Solitude and silence are not easy things to choose. Five years ago, I drove to Kentucky to a monastery and spent five days in silent retreat. I read; I journaled; I attempted to learn to draw; I attended the daily hours of prayer; I walked; I slept. It was during a difficult time in our lives and the benefits of that time away are hard to put into words.

I have done similar retreats in much smaller doses – like a day rather than days or hours rather than a day. But I yearn for that time of focused communication with the Holy Spirit.

I often think of Jesus and how he chose solitude over people at important junctures in his life. The first departure from people was immediately following his baptism. He went away into the wilderness to establish the boundaries of his ministry. He knew the enemy had a plan that was not in line with God’s plan. He met him head on and came out victorious.

1Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, 2where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry…14Then Jesus returned to Galilee, filled with the Holy Spirit’s power. 

Luke 4:1, 2, 14

When Jesus came out of the wilderness having soundly defeated the enemy, he began to preach the message that the kingdom of heaven is here and coming, already and not yet!

Perhaps you are facing a challenge, some kind of life change that would benefit from time away. What if you went into the wilderness, so maybe not 40 days, but armed with the Holy Spirit and his power to crush the enemie’s plans? Before you embarked on this wonderful new ministry, job, challenge — whatever is before you — what would it look like to be renewed in the Holy Spirit’s power?

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