The excuse we usually give for failure at spending time with God is time. “There is not enough time.” The truth is, that for the most part, time has nothing to do with it! We make time for what is of paramount importance to us. If we want to play 18 holes of golf badly enough, we will find the time!
So why do we resist times of solitude with God? Let me propose two of many reasons:
1. We don’t want to change.
If we are brutally honest, we find “a stubbornness within ourselves. A hardheartedness that will not yield to transformation and change.” Because exposure to the Word of God in an atmosphere of solitude discloses our corruption, we find ourselves resisting the pain of truth, and the pain of change.
“His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon‘s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God‘s Word. We can‘t get away from it—no matter what.” (Hebrews 4:12, 13 – The Message)
When we insist on living a marginal Christian existence by dabbling in and out of sin, our appetite for solitude with God can be numbed to the point of revulsion. We do not want Him to get that close!
2. We don’t want to give up control.
We are accustomed to being at the center of the action. We seem to need to be around people. Influencing them, managing them, or seeking their approval. We want to feel indispensable! After all, if we are not there for them, they might not grow – or “make it.” Remember the parable of the sower? “Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.” (Mark 4:27) God brings the growth! Not us! (1 Corinthians 3:6 )
The fact is, God would have us resign as CEO of the universe in order that we might begin to comprehend the truth that our greatest need is not for pleasure, but for intimacy with Him. Is it not the nervous activity of our lives that reveals our little faith while serving to crowd out those much needed times of seclusion with God?
QUESTION: Are you up to the challenge of choosing to become great with God through a regular pattern of solitude with Him? Then, if He so determines, He can make you great in spiritually influencing others. Be assured that the latter will not happen without the former.