The oxford dictionary on Google defines solitude as:
“The state or situation of being alone
A lonely or uninhabited place”
Thought technically, solitude means to be alone, christian solitude holds a different truth
The truth that we are never alone
Solitude for the christian is the opposite, it is getting away from the people/distractions of this world to focus on our Father
It is recognizing that we are not, and we never are alone
Solitude is the gateway to inward disciplines
Allows for meditation, prayer, and study
We are going to look at 4 things that Solitude does for us

1. Release/Rest

Solitude allows us to detach from control
Did you know, that we can actually let go of things?
When we are “away” and not around to control things, that means that we have returned the control back to God!
Solitude allows us to release from the things going on!
And, when we can do this, we can finally rest
Sometimes, in our busy culture, it is good to be reminded that God wants us to rest!
In fact, God modeled this for us!
Genesis 2:2–3 NIV
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
He then commanded it for us!
Exodus 20:8–10 NIV
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.
Jesus also modeled and commanded rest
Mark 6:31–32 NIV
31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” 32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.
And then God reminded us of it...
Hebrews 4:9–11 NIV
9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
Jesus tells us that we can continue to rest in Him!
Matthew 11:28 NIV
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Remember, solitude is not simply about getting away from everything, it is about getting away from everything to spend time with Jesus!
The very presence of God is our rest!

2. Refocus

The bible gives us clear instruction on refocusing our mind…sometimes we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that we forget to focus on Him and His word!
Romans 12:2 NIV
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
We have preached this often, but it is important to focus our mind on Him! Solitude allows us to do that!
Colossians 3:1–2 NIV
1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
And Paul gives us the formula for how to do this!
2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV
5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
We take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ...
This is how we refocus our mind...
Solitude gives us a chance to take thoughts captive!
It gives us time to transform our minds...

3. Reprioritize

After we refocus, we get the chance to reprioritize things..
When we refocus, we should then have a clear mind...
Philippians 4:8 NIV
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
When we think about these things, we can reprioritize our lives to reflect these things...
Often times, when we prioritize things in our lives we put first what benefits us the most, and then what benefits our kids...
What if we challenged this… what if we first prioritized what gives God the most glory first?
How can we glorify Him the best - put that first, and then start filling in the other things?
Solitude lets us make these changes

4. Recharge

This is often times the most needed...
The good news is that we are not alone!
Jesus modeled getting away many times
A few weeks ago when we talked about prayer we listed several verses about Jesus going away...
I won’t go through all of them, but here are a couple..
Luke 5:15–16 NIV
15 Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
Luke 6:12 NIV
12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.
I believe that Jesus withdrew often to recharge....
Jesus tells us that He does nothing or says nothing apart from the Father...
How does He know what the Father is doing and saying?
He listens to Him! He took the time...
And, this alone time is where he got his batteries charged up!
If Jesus needed to, or if you don’t like wording it that way, at least saying that He modeled it, how much more do we need to be recharged?
How much more time do we need to get away and focus on the Lord?
So, Foster gives us some helpful tips on ways to find solitude

1. Baby Steps

“Solitude is more a state of mind and heart than it is a place. There is a solitude of the heart that can be maintained at all times.” - Richard Foster
This being said, we can find moments of solitude in the midst of the chaos...
Foster recommends finding small moments of solitude
He recommends in the morning before we get out of bed, or when we are stuck in traffic....I don’t think he lives in Goodland...
He recommends finding moments of solitude through nature, observing something God has created beautifully..
Or even in times of typical talking, spend some time in silence
Take a little walk during the busyness of the day, or in the morning or evening
2. Find and designate a quite place in or around our home. Some place accessible often, but where you can find some quiet
3. Find a place away from your home
4. Keep our speech plain and simple. Solitude is having inward peace and calmness. There is no need to have useless noice. Calm your mind and subsequently, your tongue - let your words be full and not empty
5. 4 times a year, withdraw for 3-4 hours. Think about your goals and reorient them
6. Take a retreat once a year with the goal of solitude
He gives an added fruit of solitude...
Increased sensitivity and compassion for others
“It is in deep solitude that I find the gentleness with which I can truly love my brothers. The more solitary I am the more affection I have for them…Solitude and silence teach me to love my brothers for what they are, not for what they say.” - Thomas Merton
Solitude provides so many benefits for us and even for others...
It allows us to
and to increase our sensitivity and compassion for others.
This week I challenge you to find some solitude
Practice some of the things mentioned today...
The first step is really finding solitude is to surrender you life to the Lord
If you have not done that, today is a good time to step into the rest of the Lord.
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