The need to be alone

May 23, 2107

Dear Friends:

The Bible says that it is “not good that man (or “a” man) should be alone”, but it also says that it is better to be “alone in the desert than together with a contentious woman”. The point is, I suppose, that there’s a time to be alone and a time to not be alone: all things in moderation.

I do think that being alone has many benefits, spiritually speaking. In the scripture the angels, and God Himself, always seemed to speak to people when they were alone. Of course the same could be said of Satan—he prefers to tempt us when we are alone. In fact it might be argued that the real person, the one underneath all the pretensions, is only really recognizable for what he really is when he is alone doing things that he would only do when he is alone.

In a few days my life will change as 70 staff descend upon our holy little hill— The Vineyard. They arrive in four days and I am both very excited and at the same time counting the days until I can enjoy some solitary moments again. Be sure that is quite difficult to be “still and alone” when 300 youth fill our facilities.

I understand why Jesus rose early and sought lonely places to pray. It’s not that He wanted to be alone from people; He wanted more to be in an uninterrupted conversation with the One He loved above than anyone else. And as I fall further into love with Him, the more I crave lonely, private time and places with Him. I don't want those times diminished or crowded by other things or people. In a sense, I have a certain “selfishness” in my time with Him—-and I need it.

We are hoping to bring staff and campers to better understanding of the need to be alone with the Master and Savior each day. We want to show them that only on their own can they come to an intimate understanding of His approval, love and expectations. Craving community and also lonely intimacy with Him allows me enjoy the horizontal and perpendicular life I have been redeemed to relish.

Please pray that I can encourage others to desire the same.


Dean Barley

1 comment

  • JOsh COllins

    This has been my personal favorite blog thus far.
    The great desire that I have burning in my heart to be a lone with the one who designed me in the womb is always growing as I walk through this life.
    When Jesus meets with us, we are changed in His beautiful presence.
    Lord, let us seek you in the quiet place, search our hearts and meet with us there.
    With love, Joshua Collins

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