Embrace the Cave

We live in a world of extreme busyness. Distractions are constant, and Christians are failing to spend quality time with God. Worst of all, the church has suffered. Spiritually weak Christians make anemic churches. Pastors and other church leaders need to accept responsibility because, for the most part, we have been a part of the problem. Listen, we don't need vacations, we need a cave: a time of solitude, separation from all people for a period of time to enable one to express themselves more earnestly and freely as they engage in seeking after God.

I am not talking about the monastics who separate themselves lifelong to their monasteries, which accomplishes nothing for the Kingdom of God. Nor am I talking about solitude to promote laziness. Idleness is the work of the unfaithful, not those who are seeking to be faithful. However, if our objective is holiness, then we must be committed to holy things.

It is paramount that we have a heart inclined toward solitude while we are surrounded by the turmoil of the world. We must seek the face of our God in the secret place. The kind of isolation I'm talking about here looks like praying, weeping, meditating upon scripture, and waiting until one encounters God Himself. Throughout the gospels, we read of Christ seeking His times of seasonal solitude. It is essential for you to note, I'm not talking about daily quite-times, these are important, but I'm talking about something much deeper, and far more intimate.

In our daily engagements with God, we are frequently closed-up or rushed. The heart becomes hard; we produce no tears and become listless and dull. If, however, we embrace the cave and seek a season of solitude, something other than the ordinary, our hearts will become significantly enlarged toward the things of God. Our hearts become tender, and we vent complaints and confess our sins with transparency.

The Lord is so good, and He will meet with His children when they come to Him in this manner of sincerity and humility. He is faithful to meet us in the secret place. When Jacob laid down in a lonely place, the Lord revealed Himself to Jacob, so that he said, "Surely, the Lord is in this place..." -Gen. 28:16-17. When he wrestled with God in solitude on the other side of the River Jabbok, the Lord blessed him and gave him the name Israel. This had such an effect upon his heart that he said, "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved" -Gen. 32:30. It was when Moses was alone in the wilderness; the Lord appeared to him in a burning bush and granted him grace to lead the people of Israel out of Egyptian captivity.

In the same way, you can experience that God is good to those who diligently seek Him, and you will return home with a radiant soul.

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