While seasons of solitude can be spiritually nourishing, we need to differentiate this from isolating ourselves from others.This is a particular danger for those of us who are drawn more to the prophetic or intercession, or who are naturally introverted.We enjoy alone time, we crave quiet reflection, we covet time with the Lord, we are energised through reading and study.However, we need to be careful not to cut ourselves off from life-giving relationships or to get too introspective.
We need others and others need us. We are part of the Body and our lack of full participation leaves the church deficient in some area. Also, if we withdraw further into ourselves, it can eventually lead to a social awkwardness or hyper-spirituality which prevents us from engaging with other people, especially unbelievers, in a natural way.
Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness, he often withdrew for prolonged prayer - but he didn’t stay there forever. Ministry is always among people with real problems, it is often messy and noisy. The call of Jesus is always towards brokenness.
Luke 4:1; 14-15
“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness...
...Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.”
Mark 1:35; 40-42
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed....
....A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.”
Mark 5:24-25,27 NIV
“A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years....When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak...”
Mark 6:46 NIV
“After leaving them, Jesus went up on a mountainside to pray.”