Incorporating Solitude and Silence
Have you ever wanted to take time to get your thoughts together? As a ministry leader, parent, or spouse, someone is always looking for you to answer questions or make decisions. Although we are serving our ministries and meeting the needs of our families, it's vital to have alone time and be intentional about our spiritual growth.
The practice of spiritual disciplines is imperative for believers, especially those who diligently serve in ministry. Oftentimes, we are depleted and running on fumes between events, services, and meetings. It's time for you to be a better steward of the vessel chosen to serve those God has called you to.
What are Spiritual Disciplines?
There are a few variations of the spiritual disciplines list but can be comprised of inward, outward, and corporate practices. These practices are for personal spiritual growth.
Inward - Meditation, Prayer, Fasting, Study
Outward - Simplicity, Solitude, Submission, Service
Corporate - Confession, Worship, Guidance, Celebration
Practices can also be categorized as Disciplines of Abstinence and Engagement.
Disciplines of Abstinence - solitude, silence, fasting, frugality, chastity, secrecy, sacrifice
Disciplines of Engagement - study, worship, celebration, service, prayer, fellowship, confession, submission
Although we won't find these disciplines listed in the bible like the Beatitudes or Fruit of the Spirit, we will see these practices modeled. Meditation, fasting, praying, and worship can be found with examples of how the discipline was practiced in the scriptures.
Solitude is spending alone time with God. With a family or a busy schedule, I know this can be hard to do. But what if we started with just five or ten minutes to have alone time with our Creator? It can be in our car on your lunch, early in the morning before the house wakes up, or at night when everyone is asleep. Moses was notorious for spending time alone with God. Can you spare five minutes this week?
Silence is being quiet before God. Quiet thoughts, no talking, no distractions. Just being still before the Lord. What if our silence allows us to hear the heart of our brother and sister in Christ? God may use us to pray for them or meet a need. But we won't be able to hear His prompting if we haven't taken the time to listen.
Practice Solitude and Silence
This week, I encourage you to join me and practice solitude and silence.
Select a day to spend quality uninterrupted time with God to be found by Him (Solitude). This can be a few minutes, a few hours, or a full day.
Find a quiet space, quiet your mind, and refrain from speaking so you can bask in God's presence and listen (Silence).
Meditate and reflect on Mark 1:35-39 and 1 Kings 19:11-13.
After you have practiced solitude and silence this week, gradually incorporate the practice into your weekly routine. Being an effective leader requires stillness to hear.
Be intentional about your spiritual growth and development. Silence is a way for us to hear God clearly and our lives are too busy. When your time of solitude and silence is complete, journal your experience. What did you hear God say in those moments of silence? What has he impressed upon your heart? The more intentional you are about incorporating spiritual disciplines, the more you'll you grow in Grace.
I hope this is a reminder of Jesus' example of spending alone time with the Father uninterrupted.