Summary: Material created when I was still a Baptist and an Adjunct Professor for a small seminary. There should be something in here a Pentecostal can find helpful. ;-)
Personal Growth for Christian Living
Course Material Presented By
Dr. Ronald E. Shultz
Trinity Valley Baptist Seminary and College
June 17, 18, 2013
Table of Contents
Seclusion – Fellowship/Meditation
Profusion – Praise & Worship
Infusion – Of the Word
Effusion – Prayer
Fusion – Service
Exclusion – Separation
Solution – Conclusion
In a world of nearly seven billion people getting alone can be a challenge even though there are many lonely people in a small apartment by themselves. Many things as well as people can keep us from the period of seclusion that we need to be alone with God to seek Him and hear from Him.
That is not to say that we are to become ascetic recluses in some sparsely furnished room in monastery or cave as many have done over the centuries. Indeed, God made Adam first and for a period of time it was just Adam and God alone. What a blessed time that had to be as there was no sin to separate them, no job to take up His time to gain material needs or wants and no other person who would want to have some of our time and with whom we would have wanted share our time. In a sense, there was no need to worry about time for at that point it looked like Adam would have eternity to spend with God.
Yet, as glorious as it may have been, God saw that man should have someone like himself to share the world with as well as the presence of God. After all, the animals had mates and Adam was made a little lower than angels and in the image of God so such a person as precious and loved as Adam should have a mate. So God made Eve. Yet, the two were as one and so it was still a blessing to walk with God in the evening as Eve was not a hindrance to the fellowship but a blessed partaker and an addition to that fellowship. It was the Fall that would change things and make such a blessed time of peace and solitude more difficult to achieve though it would be more needed than ever before if man were to make sense of this world and his place in it as well as be the leader for wife and children he was ordained to be.
Nearly six thousand years since the Fall and over two thousand years since the ascension of Christ man needs periods of seclusion with God ,if not more frequent, certainly more consistent and more intensely than ever before. We shall see that it is often that when a man is alone that God seeks him out and speaks to him. As wonderful as fellowship is with the brethren and as invigorating the flurry of ministry can be the soul needs time to be alone so that God can speak and he can hear.
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. KJV
While it does not specify here that Noah was alone when God spoke to him, but is it hard to imagine that Noah had to have had some quality time with God to just say yes to build something no one had ever heard of to help his family survive something that no one had ever seen? Obviously God knew Noah well since He is omniscient, but for Noah to just say yes, Lord knowing His neighbors would think him mad and maybe even his family. It appears though that his family trusted him and his walk with God enough to jump in without any mention of doubt or debate. This kind of trust or their part does not develop from the witness of a man who just sort of squeezes God into his day.
Psalms 32:6 For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. KJV
Those that perished could testify to this passage and how many floods have we endured when we could have been delivered had we only spent more time in solitude with the Ark of our souls?
3:1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.
2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.