We live in a noisy world. If we ever hope to hear God’s voice, we must learn to make room for God in our thoughts. If you live in a house full of children, you may feel like you have no control over this.I’m here to convince you otherwise. Today I’m talking about solitude and silence, what they are, how they are related to one another, and why they are more than simply a luxury, but rather a vital spiritual practice.
Solitude: Where we find moments free from noise and distraction
- Use your on-off switch on your devices
- Be awake when everyone else is asleep, drive away, lock the door behind you
- Put your phone on “do not disturb” mode
External noise takes on new life as we consider what we heard or saw. It occupies our thoughts and takes root in our hearts. All the noise affects your heart and your heart affects everything you do.
Silence: Where we refrain from talking
Talking is not bad. There are times to talk. Jesus was a great story-teller, but He only spoke what His Father told Him to speak. But when we do, we must use a Mouth Filter based on Scripture:
- Is it loving? (I Cor 13:1)
- Is it encouraging and full of grace? (Col 4:6, Eph 4:29)
- If I’m angry have I paused before I speak? (Prov 15:28 James 1:19-20)
- Is it soft and gentle? (Prov 15:1, Prov 15:4)
- Is it peace-seeking? (Prov 26:17-20)
- Is it truthful? (Psalm 34:13)
- Is it without slander? (Prov 11:9, Prov 10:18, Titus 3:2)
- Is it full of wisdom and justice? (Psalm 37:30)
- Is it full of the Spirit? (I Col 2:1-5)
- Is it too much? (Prov 10:19)
- Is it necessary? (Prov 17:28)
The Celebration of Discipline, by Richard Foster (affiliate link)
Want to lead a group through the study? Don’t forget to grab the Free Supplemental Leader Guide!