I once admired the monks of old that holed up in a monastery somewhere and learned the rites and passages of the Bible and became wise in their studies. They learned things that others had no idea about. In many ways I thought this was the best way to live. So I get it when the Israelites were ordered to stay in isolation from other nations.
For I see him from the top of the rocks,
And I look at him from the hills;
Behold, a people that lives in isolation,
And does not consider itself to be among the nations. – Numbers 23:9 NASB
The outward separation can be a symbol of my inward separation from the world, and then my inward separation becomes an indispensable condition of my outward separation and safety.
When I think of the Amish, or where I live, the old order of Mennonites, I think that would affect my politics, my morality and the possession of peculiar privileges like it has theirs.
So I look at my alone time as not a separation but as a time to recharge, reengage and listen to the voice of God so that I am relevant to this world. Paul seemed to understand this.
But we went ahead to the ship and set sail for Assos, intending from there to take Paul on board; for that was what he had arranged, intending himself to go by land. – Acts 20:13 NASB
I never saw this before – while others sailed, Paul walked. Paul needed time to pray, mediate and seek direction from God. That is what I am looking to do too. They sailed forty miles and Paul walked twenty-five and he walked alone. Jesus used to draw aside from times like this too.
But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of God’s grace. – Acts 20:24 NASB
I have put my faith in Jesus. I know that means my walk glorifies God and reveals Him to others. Paul was no stranger to dangerous journeys. He survived them because he knew he was with Jesus on the journey. I want to finish the race and complete the task Jesus has given me. I will need some alone time with Him, from time to time, in order for that to happen.
Father, Your gracious grace to walk with me and to meet me in my alone time with You goes as far back as Your walk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening. I am blessed indeed to be on this journey and to know that You are with me always. Thank You.