Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live.
With less family and friends visiting in person during the holidays, solitude can be a welcoming invitation to spend time with the Lord free from the noise the world offers.
Noise is a subtle whisper or an obvious shout that constantly invites us to choose its invitation instead. It is in solitude—even if for a short period of time—that we can put the noise in our lives on mute.
The enemy knows that if he can keep us away from the Lord, we can find ourselves saying yes to what solitude would never agree to.
C.S. Lewis wrote in The Weight of Glory, “We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private.”
For the past several weeks, limiting practical things that distract me from accepting the invitation of solitude—watching tv, playing music in the car, phone activity, social media—has been refreshing and worth sacrificing my agenda to hear from the Lord.
Here’s the thing about social media. It is an amazing place to connect and catch up on what people we know are doing. The downside is that it is noisy.
The time and energy spent scrolling and posting at the expense of following everyone else online and not following the Lord is not to be taken lightly.
Then He said to them all: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23).
The truth of the matter is that addiction to noise is real. It not only keeps us away from the Lord, but it distances us from our family. To quiet the noise in a culture that is extremely uncomfortable offline and away from our phones is not easy.
In the book, Beautiful Uncertainty, Mandy Hale writes: The Holy Spirit wants to talk with us, but he is a gentleman. He will not attempt to compete with the noise around us, or shout to be heard over Netflix, or force us to listen at all if we are determined not to.
Determine to give yourself permission during this holiday season to put noise on mute to hear from the Lord. Place a sign on your door or space designated that says: Solitude In Progress.
Don’t feel obligated to plan anything. It is a relationship with you that the Lord wants most. He simply says: 1) incline your ear; 2) come unto me; and 3) hear—and your soul shall live.
Bring a journal to write down what the Lord wants you to hear. Look forward to experiencing the life-giving beauty of solitude during the holidays.
Prayer: Jesus, the holiday season is difficult being away from many of our family and friends. Help us to be present in the moment away from—emails, texts, the internet—whatever it is that wants to distract us from hearing from you during our time of solitude. In Jesus Name.