Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Beauty of Solitude: Keep Silence Before Him
I have been noticing just how much I fill up life with noise and activities. I wake up to the radio and listen to it on my way to work. Work itself is full of bustle and conversations. When I get home, even without realising it, I sing away to myself. Even sometimes when I am outwardly quiet, I find my mind whirling around like a dervish that I don't notice the silence.

I decided to spend some time this year working on the discipline of solitude. Jesus himself spent forty days in solitude as preparation for his ministry (Luke 4:1-15). It was also his own practice to spend time in prayer alone throughout his ministry (Luke 5:16).

Charles Spurgeon said:
I commend solitude to any of you who are seeking salvation, first, that you may study well your case as in the sight of God. Few men truly know themselves as they really are. Most people have seen themselves in a looking-glass, but there is another looking-glass, which gives true reflections, into which few men look. To study one's self in the light of God's Word, and carefully to go over one's condition, examining both the inward and the outward sins, and using all the tests which are given us in the Scriptures, would be a very healthy exercise; but how very few care to go through it!
I have been able to spend some time trying to build on this discipline. I went to a beautiful isolated beach, armed only with my Bible, a flask of tea and some gloves. (It looks beautiful but is still Scotland!) Thankfully, there was no-one else there as I sat and read and prayed.

It was wonderful to really have a conversation with God without all the distractions of everything at home. I really felt Satan trying to attack, to drag me away from fellowship and many things I had said or done in the past were brought up. However, I was able to spend such a wonderful time in prayer though, asking for forgiveness for the many sins in my life. Now when these are dragged up, I am able to say, "I've been forgiven for that. There is no more to be said on the matter."

The feeling of being uncontactable for those few hours was also so refreshing. There was so little to distract me from that small, still voice of God. That memory of the closeness with God is still giving me strength as I live in our busy world and I look forward to purposefully spending more time in solitude in the future.

If you would be interested in developing this discipline in your own spiritual life, I really recommend Silence and Solitude..."For The Purpose Of Godliness" by Don Whitney. You can also read about others' experiences of solitude in this week's Carnival of Beauty.

But the LORD is in his holy temple;
let all the earth keep silence before him

Habakkuk 1:20

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  posted at 14:17  

At 26 December, 2006 21:50, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How nice to stumble onto a web site of a Godly woman, who knows who Charles Spurgeon is. Hope you had a Blessed Christmas.

At 27 December, 2006 04:59, Anonymous janna said...

Great post. And what a timely subject as we all have probably struggled with finding solitude because of Christmas and so many family members around. Right now, I have 4 in-laws staying overnight.

I'm glad you enjoyed your time alone with God! I'm jealous! :)

At 27 December, 2006 06:44, Anonymous Jenn said...

Your comment on music reminds me of something a friend said. I was getting into my car, sitting in the parking lot, looking for music to listen to. I told him I could not start driving w/o my music. He made the comment that I was 'too connected'. That comment has stuck w/me. I think I need to take a week off w/no music, no radio, no TV, no computer... and just enjoy the silence w/God.

At 27 December, 2006 06:50, Anonymous Jenn said...

Also, I was just reading tonight about the importance of being away from it all to be with God w/no distraction. This post is confirmation that I definitely need to start doing that on a daily basis. Problem is, being in the city, that may be hard to... You know what ? I just remembered there's a huge lake about 15 mins away! Yay!

At 27 December, 2006 13:46, Anonymous Barbara H. said...

It's so true that society today fills up the air with noise. It's harder still to turn thoughts only to the Lord and meditate on Him for any length of time, but how profitable and blessed it is.

Thank you!

At 27 December, 2006 15:24, Blogger Bernadine said...

"Even sometimes when I am outwardly quiet, I find my mind whirling around like a dervish that I don't notice the silence."

This sentence really hit home! There are so many times when I have turned off the music, the computer, shut myself off from family, friends and the outside world but I cannot seem to quiet my mind. I think that sometimes your thoughts are the most difficult to get away from especially when you want to spend time alone with God.

Thanks for sharing.

At 27 December, 2006 22:22, Blogger Keziah said...

Anonymous - Thanks for dropping by! I hope you come back again sometime to say hello.

Janna - Things sound busy at the moment! Make sure you take some time yourself to get some peace and quiet.

Jenn - Let me know how you get on with your week of quietness. I maybe should try that sometime. The lake sounds great, but for the days you can't get there, in Susanna's post, she was talking about finding places of solitude in everyday places and just grabbing little moments of quiet whenever she could. Have a read of that and of the Don Whitney article. I thought they were both very helpful articles.

Barbara - thanks for coming by and for your own Carnival contribution. I have really enjoyed looking at this. Solitide and silence can get squeezed out of life so easily, but knowing I was hosting this forced me to make sure I tried it!

Bernadine - Glad to see that it's not just me that has this problem. I think part of it is the Devil trying to distract us from prayers so I try to bring all these thoughts before God as they come to me or write them down as I pray to deal with afterwards. I can't remember who suggested that - Elisabeth Elliot? Helen Roseveare? If I remember, I'll let you know.

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