CHALLENGE: Power Off – Spend at least one hour putting all of your digital devices away. Go for as long as you can. How long did you go? How was it?
FOCUS IS THE NEW OF THE 2020’S
If the habit of seeking solitude was important for Jesus, how much more important is it for us who are prone to lose ?
How does focus increase productivity? Because it helps us distinguish between what’s important and what’s not. When we don’t know what’s important, our efforts are scattered, we feel unproductive, and we’re not certain what needs our attention. The key to productivity is having more of , not more of .
John 15:1-5 NIV
CHALLENGE: Slow Down and Focus – Intentionally slow down… write out the Bible verses in John 15:1-5, word-for-word. It’s a helpful practice in solitude to simply write out scripture.
- Jeremiah 31:3 NIV
- Romans 5:8 NIV
- Romans 8:38-39 NIV
- Psalm 103:12 NIV
- 1 John 1:9 NIV
“I’M COMING FOR YOU”
- Romans 8:18 NIV
- John 14:1-6 NIV
CHALLENGE: What did you hear? – Which of the four whispers did you need to hear today and why? Think of someone who needs to hear a word of encouragement. How can you share God’s whispers with them?
Colossians 3:2 NIV
Philippians 4:8 NIV
In the middle of all the noise, the debates, the opposition, Jesus found time to spend with God. In His practice of solitude, Jesus was refreshed and renewed. His purpose for getting away is our purpose in solitude: to be filled up by God! Jesus often went away early in the morning or late at night to spend time with God. He wanted to be renewed and filled by the Father’s love, strength and wisdom.
If you’re exhausted, you’re too busy, and you feel like there is not enough time in the day, do something counterintuitive: down and .
Isaiah 40:31 NIV
CHALLENGE: Meditate Today – Spend time in meditation today. Pick at least one of these:
Stop everything, slow down, and spend 3 minutes thinking about Philippians 4:8 NIV Think about the following things:
- Something true
- Something noble
- Something right
- Something pure
- Something lovely
- Something admirable
- Something excellent
- Something praiseworthy
Stop everything, slow down, and spend 3 minutes reflecting on any one of these three Bible verses: Jeremiah 29:11 NIV, Jeremiah 32:17 NIV, Colossians 1:17 NIV
As you meditated, how did God fill your mind? What were your thoughts and your feelings about Him?