I started talking to God when I felt like no one else could hear my voice. During the summer of 2016, God took me through a season deep into the wilderness that which I had not experienced before. To be frank, I was going through a major transitional period in my life after God took away many idols in my life. This dramatic shift left me longing to justify all the alterations of my walk to my community. I wanted to able to rationalize my weakness in a way that made it sound like I had everything actually figured out. Despite all the lengths I went to try to get my friends to understand me, every attempt always came up short. It felt as if God pressed the mute button on my voice so that no person could fully translate the message coming from my heart.
If I can be even more honest, this struggle I just described is still an ongoing one I experience in my life. Now, it sounds a bit sad on the surface, but here is a biblical perspective on loneliness that by the grace of God has allowed me to fight this battle victoriously.
Loneliness is born out the fleshly heart’s pattern of incorrectly searching to be understood by men and not by God. We place the burden on people to be able to understand the hidden secrets and shape of our hearts. By placing the burden on our friends to fully understand all the deep things inside of us, we naturally begin to feel misunderstood at man’s deficiency in handling our souls. The reality is that only God the CREATOR of your own heart possesses the deftness to be able to navigate around all the layers we have built up inside. (Psalm 139:1-24, 1 Samuel 16:7) God is the only One who can perform the inside job of searching the crevices of our soul and still be able to say, “You are my Beloved!” (Psalm 44:8, Psalm 61:1-3)
Beloved, we are living in a time where I am becoming more and more convinced that we need to welcome wilderness-like seasons that lead us from the herd and to the Shepherd. If you have been struggling with loneliness, here are three practical steps to take NOW:
Go commune with God! Beloved, there is so much to this. We need to understand how important it is that in moments of loneliness, we FLEE to the resting place of God. The cross of Jesus has made an open invitation for you to come before the throne of the Father and encounter the One, True, Living God. (Matthew 5:4)
Develop some brotherly/sisterly accountability. If you are feeling lonely but you are not revealing or being vulnerable about this to anyone, then you will stay lonely. Being vulnerable and leaving room for close brothers/sisters to pour into us in times of weakness allows the Holy Spirit more room to increase the measure of His Spirit in us. (Ephesians 1:17-19, 2 Corinthians 12:9, Philippians 3:7-10, John 3:30)
Choose joy. I consider this a practical step because the Holy Spirit’s indwelling in us has now gifted us the grace to resist sin and CHOOSE to walk in the image of His Son. Beloved, we have to choose joy. The devil is on a mission to steal your joy and take away your blessings from you. Choose to have joy and gratitude towards God in the small instances and in the big moments. (Nehemiah 8:10, Romans 15:13)