2 Words in 1
The normal way to practice solitude and silence is to get alone with God and be quiet in a quiet place for a few hours or even days.
Maybe you take a walk on a nature trail or sit beside a lake or a creek. Or, find a quiet spot in a park or your backyard may work well. Even a secluded chair inside your house may work — as long as all your communication and media devices are turned off!
The point of your time in solitude and silence is to do nothing -and not try to make anything happen.
Don’t try to make anything happen.
In solitude and silence you’re learning to stop doing, stop producing, stop pleasing people, stop entertaining yourself, stop obsessing — stop doing anything except to simply be your naked self before God and be found by him.
As important as solitude is you shouldn’t enter into it casually or carelessly. There are reasons why many people are afraid to be alone, especially without activity or noise. Like Jesus in our solitude we may have to deal with Satan’s temptations and some wild animals, (Mark 1:13).
A beautiful quote from Rev. Dallas Willard says, “We can only survive solitude, if we cling to Christ there”.
You see, Solitude and silence bring to the surface inner conflicts, distress, and longings. This can be upsetting or painful, but it is a much needed purification! Whatever issues come up for us can then be brought to the Lord in prayer or shared with a friend later.
Jesus knew when to be in quiet solitude and when to be in fellowship in His community, when to be silent before his accusers and when to speak up, when to let people go their way and when to confront them, when to endure persecution quietly and when to stand and fight in love.
“After He had sent the crowds away, Jesus went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone,” Matthew 14:23.
In solitude and silence we go into training with Jesus so that we can bring him, and his wisdom and grace, into our relationships with others.
“So we must make every effort to enter that place of rest. Then no one will be lost by following the example of those who refused to obey,” Hebrews 4:11.
It’s okay to have faith and still have questions!
Yes, it’s okay to have faith and still have questions! In fact it’s healthy! God is there and in our struggle we are drawn closer to Him. He responds when we question why things are hard or terribly difficult.
So? How should we deal with problems that shake our faith? The book of Habakkuk sure does show us how. In chapter 1 we see Habakkuk questioning and wrestling with God.
In Chapter 2 we see Habakkuk waiting. What should we do in these times we are waiting for God’s answer?
WAITING PATIENTLY (2:1)
Habakkuk says He says He will “stand at my watch.” This is a reference to being in a watchtower or standing in the ramparts, which were built on the walls of the city. From this lookout position a watchman could keep a sharp eye out for an enemy.
A tower provided a new vantage point. So when Habakkuk says that he is going to stand at his watch and station himself on the ramparts, he is saying, “I have been down on the ground with my problem and have not been able to solve it. Now I am going to leave it with God and wait.”
The prophet had voiced his complaints. He had pleaded with God for answers to the burning questions of his heart. Now, he knew that he must wait. But he would not wait idly by, nor would he be impatient. He set his heart and mind to stand watch. He determined to be diligent and purposeful, to focus his entire being on listening for the voice of the Lord.
Like a guard or sentinel, he would watch for God’s answer and not abandon his post until it came.
Habakkuk retreated to one of the mountaintop stations where guards watched for the approach of enemy armies. As Habakkuk looked over his own nation’s countryside he was determined to find the reasons why God permitted injustice.
We also need to take time out to meditate and to struggle with life’s important issues and watch for the attacks of the enemy. We must be patient in prayer. We can be sure that our prayers are heard, but we don’t always receive the answers we want, nor do we always receive answers immediately.
The Lord responds in His perfect timing and in according to His will. Every child of God needs to wait patiently when seeking answers from the Lord, trusting Him to speak clearly and exactly at the precise time we need relief and answers.
~ Mary Lindow ©
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|Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others in all generations and careers or vocations to live and express excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She is a sought after keynote inspirational and humorous speaker and teacher throughout the United States internationally in Ministers conferences, International Spiritual leaders Conferences, and in National and International training seminars for various organizations.|