“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” [Micah 6:8]
“You shall walk in all the ways that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.” [Deuteronomy 5:33]
The commentator Matthew Henry said on his deathbed: “You have been used to taking notice of the sayings of dying men — this is mine: that a life spent in the service of God and communion with Him is the most pleasant life that anyone can live in this world.”
There is nothing more refreshing and rehabilitating to our spirit than spending time with the Lord. How do you spend time with God? Do you get alone and talk to Him? Group worship is wonderful, and we should gather to worship often. But quiet time with just you and God is so important. Many find that their greatest peace and growth occur when they are in solitary communion with the Father.
There is no substitute for one-on-One time with God.
Our Savior knew the importance of getting alone by Himself with the Father. The Bible tells us that Jesus would find a place to be alone and spend time with God. Can you imagine the beauty of that communion? “After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. Later that night, He was there alone.” [Matthew 14:23] “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” [Mark 1:35] See also Luke 5:16 and 6:12. If the Christ wanted and needed time alone with the Father, how much more do we need it?
I have written before about my favorite way to spend time alone with God. I love to walk alone in the forest. There is something very special to me about nature and the natural sounds in the woods. I have had the opportunity to spend time in the mountains, and I find great peace and tranquility there, as well. A quiet, solitary walk on a beech restores my spirit. Often as I walk I recite the 23rd Psalm, one of my favorite Scriptures. “The Lord restores my soul.” Given the opportunity, He will restore your soul, too.
Year by year, it seems that the world gets noisier, and busier, and crazier and more hectic. Peace gets more elusive every day. I often ask folks to tell me the last time they just relaxed and had a day of peace and quiet. Many of them reply, “Are you kidding?” More than likely, peace and relaxation will not just come over us. We must seek it, make time for it. [Peace on purpose.] If we don’t, sooner or later it will take its toll: in our relationships, our health, and our oneness with God. The Bible tells us to pursue peace, for God knows how hard our lives will be without it.
“For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.” [Romans 14:17-19]