Making Time for God Alone – Part 1

Galatians 1:13-19

June 4, 2017 PM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.       Introduction


A.    This is a great truth…
You are what you are when you are alone


1.      That means, what you are like, and how you think and live, when you are alone, is who you really are

2.      What do you do when no one is watching you?

3.      What do you do when there is no one to impress

4.      When you can do what you truly want to do because no one is watching over your shoulder – oh so you think!

5.      Doing right things, even though no one may ever find out that you did them, is the measure of true integrity and character


B.     I want to teach you about doing something even though no one on earth may ever know it…

C.     Make time for God alone!

D.    People were not meant to live alone, be constantly alone


1.      There are perpetual loners – people who could live out most of their lives without anyone else around, and it not bother them in the slightest!

2.      But, we were designed to be a part of a family, a community, a church

3.      It sure is a blessing to NOT be alone when you are hurting (Eccl 4:9-11)


E.     So, Even if no one admits it, most people hate to be alone


1.      How many of you mothers have been “left alone” (abandoned is the word for it) when you started doing the dishes???

2.      Not pleasant. Not right.

3.      So we surround ourselves with constant activity

4.      We play music in the background – nothing wrong with it – it just proves we don’t like all the quiet

5.      Sometimes we surround ourselves with our children

6.      Sometimes, our co-workers

7.      Much of the time in front of a TV, or Social Medias, experiencing virtual activity

8.      All because we hate to just sit, alone

9.      Alone time, is different than loneliness, which carries some health risks, including increased risk of heart disease and depression. But carving out some “God time,” is vital to enjoying the abundant life Christ gave us all!


F.      This message is not an attempt to just get you to be alone

G.    But rather an effort to get us to make time to be alone with God

H.    Listen as Jesus throughout Scripture calls us to make time alone just with Him…


1.      Song 2:10,13

2.      Mat 4:19-22

3.      Prov 8:17  I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

4.      Jer 29:13  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.


II.    Examples


A.    Jacob was left alone, he got alone on purpose (Gen 32:22-24) – and it was THEN that God wrestled with him and changed him and changed his circumstances

B.     God asked Moses to come up and be with Him ALONE for 40 days on Mt Sinai (Ex 24:12; 32:1). When he came down, his face glowed (Ex 34:29)!

C.     God brought Job to a place where he was alone


1.      Lost his children, business, wealth, and health

2.      Then his own wife walked away from him

3.      He desperately needed was some good friends who would come near and just weep with him and make sure he was NOT alone… yet they were miserable comforters, he called them!

4.      Yet, in the end, after all the debates and arguments about why, God showed up, and just the two of them settled everything!

5.      It only happened when Job finally allowed himself to be alone just with the God whom he trusted with his life!


D.    Jesus on purpose spent time alone often


1.      He did NOT walk away from responsibilities, or from people

2.      He instead made time to spend alone with His Father

3.      Often praying all night (Mark 1:35; 6:47; 14:23; Luke 9:18)


E.     Elijah did most of his ministry ALONE (1Kings 19:14; Cf Rom 11:3)

F.      I think most if not all of God’s great men and women of the Bible were great because of the “alone time” they spent with God

G.    Again – not that they were loners, but knew the importance of being alone with the Almighty God!

H.    Evidently, time alone, just with God, is a good thing


1.      Before marriage

2.      Before big decisions

3.      When carrying heavy burdens

4.      When dealing with loss

5.      Just before ministry – God sometimes sets you aside, and lets you be alone, just with Him


III. Here is the message - from the life of Saul of Tarsus (Gal 1:13-19)


A.    Saul’s Conversion (Acts 9; Gal 1:13-16)


1.      Just him and Jesus

2.      Everyone around him heard the sound of a voice taking with Saul, but it was a conversation just between him and Jesus!


B.     After Saul was Born Again (Gal 1:16-18)


1.      He was driven away by his own people in Damascus

2.      And then asked to leave by the Christians in Jerusalem

3.      And he ended up alone, in the desert, for 3 whole years!


C.    Saul’s Initial Time Alone


1.      Here was a grown man, well educated, very politically connected and powerful


a.       Yet, Abandoned, rejected, feared by so many, and now quite alone

b.      He was never deserted or forsaken by the Lord Jesus (Heb 13:5)

c.       But he sure felt like it I am sure (see all the times David expressed his feelings of abandonment)


2.      Saul was truly alone - Solitary – far away from everyone and everything we call civilisation

3.      It was THERE that Jesus did the best work in Saul of Tarsus. What did the Lord Jesus do?


a.       Started over with Saul


1)      Like taking him all the way back to kindergarten

2)      Jesus said to well educated, very old Nicodemas, that he had to be born all over again, starting everything over

3)      With Saul, Jesus took him all the way back to do everything over again in his life

4)      How many of you have ever wished the Lord would do that with YOU?


b.      Humbled him


1)      Time alone humbles most everyone

2)      Solitary time can harden some people, but usually, it softens the submitted heart

3)      Notice it took 3 years to break, and lower Saul of Tarsus’ view of himself (1Tim 1:15)


c.       Taught him real, trusting faith in Jesus!


1)      This time alone, is when Jesus taught Saul how to rely on Jesus instead of on his Jewish religion and his retirement fund and his family’s wealth

2)      Saul had no powers, no miraculous abilities during those 3 years – only prayer

3)      Think about THAT for a bit!

4)      What if ALL you got tomorrow was based on how you prayed TODAY?

5)      It was during THIS time that Paul learned not PRAYERS, but how to truly PRAY!


d.      Taught Saul how to just talk with Jesus like the other disciples had done when Jesus walked on this earth


1)      Did you know, THAT is how we are supposed to talk with Him still?

2)      It is okay to ask Him questions, to complain, to get upset, to misunderstand

3)      Just talk with him

4)      Share your heart, even the deepest and darkest parts – He knows what in them already anyway!


e.       Retaught Saul the entire Old Testament


1)      Massive job – one long Bible Institute session!

2)      From Genesis to Malachi

3)      Throughout ALL of the 14 Books that Paul wrote in the New Testament, there are quotations from almost all of the Old Testament – chocker-block full!


f.        Taught Saul the entire New Testament before it was ever written


1)      Peter didn’t teach Saul what Jesus said and did

2)      JESUS taught Saul it all


g.      Made a team worker out of him


1)      No longer blazing a trail as a lone-ranger zealot against all the Christians

2)      But humbly working WITH other people now, loads of different kinds of people

3)      Learning how to have grace with people – a Jew having grace with Gentiles!!!

4)      It took a long time, but Paul even learned to get along with John Mark!


h.      The Bible calls this time spent, Secret Prayer (Matt 6:6)


1)      God answers openly, only when we have made our time to pray in secret with Him

2)      Yes, pray most definitely with your family, and your children, and other believers

3)      But have your OWN time, as often as possible, with you hiding, in a closet, under the shadow of God’s wings!

4)      The secret place of the most High… (Psalm 91:1-5…)


IV. Conclusion


A.    You are what you are when you are alone

B.     This message is not an attempt to just get you to be alone

C.    But rather an effort to get us to make time to be alone with God

D.    I have given you several Examples of God getting people alone, just with Him. List them…

E.     Saul of Tarsus, right after he was Born Again was alone, in the desert, for 3 whole years!

F.     Why?

G.    Because it was THERE that Jesus did the best work in Saul of Tarsus

H.    And it will be the time that God, every day, does all the following for YOU:


1.      Starts over with you – his mercies are NEW every morning…

2.      Humbles you – no one to impress – just you and God

3.      Teach you real, trusting faith in Jesus!

4.      It is then that you can learn how to just talk with Jesus just like people did when Jesus walked on this earth

5.      Teach you the fathomless truths of the Old Testament

6.      Teach you how to live the entire New Testament

7.      Become a team worker – you are not made alone to stay alone!

8.      Develop the life habit of Secret Prayer