Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

Mark 1:35 NIV

DEVOTION – JUNE 23, 2019

I love to walk outside early in the morning–way early in the morning (before daylight early). I committed to do this walk at least three times per week several years ago. Besides the health aspect, there are other benefits to this early morning routine:

  1. There is a lot less noise at 4:00 a.m.;
  2. The darkness of early morning tends to narrow the visual arena;
  3. Rarely are other humans stirring at that hour of the morning; and
  4. No one is trying to reach me on the phone.

Oh, did I forget to mention that I purposefully do not take any electronic devices with me?

Basically, the things that so easily distract are minimized or left behind when I walk early in the morning. This is when and where I am best positioned to commune with God; I am focused and ready to hear his voice. This is my place of solitude.

The Bible tells us that Jesus went to a place of solitude early in the morning to pray. Luke called it “a lonely place,” a time and place where Jesus could escape from the noise and the crowd of needs that surrounded him. In that solitary place, Jesus could refocus on the Father and the mission he was sent to do. In that solitary place, Jesus could receive strength, instruction, and encouragement from the Lord. (Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16)

Author Henri Nouwen makes a great transformational point about solitude: “When you are able to create a lonely place in the middle of your actions and concerns, your successes and failure slowly can lose some of their power over you. For then your love for this world can merge with a compassionate understanding of its illusions.”

If you do not have place of solitude, I would encourage you to find one. Find a place where you and God can connect relationally. Find a place where you go frequently to focus on listening to his voice.

It will help you become even better acquainted with the God who knew you before you were born.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father,
Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to come into your presence and commune with you at any time and any place. What a blessing it is to know that you are always there waiting for us to enter into a place of solitude with you. I pray that you will give us the desire to seek you in our lonely places often, so that we will be able to better understand and do your will always.
In Jesus name,
Amen!

Pam Ingle

Pastor and Director of Single Adults Ministry
pingle@crossings.church

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