I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.
Most people like to talk about getting alone, but very few of us actually do it. I can’t tell you how many people have told me about how tough their life is, or about some great decision that’s in front of them, and that they need to get alone with God.
I can count on one hand the actual number of people that took the time to get alone with God. Many people talk about it. Lots of people say they need it. But precious few actually do it.
Why is that? What’s keeping us from taking time to be alone with the one we say is most important? The one who we claim made the universe and keeps it all together. The one who made us. The one who died for us.
I’m going to let you in on a secret, just between the two of us. Are you ready? We will always do what we think is important. If we think it really needs to be done, we do it. And I’m not the only one who thinks this.
When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.
We say that we need to get alone with God, We tell ourselves and others that we want to be alone with God, but then it never seems to get done. It never moves its way up the priority list.
Our lives are fill with good things and good intentions. But there has to come a time when the great leaps over the good. The good is good, that’s why we think of it as good. There’s nothing wrong with the good. But is there something more important?
Paul could have immediately started a preaching and teaching ministry. He had the background, he had the education, he had the experience. He could have put up a website and linked it with every social media site available. He could have started publishing books and daily devotionals. He could have published books and gone on tour to promote them.
But he didn’t. He did the thing that was more important. He needed to get alone with God. And not just for five minutes that are shoehorned into a busy day. No, he left everything that was familiar and went away to be alone with God.
People that are deeply dependent on God seem to be able to make the time to be with God. And while they may not be remembered, they have a tremendous impact on those around them.
Susanna Wesley, mother of John and Charles Wesley was one such saint. With nine children in her house, getting alone with God was going to be difficult at best. Every day she’s sit at her favorite kitchen chair and put her apron over her head. Inside her very own, personal tent, she’s read her Bible and prayed. And everyone knew that when the apron went up, she was with God and not to be disturbed.
Chuck Swindoll’s mom did something similar. She didn’t have an apron, but she did have a bathroom. She’s go in there and lock the door to get alone with God.
Both these godly people had a strategy. They had a plan. They had a place. They took the time to do what was important. And those around them knew that they had a part to play.
Yes, I’m sure there were difficult times. Yes, there were moments when they wondered if it was worth the time and trouble. Yes, they must have thought whether God was listening or not. These were real, flesh and bone people, just like you and me.
But there is one important difference. They did it. They didn’t just talk about it. They didn’t just blog about it. They didn’t just post short videos about it. No, they did it. They did the hard, daily, monotonous routine of getting alone with God.
No one, and I mean no one, becomes great at something without the daily, monotonous routine. There are no cheering fans when a professional golfer hits on average 500 balls a day. Steph Curry shoots about 1,000 shots at each practice session.
I think you would agree that they put us to shame when it comes to doing what we think is important. But it all starts not with what we haven’t done, but with what we’re going to do. Looking over our shoulder only takes our eyes off the prize, the goal.
It starts right here. Right now. It starts with the first step. Then another. And another. The first day. Then the next. And the next.
I never said that it was going to be easy. That you won’t get discouraged. That you won’t want to quit. That you’ll think it’s a waste of time. But I’m here to tell you that it’s the journey of a lifetime. And it leads right into eternity.
What’s keeping you from spending time with God?
Why isn’t it important enough for you to do it?
What’s the hard, daily, monotonous things that you need to do for God?