Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 107 Scripture and Solitude
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Episode #107 –Scripture and Solitude
Thank you for entrusting and investing your precious time with me to seek, find, and follow Jesus together and live with purposed eternal perspective.
My youngest seeks private time with me daily. If I view her desire to be with me, to ensure that we play together daily as a chore, I feel burdened or overwhelmed thinking about our busy schedule and trying to fit in playtime every single day. If I shift my mindset, however, knowing that our playtime should be guarded, that we never know how many days we are given with anyone, I savor the precious moments we have. Playing together is so important to her mental, emotional, and spiritual growth and has blessed our attachment process. Looking back at our memories, laughter, secrets, and creativity together, play time is one of the activities I cherish the most.
This same mindset should apply to our walk with God.
When I was a new Christian, I read my Bible as often as possible, trying to absorb as much as I could. Sometimes it was difficult to learn the meanings of the strange new words I had never heard of, imagine cities I’d never been to, or understand the cultures of a time so long ago. Yet, I kept reading. Passion for Jesus resided in me and I wanted to hear more. Over time, my life got busier. My Bible could sit untouched for days by my bed. As time continued to pass, I still loved God very much, but my actions and reactions began to look more fleshly than godly and my words reflected myself rather than my Heavenly Father. Thankfully, I didn’t continue moving away from the word, but began moving back to the One who gives true life and love, drawn back to His word for the nourishment my mind, heart, and body craved.
Scripture, wisdom of the Bible, is defined as sacred writings. The Word sacred means consecrated, or set-apart. In order for us to be set-apart in our daily living and our walk with God, we must intentionally purpose to live life differently than our flesh would call us to or as the world lures us to follow. Believers know scripture is God-breathed and inspired. The Holy word God breathed, inspired, and established for us is undoubtedly more than words in a book. Full of God’s truths, instructions, promises, and wisdom, scripture is an under-used treasure and gift.
I’m incredibly thankful that God kept His eyes and hand on me when I stopped intentionally deepening my walk with Him daily as a young woman. No matter what we tell ourselves we think or how we feel, we will drift away from the heart of God, following selfish needs or desires, unless we are purposeful in moving nearer to Him.
God knows the plans He has for each of us, the purposes we were created for, the things that touch us and speak to our heart. God cares intimately. He knows what to allow in our life, what to expel from it, and how to accomplish both without crushing our spirit or individuality. If we keep our eyes and heart focused on Him despite whether we are experiencing life standing tall on the mountain or crouching with despair in the valley, our walk with Him will deepen and mature in innumerable ways that last for eternity.
So, how do we develop faith that withstands the burdens and trials of life? How do we manage to draw nearer to God, especially during the fast-paced and challenging days we live? God’s Holy word is the crucial starting point where we find the presence and purpose of Jesus and find freedom through Him. Through scripture, we find Christ, the perfect Savior and mentor.
To my knowledge, the Bible never specifically instructs us to seek solitude. Yet, we often see Jesus drawing nearer to His Father through seeking refuge in solitude. When we study the life and actions of Jesus, we witness the way He intentionally found time and made the freedom to be in the presence of His Heavenly Father despite His demanding life.
What is the purpose of seeking God through solitude and scripture? Through careful study of Bible scripture, and seeing the example Jesus left us of sitting with the Lord in solitude, we recognize specific privileges we receive as a child of the King, as well as opportunities to stretch the relationship we have to a greater depth and understanding of Jesus.
Scripture helps us to:
1. Know God – 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or height, for I have rejected him; the Lord does not see as man does. For man sees the outward appearance, but the Lord sees the heart." Our Heavenly Father looks directly into our heart. Because He formed us, He knows each innermost thought, urge, weakness, and strength. God understands the feelings we have for Him, the regrets, the joys, and loves us despite each of them. Above all, He is not persuaded by or turned away from any of them. Reading scripture allows us to read God. We recognize Him. Through the Holy Spirit, we can have God alive within us! As we seek to know, honor, and please the Father through His holy word, we are able to understand and discern the character and ways of God much more clearly and accurately as we draw nearer to Him.
2. Hear God – Psalm 95:6-7a says, “O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, the sheep under His care.” We are the created. He is the Creator. As we seek Him and come to know Him through His word, we see the great depths God has gone to in order to make Himself known to us. The Creator of heaven and earth has pursued us with a relentless and holy love. As we learn what He desires, we come to be more like Him through our thoughts, actions, reactions, and words. We clearly hear and follow what He calls for us and we begin to experience fellowship and joy in new ways this world cannot offer.
3. Focus on God – Matthew 15:8 says, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” When we focus on self, we cannot focus on the Lord. Only through the work of the Holy Spirit can we truly love as God calls us to. God calls for pure hearts to be drawn to Him in authentic adoration and affection.
Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” As we know the Lord through His holy word, our hearts are changed. When we discover Jesus as our personal Savior, and the Holy Spirit abides within us, He woos us to Himself and gifts us with the ability to discern His truths and promises and desire them with our whole heart. Yet, because the love our Heavenly Father has for us is so unselfish and of the greatest depth, He allows us to choose whether to continue drawing nearer to Him moment by moment.
Jeremiah 24:7 says, “I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord. They will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with all their heart.” Jesus’s redeeming love is the only power that transforms our hearts from the selfish, stubborn flesh within us and penetrates our heart with a pure and holy transformation.
John 17:3 says, “Now this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” As we focus on Jesus, we see and know God. For believers with a personal relationship with Christ, we have the blessed assurance that we will live with God for eternity one day. Eternal life through Jesus is not merely living forever with God, but is the definer of the quality of our life.
Now that we’ve examined what scripture helps us discover, let’s examine what blessings solitude provides.
Solitude helps us to:
1. Make discerning decisions – If we regularly spend time in God’s word, our heart is pricked and aware of God’s truths and commands. Hebrews 4:12-13 says, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight; everything is uncovered and exposed before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Committing also, to spending time alone with the Lord is difficult. Often, it is hard enough to make time to read the Bible regularly, let alone make additional time to sit in solitude with God. Any relationship, however, needs time to focus on the heart of one another, to purposely make time to love and appreciate, to listen to the desires of the one we love. Here, we do the same for the One who loves us. Sitting in solitude, in time meant to hear the Lord speak opens our heart and mind to awareness of what God is saying to us and how to apply it in our life. Understanding awakens the proper actions or reactions the Lord is calling us to make.
2. Focus on God’s truths – When we focus on time with God, it allows us to process our fleshly thoughts, feelings, and emotions, then discern and determine how to release what is not God’s truths. God lovingly made each of us unique and filled us with the ability to feel strongly and passionately. It is only through Him that we have the ability to determine what is our truth and what is God’s truth and how to move from there. John 8:32 says, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
3. Rest and renew in Christ – Life can be exhausting. We rush from moment to moment activities, fill our mind with desires, needs, wants, and mindless entertainment, making excuses that we have no time for God. True rest is only found in the Lord. When we make the time to be with Him, we find the ability to drop the activities that serve no eternal purpose or we are able to focus on our days with a new mindset and His joy and strength. Matthew 11:28-29 says, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
4. Seek God’s strength – Psalm 121:1-2 says, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Without relationship with God through Jesus and purposeful reflection on Him, trusting God, seeking His strength and provision, we wearily trudge through each day reliant on self. Human strength fails. We get weary, stressed, depressed, and react without godly thoughts or intentions. God knows how difficult we make releasing self and worries or problems to Him. The Bible is filled with verses about His strength and provision for us. John 16:33 says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Absolutely nothing is too much for God. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will surely help you; I will uphold you with My right hand of righteousness.” Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you to be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
As we read, study, and process God’s precious words to us and reflect on them through solitude with Jesus, our mind, heart, thoughts, emotions, feelings, actions, and reactions are altered. Our lives are changed as we view the world, our life, and the lives of others through the eternal perspective of Jesus.
Gracious Heavenly Father, how good You are to us. You have made Yourself known to us, Your creation, through a love so profound we barely understand. Yet as we devote ourselves to knowing You, we begin to grasp the depth, the height, the width of Your loving provisions to us. There is none like You. We thank you for thinking of us, for giving us a life in which we can seek You, find You, and follow You into joy unexplainable. Please help each of us to find You in new ways as we make time to read Your holy word and make room for You in our life. Let us not exclude You from the intimate relationship You long for with Your beloved children. May we see You more clearly, exhibit You more lovingly as we walk more closely with You and spend quiet time together to see Your face, heart, and mind. May we reflect You in all we are and do. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Thank you for listening. If you find value in what you hear, I invite you to help others find the podcast. Please share Live With Eternal Perspective episodes with friends and family so that they can begin to listen each week.
I’m very excited to share that my second podcast, “Purposed Parent/Connected Child” releases soon! I hope you will look for it, follow it, and share both podcasts with friends or family who would like to choose Christ over culture and be a parent (or grandparent) who connects with eternal purpose. You can find more details on my website at terrihitt.com.
Remember, if we are not purposed in knowing Jesus ourselves and showing Him to the next generation, the world will direct them away from Christ.
I pray that what you hear on this podcast draws you nearer to God and helps you cling to Him, despite any circumstances in your life. Until next week, keep looking Up while focusing on new ways to Live With Eternal Perspective.