7 days alone with God
During a conversation with a friend, I was challenged to consider spending a week alone with God to ‘hear His voice’. However, there was one catch…without any electronic devices. Spending a week without my iPhone? What was going to happen to all my e-mails, WhatsApp’s and messages and above all, how am I going to communicate in the event of an emergency? My left knee locks at times and if this happens on the farm I need help and will not be able to call anyone. Some friends even said that at my age I was being highly irresponsible!
I had a thousand reasons not to leave my phone behind but deep down, I knew I just had to do it. I am not going to hear God’s voice while being distracted by my phone, mails and messages. I needed this time of digital-detox while seeking God’s face.
D-day finally arrived, I switched off my phone, left it in our bedroom and drove to the farm. I could not have imagined how wonderful the week on the farm would be.
From the first moment I arrived and started being quiet, seeking God with all my heart (Jeremiah 29:13) and waiting expectantly in prayer, the Holy Spirit started speaking to me in a gentle whisper. Allow me to share a short summary of my 7 days ‘alone with God’.
Day 1 – The first ‘whisper’ I heard was “read Obadiah”.
Message – be generous and don’t withhold your help from someone in the time of their need. Ouch.
Day 2 – The second ‘whisper’ was “read Zephaniah”.
Message – stop your idol worship!
But Lord I don’t have any idols? And there and then the Holy Spirit convicted me that my ‘modern day idol’ is my iPhone. It is in the secret place (our hearts) where the battle lies. What is the first thing I look at in the morning when I open my eyes and the last thing at night?…no, not God’s Word but my phone! Does that mean I need to throw away my phone? Maybe not, but I seriously need to reconsider the time and attention I give to Anita and my family instead of to my idol-Phone.
Day 3 – Early morning I went and sat on our farm’s highest point, waiting for sunrise armed with my Bible, coffee and rusks. How true that when we are alone with God, He begins to teach us. God’s gentle whisper led me to read Ps 143:8-10, Ps 130:5 and Ps 131:1-3.
Message – a new season of faith, trust & obedience is lying ahead of me.
I went to town for breakfast and later that day I heard the Holy Spirit say “read Mark”. Mark Lord? “Yes, Mark”…okay Lord.
Day 4 – I read the gospel of Mark and Mark 7:15; 8:18 and 9:29 stood out for me and I realised that it’s our thought life that pollutes….
Message – There is immense power in stillness and prayer is the key to faith in my life.
Day 5 – God reconfirmed Zachariah 4:6 (not through might nor through power but by My Spirit) in my life and while sitting at the dam I thought about the verse that says in quietness and trust will be your strength. As I opened my Bible randomly my eyes immediately fell on Isaiah 30:15 “For the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, says: Only in returning to me and waiting for me will you be saved; in quietness and confidence is your strength..”
During my quiet time this morning I wrote this verse down and stuck it on my desk as a reminder in the days to come where my strength will be. As I opened my daily devotional (Streams in the Desert 24 Nov) I read ‘quietness and trust Isaiah 30:15’. What amazing God we serve to not only prepare us and reminds us of His word and his encouragement to me that when all is said and done my strength will lie in quietness and trust.
Message – You must be led by the Spirit of God and not by a spirit of fear.
Day 6 – I read Acts 1:15-26 and realised that whatever I do, I must NOT run ahead of God! I need to pray and then wait patiently for God to show me the way / open the door. (Unfortunately patience is a virtue I still need to attain.)
Message – wait patiently on God. (Confirmed in God Calling 30 Oct – the hardest lesson is that of waiting.)
Day 7 – Psalm 37:5 commit your ways to the Lord. I need to turn people’s eyes to Jesus. I remembered the bronze snake Moses made and held up and all the people bitten by the snakes had to do was look…and they were healed.
Message – all I need to do is look…to Jesus.
A phenomenal and life changing 7 days alone with God. And my phone? By God’s grace it took only an afternoon to answer and clear 184 e-mails and 103 WhatsApp messages. My idol-Phone now spends more time on my hip than in my hand. I also gave Anita permission to help me and just say ‘idol!’ whenever I decide to check my phone in our time together.
I want to challenge every reader to put time aside ‘alone with God’ – even one day will be life-changing.