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Silence and Solitude


The one you would least expect to need time with God was the One who enjoyed perfect fellowship with Him at all times – JESUS. The Savior lived in constant fellowship with God, even in crowded streets and temples, at marriage feasts and on mountain sides. Yet He seemed to hunger for those special times of intimacy with His father spent in silence and solitude away from the crowds.

The anvil upon which God molds His leaders is silence and solitude. For it is during these interludes that God forges the qualities, thoughts, and character of a true leader not only in Church and in government but even in academes and other institution. They usually made a habit of regularly seeking solitude with God, and not simply at holidays and funerals.

Most of us are pretty good at dressing up the outside of our lives – perfectly decorated homes, immaculately landscaped yards, polished status-symbol cars, dressed-for-success clothes, sparkling teeth. But underneath many of our manicured lives are withering souls.

Richard Foster, in his book Celebration of Discipline, probes the aches in many of our hearts: Don't you feel a tug, a yearning to sink down into the silence and solitude of God? Don't you long for something more? Doesn't every breath crave a deeper, fuller exposure to His presence? It is the discipline of silence and solitude that will open the door.

The polluting emphasis on empty externals and prayerless activity has produced a smog in our inner world. In unguared moments of silence and solitude, we can almost feel the dirt that covers our real selves. Is the air of your spiritual life fit to breathe? Or are you feeling choked by the noxious fumes of emptiness and shallowness?

Consider Moses who spent forty years in the silence and solitude of the Median desert leading only sheep before God used him to lead people. A forty-year between the limelight as Pharaoh's son and limelight as Israel's deliverer. In the New Testament, James remembers that it was in the silence and solitude of prayer, pausing on his knees before the Lord, that the prophet Elijah did his greatest work (James 5:17-18).

Paul, the apostle whose voice we hear a good deal of in the New Testament, begin it all in silence in a place we know only as Arabia (Galatians 1:17-18). He spent three years there out of the public's eye, being transformed in the heart and mind from a Pharisee to a devoted disciple of Christ.
Many of our souls long for the fresh, clean air that can only come from exposure to Him. Will you set aside some time to come away and just be with God? Five minutes, ten, half an hour...sitting, walking and focused on Him and nothing else?

Resist the temptation to hurry through anything. Brainstorm when and where you can find or make some opportunities for silence and solitude. The Lord says, "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).


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