This post was originally written as a reflection for the church council where we attended some years ago. So, it is pretty old. As part of the council, I was asked to present reflections and lead a prayer time before each meeting. This is one of the reflections. In this one, we considered the importance of spending time alone with the Lord, without distractions.
Whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent; and the LORD would speak with Moses. When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would arise and worship, each at the entrance of his tent. Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. (Exodus 33:9‐11a NASB)
When we walk with the Lord daily, we may find ourselves talking to Him all the time. Perhaps this is part of what Paul meant when he said to pray without ceasing. He is with us listening every step of every day, and we are blessed when we acknowledge that.
Moses seemed to experience this close relationship with God, as the Lord would speak to him directly. But note that Moses went into the tent to speak with the Lord. Away from the crowds, and his other responsibilities. Away from distractions, he focused completely on what God had to say to him.
Imagine sharing your heart with your spouse or a close friend. As you pour out your feelings, how would you feel if they never gave you their complete attention? What if they only listened when they could also be doing something else? You would feel hurt, as if you weren’t really connecting with them, as if they really didn’t care. Over time, your relationship would suffer.
Just so, we need times when God has our complete attention. He cares far more than any close friend, or even our spouse. As great as it is to talk to Him as we go through our busy days, we need to spend time with him alone, “face to face”, with no distractions, and without accomplishing something else at the same time. We need that time to pour out our heart to Him, and time to simply sit and listen. Our relationship with the Lord is too important to let it suffer.
My Lord, may our times together in solitude be as much joy for You as for me. Help me learn to focus ever more closely on Your voice, and pay attention, that my listening might become action.