One of the first things we see Jesus do in Luke, after calling his first disciples, is find time to get away from it all and pray. We see this in Luke 5:16. He had just healed a man with leprosy. News was spreading. Crowds were forming. Jesus was in high demand.
In today’s social media culture this would be the prime opportunity to leverage your platform to gain more attention. Views are up. Followers are coming on board. Hit them with your best and most creative content!
Jesus does the opposite. He resists the urge to make it about himself. He leaves them looking for him and NOT finding him. This is opposite of the world we live in where we are supposed to make ourselves easier to find, not harder.
Our culture has an increasing need for solitude, it just doesn’t know it yet. The social media age has made solitude a near impossibility for most people (impossible not in reality, just in their thinking). This is why we need it more than ever. It isn’t part of our natural rhythms. In previous generations downtime was there by necessity. When it was dark outside you couldn’t farm. You had to come in and rest. Electricity was a huge leap in robbing ourselves of natural rhythms of solitude.
We have to resist the urge to make things about ourselves. This means doing social media all wrong from a marketing perspective but doing it right from God’s perspective.
Enough about marketing and social media. Let’s get to the point.
Jesus fought the human/fleshly urge to allow the crowds to find him…to bask in fame and glorious. When those urges probably hit Jesus he did the opposite.
He found solitude because he knew what he needed most was not the attention of the crowd but the attention of his Father. He wants us to learn that lesson too.
If the divine Son of God needed solitude, so do we. We are not more disciplined than he is. We are not more stable and in control than he is. If Jesus needs it, we need it.
Turn everything off that has a power button.
Enjoy time in silence with your Creator.
Ignore the crowds. Reject the temptations to leverage everything in your favor. Put God first.
The key is recognizing our need for this. We might confuse our need for connection with God for many other things and when we do this we will try to meet the needs through other mean – food, sex, sleep, etc but none of them are going to work because only God can meet this need.
What keeps you from time with God?
How can you discipline yourself to make this happen?
This one hits very close to home for me. Not just because of social media. But my wife and I live in a small house with our daughter and 3 year old grandson. ONE bathroom, I know first world problems. But there is always racket in the house. Very hard to find those truly quiet moments. Then add to that the fascination with social media, the noise is very loud. We both have been trying to set aside the social media and reading more. Still I am a tech guy and more fun of digital formats. So still get easily distracted.
One of the few times that I have when no one is up is the very early morning hours. The other time is during my morning commute. During these moments I can clear my head and talk with God. What is harder for me is being able to spend time in the Word undistracted. The noise, and not just the audible noise, gets in the way too many times.
The struggle is real! If I am having a hard time sitting down with the Bible I will often take those short quiet moments to recite scriptures in my head that are meaningful to me. This is some solid meditation time…letting those words “dwell in me richly.”
I am trying to remember a book that I read a couple of years ago that was along this topic. It spoke of the noise around us and the need to stop, unplug, and withdraw. It is a topic that I find myself revisiting a lot.