By Pastor E. A. Adeboye
THE BLESSING OF SOLITUDE I
Memorise: And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. Matthew 14:23
Read: Genesis 32:23-30, (KJV)
23 And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had.
24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.
26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.
30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
Bible in one year: Ezekiel 25-27, Psalms 71:14-24
One of the characteristics of the eagle that we learn from the School of Disciples of the Redeemed Christian Church of God is its lonely lifestyle. We learn the virtues of a solitary lifestyle because more often than not, the crowd could be distracting. Our Lord Jesus Christ, in our memory verse for today, demonstrated the need to withdraw and be alone with God periodically. The Bible says in Matthew 14:23:
“And when he had sent the multitude away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.”
What was Jesus doing alone? He was having fellowship with His Father and probably the angels were ministering to Him as we read in Matthew 4:11
In our text for today, Jacob wad facing a frightening situation and he needed to sort some things out with his Maker. So, he decided to be alone after discharging his family to go before him. What he was doing could be assumed in the light of verse 9 to verse 26. There are many lessons we can learn from this story: Firstly, to be alone with God we must separate ourselves from the crowd. Secondly, to be alone with God requires denying ourselves the luxury of family fellowship and affection. Jacob parted with is family including the wife he laboured to have for fourteen years. The only time the Bible allows a temporary separation between the husband and the wife is when it comes to being alone with God. The Bible says:
“Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.”
1st Corinthians 7:5
The third lesson we can learn from this story is that solitary living is of no use if you cannot get the best out of it. Jacob did not just isolate himself from the crowd, he had a nice and meaningful time with his Maker, and he did not miss out the essence when he said: “.., I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” (Genesis 32:26). I always pity people when they come for big meetings like the Holy Ghost service, Festival of life, Holy Ghost Congress, etc. and they sleep all through the programme, even while prayers are going on. These people left the luxury of their beds and comfortable houses, only to come here and waste their time in the presence of the Lord. Jacob did not do this; he went for the best from his God. Another lesson we can learn here is that as a result of this separation unto God, Jacob’s terrible past was erased and he was mightily blessed. Finally in this story, we learn that we don’t need the details of how God will perform our desperately needed miracles. All we need is faith to believe whatever the Lord says concerning us, either in His Word or through prophetic utterances from His genuine prophets. Jacob asked for the name of the man with whom he was wrestling and the man said that knowing his name was not necessary; all he needed was miracles and blessings, so he blessed him. This is a mighty reward of solitary living; being alone with God pays a lot. As you choose to separate yourself unto the Lord and away from the world, I pray that the blessings of the Lord shall characterise your separated life in Jesus’ name.
Decide to dedicate some solitary time for prayer and have meaningful fellowship with your Maker.