The bible says in Psalm 139:15 “You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion…”
Where do you get your best ideas? In the shower? During your morning commute? Regardless of where your inspiration flows, most would agree it commonly occurs here—in seclusion.
Other than the rare solitude we experience throughout our daily routines, it’s hard to find the time to daydream, let alone dream big for God. Most of us would welcome being used by God to birth or revive a ministry; if we were so inspired by His Spirit.
However, it is our responsibility to provide a setting for Him to plant a ministry-embryo within us. This requires a certain kind of environment. It takes a believer’s heart that has been in seclusion with God. He works in seclusion.
Birthing a ministry dream is similar to conceiving a child. In the case of Zachariah and Elizabeth, having a child was their dream. Years of disappointing silence in response to their prayers brought only barrenness of womb and hope. Then God responded out of seclusion.
First, He sovereignly positioned Zachariah a curtain’s width from the most secluded place known, the Holy of Holies, for divine inspiration during his priestly duty. Following Zachariah’s return home—and a little intimacy—Elizabeth soon conceived a child. Subsequently, she went into complete seclusion for five months as the child formed within her (Luke 1:5-25). The inspiration, conception, and development process was steeped in seclusion.
How God uses the seclusion process to initiate ministries is not hidden throughout scripture. Nehemiah was inspired to rebuild Jerusalem after he retreated his heart to God (Neh. 1:4). Paul was impregnated with a ministry to preach the gospel message when he withdrew himself into the deserts of Arabia (Gal. 1:17). Even Jesus, God in the flesh, was urged by the Spirit into a lengthy period of seclusion before He emerged fully prepared to begin His ministry (Mark 1:13-14).
Unfortunately, our ability to slip away for a forty-day hiatus isn’t something practical with our demanding schedules or lifestyle. With our “stay-connected” obsession, few of us are using our smartphones to Google-search monastery getaways. Yet God is unchanging in His methods of how he places Spirit-inspired ministries within us. It begins and progresses in seclusion. Without this solitude, we will remain barren of the great things we’re destined to birth.
Barry Seymour has extensive experience in children’s ministry, serving churches in New England and Eastern Canada for the past 25 years. He has a tremendous passion for outreach events. His creative communication of Biblical truths keeps kids engaged and entertained.
Recently, he has turned his focus to mentoring children’s ministry leadership, inspiring staffs and volunteers toward greater levels of impact and growth. He is the founder and executive director of Dream Big Ministries of Boston, MA