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There’s no doubt about it, solitude can be really tough. Although if we really think about it, most of us would probably say that our past busy days and weeks never really satisfied us either. Before COVID-19 disrupted our daily routines, we all had "places to go" and "people to see."
Now many of us find ourselves stuck at home in self-isolation or quarantine. You might be wondering, "What am I going to do with all my time?" Could it be that now is an opportunity to fix our eyes on Him more than ever before? Perhaps we've been given a chance to recenter our hearts on the only One we know can satisfy.
But how do we come close to Him? Ephesians 3:12 declares that we can approach Him in confidence and boldness because we are in Christ. Being in Christ is a constant theme and message in the New Testament. He is nearer than you know and He loves to spend time with you. By faith, you can enter into such precious time with God even in the most humble places, be it standing in your kitchen or sitting on your bed.
So with all that's going on in the world at the moment, we want to share with you a few practices that could enrich your solitude time with God.
For those that have attended church for as long as they can remember, it can be quite a loss to suddenly be unable to attend. This could actually be an unprecedented moment in history, where the body of Christ momentarily goes back to where the church started… at home! What a great opportunity to pray, sing and spend time alone with God at home. It may feel strange to do these things without other believers physically present, but don't let that stop you. Instead, be expectant of getting to know your Father more as you begin to open your heart to Him. This is a fantastic time to grow in the personal discipline of having a "quiet time" or daily devotions. So open your Bible, pull out a journal, and switch on the worship music because it's just you and Him.
God often speaks new things in a space that is "set apart" for spiritual growth. If you've ever been to a retreat, a conference, or a summer camp, then you've probably experienced this. There seems to be something unique about an abrupt change of routine that causes the Lord to speak something new. Or could it be, perhaps, that He was already speaking something new and we just couldn't hear Him over the noise of our busy lives? Whatever the case may be, be encouraged to take time to pray and ask God specifically for new visions and passions. Ask Him to stir up a hunger for His presence like no other. Ask Him what specific things He wants you to pursue during this time of solitude.
May this time be marked with prayers of "God, I'm so excited for how You're going to grow me!" May we look back a year from now and marvel at all He did and all He spoke, and may it be revealed how He was actually preparing us for greater things. What is He giving you a new vision for?
For some teaching on God’s perspective of our problems, on Apple Music check this out: Graham Cooke’s Brilliant Thinking.
Being forced into self-isolation or quarantine can quickly make us feel that we're on our own and separated from our closest friends, mentors, and counselors. But thanks to the Internet, it doesn't have to be that way! We’ve never been in such a time where long-distance relationships are so easy to maintain. We have so many tools literally at our fingertips--Skype, FaceTime, Zoom... the list goes on. There's really no excuse to not stay connected with the people in your life! How can you be creative to seek out community and fellowship during this time? Who is just a call away that might really need encouragement? Or on the other side, who is someone you can call that will pray for you, challenge you, and encourage you to live deeply with the Lord? Think of someone in both categories, and go for it.
Our phones and laptops are powerful tools, and the time we spend on them can either greatly help us or harm us. Endless scrolling leaves us feeling bored and unmotivated; purposeful use of online resources leads us to feel encouraged and uplifted. There are so many life-giving sermons, blogs, and podcasts out there that can activate and inspire a deeper pursuit of the Lord.
What do you want to learn? How do you want to grow? Our encouragement is to get a little disciplined, find some good content, and be intentional every day with your spiritual growth. Try listening to a podcast while you work at a personal hobby, or watch a series of sermons and take notes so you can apply what you've been taught. Receiving teaching helps us to see God at work in our lives in a clearer way, and to recognize who He is to us! Go out and find some treasure!
What a unique time to be alive, and what a great opportunity to dive into intimacy with God. He’s with you now, and He’s known you for a very long time. We’ll leave you with this truth: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV) Now, go and enjoy time with Him!