Consider these stories of isolation…
- Moses got the 10 commandments while alone in Mt Sinai, and went down veiled in God’s glory.
- David wrote his most-loved Psalms in caves and deserts hiding from Saul, and he later reigned in great power.
- Elijah encountered God’s small voice in a mountain cave, and went down twice empowered.
- Most of Paul’s epistles were written in prison, and they made up most of the New Testament that we know.
- The Book of Revelation was written in John’s exile to Patmos, and he went up to see God’s heavenly kingdom.
- Jesus was empowered after being tempted alone in the wilderness, and He fulfilled His ministry.
THERE IS POWER IN ISOLATION.
When God takes us to a place to be alone, it is often the time we are painfully confronted by the realization of our own limitations, of our own imperfections, a time we see how our accomplishments fall short before God.
It is the time our weaknesses look us in the eye.
It is the time we are broken, stripped down of our self-glory. In the peak of its potency, isolation stirs up untold agony inside a man’s soul. It cracks us open. It pressures us and reveals what is inside. It is a moment of reckoning and self-discovery. It is a humiliating experience.
And when the isolation accomplished its purpose, only then can God effectively manifest His full glory and power through our lives. We no longer see our accomplishments and victories. We consider them trash. We begin to see and embrace what God can do — in us and through us.
And it is the time we begin discover our purpose — who we really are made to be.
God’s preparation of a leader involves training, extended times of waiting, pain, rejection, and isolation. Are you ready to sign up?
(Postscript: This is written while I feel the agony of being isolated from my family and friends, away in a foreign country.)