Home Alone 2020
Slow down. Better still; STOP! Sometimes it’s just fitting to go into self-imposed, Spirit-imposed, or other-imposed quarantine. Like the song says, “clear the stage” “until you’re broken for your sins you can’t be social.” “Take a break from all the plans that you have made.” So, you “sit and wait for God to whisper.” Or you pace about your home, alone, crushing idols; knowing well “anything I put before my God is an idol” (written by Ross King; recently made even more popular by singer, Jimmy Needham).
One of the multiple benefits of social distancing is the opportunity to get closer to God. “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” (James 4:8).
I love how Eugene Peterson phrases it, in The Message, “So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet” (James 4:8-10).
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). You will come out from home alone stronger and will go further!
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). These are measures we must take, alone, and corporately to have personal and corporate revival.
“…Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16, NIV). He slipped away, to pray! If He did, why not me, why not we! (Yeah, I get it, not a perfect sentence, with perfect wording, but it’s staying. One of the benefits of being home alone, without an editor in sight).
“I Come to the Garden Alone” was written by Austin Miles in 1912. According to his great grand-daughter the song was penned in a dark, dreary, damp basement without even a window; without even a view of a garden in sight. “And He walks with me, and he talks with me, and He tells me I am His own, and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.”
So, home alone, on the altar alone, challenged into action alone, “by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
~James Poitras, Director of Short-Term Missions
April 23, 2020