He went up into the hills by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. - Matthew 14:23
One of the subtlest enemies of spiritual life and growth is the influence of other’s expectations of you. The world expects you to continually seek possessions and prestige. It expects you to fill your time with busy activity, whether meaningful or not.
Are you allowing the world’s expectations to dictate your life? How often do you act in order to please others rather than because you want to please God? Sometimes pleasing God may actually require that you disappoint others because you can’t fulfill their demands on you.
What do people expect of you? What do you do when the world’s demands are pressing in on you? Solitude can help you break free from other’s expectations. When you spend some time quietly alone you can see more clearly what the world is asking of you. In solitude you’re more able to evaluate these expectations in relation to God’s desires for you and then decide which demands should or should not be fulfilled.
Following one of the busiest days - and nights - of his ministry, the book of Mark tells us that Jesus
“awoke long before daybreak and went out alone into the wilderness to pray.” Is your life busy? Are you feeling pressure from your work, your spouse, your friends, or your kids? Follow the example of Jesus. Make solitude a priority in your life today. You’ll be better for it.
“In solitude, where we are least alone.” -Lord Byron (1788-1824)
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Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.