There was a time towards the end of last year when my phone stopped working. I resorted to taking a break from social media, and I must admit that I enjoyed the separation from an online presence and where possible even from people. I made a conscious effort to separate myself daily to pray more, to read more of the Bible and to spend more time actively listening to the Holy Spirit.
I’ve found that a season of separation (this includes fasting) can do to your spirit what a vacation can do to your body and mind. Setting yourself aside to engage with God over some time can help refuel your spiritual tank more than any sermon or motivational talk.
I’ve noticed though, that we tend to let life get in the way of our quality time with God. Like the Israelites in the desert, we are quick to forget the gift freely given to us. Like some married couples, we take God’s provision for granted and we neglect to nurture our relationship with Him. We become complacent.
We don’t read our Bibles as often as we used to or as often as we know we should. Our prayer lives dwindle down to weary ‘thank you’ prayers at the end of the day when we can barely keep our eyes open. We replace the presence of God with inspirational sermons and worship music, because it’s so much easier to listen to someone else talk about God than it is to wake up early in the morning and hear Him for ourselves.
We question God’s intentions when we are constantly tempted because we have forgotten that the Lord Himself said, “Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation.” (Matthew 26: 40).
We wonder why we feel like we never have enough faith because we have forgotten that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
We wonder why we are always anxious, forgetting that the word says that the peace which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds when you bring everything to God with thankfulness in prayer. (Philippians 4: 6-7)
How can we be free from anxiety when we don’t read the Word enough to learn how to rid our lives of it? How can we overcome the lies of the enemy, when we know so little of the truth? How can we overcome temptation when we do not pray?
We should not forget that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10: 4-5). We cannot fight a spiritual war with human intellect. That is why it is so important to constantly set ourselves apart to be with Him, to know Him and to be empowered to walk in the power of His Spirit.
Seasons of separation are good, but what is even better than a season, is a life that is set apart for God. A life that won’t forget that God is the author of all good and perfect things. A life that doesn’t have to wait to encounter difficult times before it seeks to know the heart of the Father.
So, let us devote ourselves to Him. Not because He demands it, be because we love Him with our all our hearts, with all our souls and with all our strength.