The Bible tells us that all have sinned and gone their own way. No matter how far you’ve gone in the wrong direction, however, when you turn around God always welcomes you back. Are you living beyond your means? Have you given in to the world of internet pornography? Maybe you’re failing your wife and kids, crushing them with your anger or solitude. Is your free time filled with television or video games?
God is ready to welcome you back. His arms are open, and his promises are sure–he will transform your worst failures into a blessed future, if you’ll ask him to.
There is hope for you. God is gracious and will forgive you, no matter what you’ve done or failed to do. He will even turn your past around and create a new life’a life of hope, peace, and ongoing relationship with him. But you have to take the first step. It’s a paradox of our faith: seek God and He will find you! Whether it’s the first time you’ve sought Him or you have strayed over and over, He’s there with His arms wide open!
One of the subtlest enemies of spiritual life and growth is the influence of other’s expectations of you. The world expects you to continually seek possessions and prestige. It expects you to fill your time with busy activity, whether meaningful or not.
Are you allowing the world’s expectations to dictate your life? How often do you act in order to please others rather than because you want to please God? Sometimes pleasing God may actually require that you disappoint others because you can’t fulfill their demands on you.
What do people expect of you? What do you do when the world’s demands are pressing in on you? Solitude can help you break free from other’s expectations. When you spend some time quietly alone you can see more clearly what the world is asking of you. In solitude you’re more able to evaluate these expectations in relation to God’s desires for you and to decide which demands should or should not be fulfilled.
Following one of the busiest days’and nights’of his ministry, the book of Mark tells us that Jesus ‘awoke long before daybreak and went out alone into the wilderness to pray.’ Is your life busy? Are you feeling pressure from your work, your wife, your friends, or your kids? Follow the example of Jesus. Make solitude a priority in your life today. You’ll be better for it.