Day 9: Aloneness
Tuesday, February 15, 2022
During our second week of prayer and fasting, our focus is on learning and incorporating certain habits Jesus models for us in the Gospels. These disciplines will help us live a life of prayer. It is clear from reading the accounts of Jesus’ ministry how vital prayer was to all he did. Not only did Jesus teach others to pray, but these practices were ingrained into his own routine. Some of the habits we see in him are silence, stillness, and solitude. They are not only spiritual disciplines, but they are also postures. We can become physically silent, still, and alone to help us come to a place of inner silence, stillness, and aloneness with God.
The benefits of silence and stillness are clear. We live in a world full of distractions and temptations; it does not cause us to naturally seek after God. The “days are evil,” as Paul writes in Ephesians 5:16. Therefore, building up the heart’s inner world requires regularly getting away from the outside world. Let’s continue exploring how Jesus adopted this principle into his life and ministry.
“After leaving the synagogue that day, Jesus went to Simon’s home, where he found Simon’s mother-in-law very sick with a high fever. ‘Please heal her,’ everyone begged. Standing at her bedside, he rebuked the fever, and it left her. And she got up at once and prepared a meal for them.
As the sun went down that evening, people throughout the village brought sick family members to Jesus. No matter what their diseases were, the touch of his hand healed everyone. Many were possessed by demons; and the demons came out at his command, shouting, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But because they knew he was the Messiah, he rebuked them and refused to let them speak.
Early the next morning Jesus went out to an isolated place. The crowds searched everywhere for him, and when they finally found him, they begged him not to leave them.”
This is the same event as yesterday, told from Luke’s perspective instead of Mark’s. Jesus just had an intense day of ministry, performing miracles and setting people free from demonic affliction. It was not easy work. So, to continue doing what he was on earth to do, Jesus needed to temporarily get away from the crowd. It may seem counterintuitive, but he needed to get away from them to best serve people. No matter what the world around him wanted, Jesus knew he had to have time alone with his Father.
This shows the power of silence and solitude. It is a momentary escape from the world around us so that we can best love and serve those around us. The Greek word for isolated place is “érēmos”, which translates as desert or wilderness. It’s a place that is undisturbed, with no one around. Read this description: “In Scripture, a ‘desert’ (érēmos) is ironically also where God richly grants His presence and provision for those seeking Him.” For Jesus, it was a place of spiritual strength, not weakness. It is where he was restored. Being alone with his Father enabled Jesus to do what he came to do.
So, let’s follow His example by creating our own érēmos to spend time with God. It can be anywhere, so long as it’s a place where we can be undisturbed for a few moments. We don’t experience the green pastures and still waters where God restores the soul and guides us in the right paths (Psalm 23:2) if we don’t get away and shut the door on the rest of the world to spend time in prayer. It doesn’t need to be for hours on end; it may only take a few minutes. But it is necessary daily to stay centered on Christ and grow in our walk with Him.
Set aside time in solitude with God in your own érēmos. Do your best to eliminate any distractions. Practice silence and stillness in your environment as you seek to find silence and stillness inside you. Then, you can hear what God wants to say to you more clearly.
Prayer: “Jesus, as I come to the point of silence and stillness in my body, help me quiet and still my inner world as well. I want to hear your voice clearly. I want to follow your example and be restored and renewed with my Heavenly Father. Speak to me, God, and do the work inside of me You desire to do. I am fully Yours. Amen.”
By Dave Mann
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