“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” -Psalm 46:10 (NASB)
Solitude is a topic that has been on my heart for a long time. It seems like solitude and silence in the presence of God has become optional for us in today’s productivity-driven society. Because we aren’t tangibly achieving anything we can physically see, we don’t think there’s use in it. Or, that if we do take time out to sit silently before the Lord, it’s a waste of time since we’re not getting better at anything or furthering any sort of progress.
Deep down, though, I think we’re all a little desperate for solitude and stillness. And that’s a good thing! We should be desperate for it because we were designed by God to desire it! It’s just that our world is so outcome-driven that we don’t think we are allowed to take a moment’s rest. What we need is for someone to tell us that it’s okay to get away and unplug—for someone to give us permission to stop “doing” all the time and just rest in God’s presence.
Let me be clear: You have that permission. God has given it to you. Not only is the practice of solitude Scriptural, it was actually clearly modeled by Jesus. He knew that He needed time alone with His Father if He was going to complete any of the work that He had been given. Now, that kind of thinking is completely counter to what our culture facilitates today. Our world tells us to keep “doing doing doing” and only take breaks if you’re done getting ahead. (Which, let’s be honest, never happens.)
We live in a busy, frantic, chaotic world, and athletics can be one of the most driven parts of it. There’s always something more to do—a way we can work on our game, a new workout to try, another tournament to play in, another race to run. But we can’t forget that our primary role here is not to “achieve” athletically or otherwise; it’s to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength (Mark 12:30). But how can we possibly do that if we never spend time alone with Him?
Today, let’s really evaluate our mindset regarding true progress and the value of solitude. And, if you’re waiting for someone to give you permission to take a break, wait no more. You already have permission, and it’s straight from God Himself. And that is all you need. Don’t let the world drown out the voice of the Lord. Take His Word above theirs and rest in His peace.
1. What is your mindset regarding stillness and silence before the Lord? Do you see value in it?
2. Do you find yourself constantly trying to get ahead and achieve or produce? Why?
3. What do you believe is the purpose of life? How does your schedule reflect that?
4. Are you willing to set aside a personal agenda to spend time with the Lord developing a relationship with Him?
Psalm 23 Isaiah 30:15 Matthew 14:23 Luke 5:15-16 Hebrews 5:13-6:3