In our fast-paced society and our continuously-loud distractions, our eyes, ears, bodies, minds, hearts, and souls need margin.
The disciplines of silence, solitude, and Sabbath are meant to provide renewal for the disciple.
Download Handout – PD 10 – Silence Solitude and Sabbath
The spiritual discipline of silence is pursued to experience separation from constant noise and distraction.
- It is difficult to study the Bible, pray the Bible, or memorize the Bible among noise and interruptions.
- Unlike any other time in history, we are constantly barraged by notifications clamoring for our attention.
- God wants us close enough to hear the still, small voice rather than depend upon the active, loud moments (1 Kings 19:12).
- Sometimes the purest forms of worship are the quietest ones (Hab. 2:20; Zeph 1:7; Zech. 2:13; Ps. 46:10).
- Meditating on God’s faithfulness in silence proves unwavering trust in His will and timing (Ps. 62:5-6; Ex. 14:14).
- The quietest time of day is when the least amount of people are awake.
- You have to be up before the dawn if you are going to awaken the dawn (Ps. 108:2).
The spiritual discipline of solitude is pursued to experience separation from busy crowds and constant activity.
- Withdrawing from crowds in order to obtain privacy allows intentional spiritual focus.
- Jesus would often seek solitude to pray before or after major events (Matt. 4:1; Matt. 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 4:42; Luke 6:12-13).
- Jesus taught his disciples regarding the need for their personal replenishment after tiring ministry days (Mark 6:31).
- Solitude reveals the best or the worst of our character based on what we do and how we do it during that time.
- The goal of solitude should be to create the margin to experience long, uninterrupted times with the Lord.
- While daily interactions are necessary, sometimes our souls need longer times of focus than a few minutes crammed within a busy day.
- Put a DAWG (Day Alone With God) on the calendar for spiritual renewal.
The spiritual discipline of Sabbath is preserving one day a week for rest in order to serve at full capacity for the rest of the week.
- To experience God’s rest, you must commit to God’s calendar.
- The Sabbath Day was observed to rest on Saturday after six full days of work (Ex. 20:8-11).
- God’s example was six days of exhibiting the creation and one day of enjoying the creation (Gen. 2:1-3; Is. 40:28).
- God invited His people to trust Him for seven days of provision out of six days of work (Ex. 16:20-30).
- After Jesus’ resurrection, the early Church worshiped on Sunday but still rested on Saturday.
- Over time, we have interpreted the Lord’s Day as when we are busy as the church but the original intention of the day was when the church was restful as individuals.
- The Sabbath is a gift of get-to in a world of have-to (Mark 2:23-28).
Put Into Practice
- Quiet: How can you decrease the noise of this world to hear from the voice of your God?
- Alone: How can you create margin to prioritize alone times with the Lord away from the crowds?
- Regular: Are you practicing the regular, ritual of the Sabbath?
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.