April 11, 2017
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 11 April 2017
God created human beings as living beings (Gen 2:7). People are not automatons or machines, which means that we need cadences of silence and sound, in addition to times of community and seclusion. Not only is it unhealthy to be surrounded by people without interruption, but also it is equally hazardous to desire to fellowship with individuals only rarely.
One of the challenges arising from technology is the increased tendency to abstain from silence. Indeed, many people could rightly be diagnosed as being addicted to noise. Consequently, the immoderation and shortcoming arising from modern life increases the significance of quietness and solitude as a spiritual discipline. Identifying and then enjoying times of retreat have always been a human necessity, yet all the more difficult to experience in contemporary life, especially in urban settings.
Ecclesiastes 3 reveals how God created humanity for various seasons and sequences. With only 86,400 seconds in each day, and no balance transfers for tomorrow, it is incumbent upon us to manage our time wisely. Therefore, we must prioritize the practice of solitude, which by definition is the quality or state of being alone. Solitude, therefore, is not a specific location (although a solitary place may help); rather, for the believer, it is a spiritual discipline of heart and mind to spend time alone with God through Bible study and prayer.
From the very beginning of creation, human beings have needed times of respite. Even the Lord Jesus – the God-man – “was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness” (Matt 4:1), “went up . . . by Himself to pray” (14:23), and “went away to a secluded place” (Mark 1:35). “Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain [the Mount of Transfiguration] by themselves”(Matt 17:1). As the Lord prepared Himself for his sacrificial work upon the cross, He required solitude in the Garden of Gethsemane (26:36). More examples could be given, yet the few biblical examples are sufficient to prove the importance for seeking quietness as a habitual practice and spiritual discipline.
Quietness is impossible without solitude, yet while silence does sometimes involve the absence of speech, as a spiritual discipline, it must include the act of reading and meditating upon what God – by his providence – has revealed to us objectively and propositionally in the Holy Bible. Simply to abstain from speech, without considering God’s Word, is not holy solitude. Recognize “a time to be silent and a time to speak” (Eccl 3:7b). Godly and wise administration of time is fundamental.
The most important aspect of our lives is the inner self that only God sees, yet which nurtures the outer person that everyone views. Internal solitude will most certainly have external manifestations, which is the reason why nurturing your solitary life with God is the foundation of your character, in addition to being the sustenance needed to accomplish all your responsibilities. Be on guard against the unfruitfulness of an unending schedule, which occurs when the urgent intrudes upon our solitude, and thereby emaciates our eternal perspective.
Your Capitol Missionary-Pastor,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia
Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.