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Posts Tagged ‘solitude’

Quietness

Have you ever been out in the middle of a calm sea with no wind or waves to break the monotony?  The circle of the horizon offers no points of distinction, and the calm, still air smothers any sense of direction.  You sit still in a boat without oars as you feel time dissolve around you.  With no place to go, and no way to get there, you find yourself in a situation where you have to yield to the suppression of your spirit as even the air itself smothers you into silence.

There are times in your Christian walk that God will bring you into such a solitary place.  It is not only a time for reflection, but also for the quieting of your own spirit.  It is one of the toughest experiences that you ever have to go through in God, but when He places you there, you have no choice but to sit still and wait.

All the great personalities in the Word of God went through times like that before they were called into the thick of what would become the real essence of their ministry.  Abraham had his walk through the land of Canaan, never understanding where he was going or why.  Moses had his 40 years on the backside of the desert.  Joseph cooled his heels in prison, forgotten by everyone for years.  Elijah did his time in the desert, as did Paul and Jesus.  Jonah only spent 3 days in the belly of a whale, but I’m sure he would have traded that with Moses’ 40 years in a heartbeat.

When we begin our journey in life to serve the Lord, we often rush headlong in zeal and excitement to accomplish the great things that we feel are set before us.  We charge off on our white stallion to conquer the forces of darkness and set the captives free.  The rush of the wind blowing through our hair as we hold up the Blood-Stained Banner in a galloping charge is exhilarating.  The thrill of victory runs through us as we battle through one enemy after another.

But then the time comes when we find ourselves in that quiet place, and the adrenaline that was pumping through our veins drains out of us, leaving us frantic in the midst of the calm.  While we fret about being abandoned and left out to fallow, we wonder what did we do wrong?  

Has God forsaken us for someone else?  It feels like being left by a faithless lover for someone who is younger and better looking.  Satan is right there at our shoulder to confirm all this.  He whispers to us that we’re finished, washed up, and God is done with us.  It is hard not to despair when all around you, others are charging off into their own victories with that same look of conquest on their faces that you had at one time.

If God would just set us down and explain to us what is going on, this would be easy.  But then, that’s the whole point – it isn’t supposed to be easy.  Battles are easy because at least you know what is going on, but sitting in the midst of this barren desert is killing you.  Common sense and carnal reasoning cries that this is a mistake – God should be using you in some strong way, especially since you have proven yourself so faithful in all that you have fought for.  You have done everything He has asked of you, so why has He dropped you off into a cloud of nothingness?

These are the times that break your spirit and take the “you” out of “you”.  You are left with nothing that remains of the great Christian warrior you saw yourself as.  Your strength is drained, and you are left with only one thing – hope.  Not hope in your victories or your accomplishments, but with a hope in that faint glimmer that leads to the mercy of God.  Nothing else matters.

No matter how many miracles Jesus did, no matter how many dead He raised, no matter how many sermons He delivered, it was not until He was completely broken on that old rugged Cross, and had surrendered His life to death, that the greatest victory of all time was won.

Only when you have reached that same broken, crucified rest on the Cross, will your victory also be complete. 

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