Jesus - fully man and fully God - the example of how to be human - had a need for solitude
Often - this was a practice, a habit
Slip Away - this tells me he kept his eyes open for opportunities, this time alone was not always a big planned weekend away or extended....but he watched for opportunities and took them...he slipped away..he retreated from people, from schedules, from activity
Wilderness - (Strongs 2048) - desolate, deserted, lonely place - Yep - he got ALONE to pray...not a small group, not as a corporate program - Jesus made getting alone with the Father a priority
To Pray - try this and you'll find it's not so easy to pray when you get alone....noise - everywhere. I've had to learn how to turn off the noise...so that I can listen, not only to the Divine Whisper but to the inner parts of my soul as it begins to voice desires in the presence of a Holy God.
It's been life-changing for me to slip away to be alone with Jesus. In the middle of the my days, early in the morning...but also for extended times of solitude. Solitude is not natural for me - it's a discipline - but it's good. In prayer God changes my perspective. He aligns my will with His. I learn to listen and recognize His voice as He speaks to me in prayer. This is important in our noise filled 21st century.
It's taken effort to build this spiritual discipline into my life. A yearly "Ladies Retreat" will not accomplish this type of slipping away in my life.
I can hear young moms now saying, "I can't even go to the bathroom - how do you think I can slip away?" Here are a few ways I found to slip away when I had young children:
- The bathroom - shut the door; lock it and ignore the fingers - after years of this practice it is now the norm for me to slide into the Throne Room every time my bum hits the throne
- The shower - I can't step into a shower without starting to sing worship songs
- Park Days - I found kids are happy to play and I could snatch a few minutes of solitude
- Quiet Game - give it a try - kids love it
- Susanna Wesley put her apron over her head - and she had a HOUSEFUL
I'd love to hear your ideas.
I can hear Moms of teens and working Moms and Dad saying, "My schedule is too full to schedule an hour, afternoon, day alone."
- Do it! My schedule's full too.
- I would lovingly suggest activity has become an idol to many of us. If you can't find an afternoon every 3- 6 months to sit alone with Jesus, you are too busy.
- If you are intrigued by the idea, ask God if He is leading you to silence the noise and ask Him to show you how to clear your schedule.
- What you model for your children will become their natural bent....do you want them to be as over-committed as you are? They need to learn the value of solitude, slipping away to be with Jesus...and you need to model it.
Living all of life before the face of God...