Why Leaders Seek Solitude


Oh the nuggets that are tucked away in old books.

Frédéric Louis Godet, a Swiss Protestant theologian, makes an insightful application for Christian leaders after reading Luke's account of Jesus' early-morning practice.

40 Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them.41 And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.

42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them,43 but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
— Luke 4:40-44 ESV


Commenting on Jesus' actions, Godet writes:

The more a servant of God exerts himself in outward activity, the more need there is that he should renew his inward strength by meditation. Jesus was also subject to this law. Every morning He had to obtain afresh whatever was needed for the day, for He lived by the Father (John 6:57).

Godet wrote more than one hundred years ago, but his words are so timely.

Here are four implications:

  1. Outward activity must be met with inward renewal.
  2. The daily leadership grind takes its toll on even the most stouthearted. We must rest and renew.
  3. Inward renewal comes from the Father.
  4. We live with this leadership paradox: Apart from Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5) ... With Christ we can do all things (Philippians 4:13).
  5. The Father is always present, but most present in solitude.
  6. If Jesus needed quiet time with God the Father, it's a no-brainer . . . I do too.
  7. Leaders make the time, find the place, and get alone with God.

Jesus met the hum of activity with the hush of solitude. He got alone with the Father. Wise leaders still do this.

Where is your quiet place? When was the last time you went there to meet with the Father?


Godet, F. A Commentary on The Gospel Of St. Luke. Vol 1. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark. 1893. Page 251