silence and solitude

Finding God in the Silence and Solitude

As Christians, we desire to find God and spend time with him during our lives. It’s within these moments of silence and solitude we can build a deeper relationship with God. In this article, I explain how you can find silence and use it to develop healthier emotions, thoughts, and to get closer to God. 

Guest writer: Anup C.

Discovering Silence

One of the true gifts in a busy life is an extended period of silence, a time when we intentionally turn our attention away from the rush of conversations and commitments, images and messages, and lists and obligations, and quietly attune ourselves to an inner space. For some of us, imposed silence has been a punishment in our past; for example, a parent may have admonished, “Close your mouth and go to your room.”

The silence we are entering here is a choice. This silence is a chance for discovery, to find out new and different things. The absence of talk is quite different when we are choosing not to speak. Silence is not a lack of communication. There is a subtle language that connects us to one another through the eyes, with a smile, or a gesture. Fluency in this subtle language calls for our ability to observe the small details of life. As we develop our facility with this subtle language, we find that we are less dependent on the mechanical devices that can connect us, but that can also make us feel more separate.

In moving into an inner space of silence, we are attuning ourselves to the spirit of nature and letting go of the tendency to be critical. Silence provides the opportunity for me to identify the qualities in myself that have the capacity to transform me. In silence, I can connect to the highest quality of my lightest, clearest thinking.

Action emerges from the seeds of thought. Actions are the fruits of these seeds. What is the soil in which I choose to plant the seeds of my thoughts? Violence or peace? Anger or love? These choices are transformative. The state of awareness I attain in silence connects directly to the quality of my understanding. Understanding “in sound” is a cognitive process, while understanding “in silence” is more subtle, resulting in realizations that emerge from within. These are very different experiences.

In silence, I discover my innate qualities, the qualities that are intrinsic to who I am. Here in silence I touch my eternal self, and I come to trust this deepest essence. The experience of recognizing my intrinsic and unique qualities increases my own power to receive. In silence I touch my inner strength and experience trust, faith, safety, beauty, and worthiness. It is from this base of inner strength that my actions evolve. In silence I can listen to the call of God, the call of nature, and the call of others in need.

Silence is an inner space of learning. When I do not understand something, I continue to hold on to it. When learning has occurred, I can release it and move on. In silence I discover truth by getting in touch with the true self. Silence increases my capacity to hold the truth within. Silence is an opportunity to rest in the lap of my own greatness. Remember to care for yourself with the special attention you would accord any great soul. Silence is a discipline, not of doing, but of being.

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Silence, Solitude, and the Christian

From the moment we arise to the time we go to bed, we are on a race for time. Busyness fills every waking moment leaving no time for rest or relaxation. Even bedtime offers no respite as many Christians toss and turn throughout the night worrying about future events or unfavorable circumstances. In all the chaos and activities, we may be able to squeeze in an occasional Bible study or church service, but have very little time for private and intimate devotion to God. Little do we know that our hectic lifestyles are not only affecting our spiritual life, but our mental and emotional well-being also.  As Christians, we must weave into our day times of silence and solitude if we want to receive the spiritual guidance and discernment that is necessary to tune into the Holy Spirit and to live in the love, purpose, and obedience of God.

According to one preacher, life is like a domino effect. Generally, how we begin our day will determine how our day will end.  If we will start the day with meditation, the word of God, and prayer, we create a space for the Lord’s guidance, wisdom, and blessing. On the other hand, when we begin our day rushing, frustrated, or worried, we will tend to carry these emotions through our day. If Jesus is Lord of our life and we want to live a life surrendered to Him, it is imperative that we give time to daily devotions that include spiritual reading, meditating on the Word, and spending time waiting in God’s presence. What is the importance of daily devotions in the life of every believer?

Opens The Door of Communication

The essence of Christian life is about your personal relationship with the Lord. This bond will be nurtured through an open and constant communication initiated by God and ourselves. It is often said that prayer is when we talk to God; however, it is through meditation that God speaks to us. Prayer is more than just asking God to meet our needs, it also requires listening.  Yet listening requires times of silence and solitude. We are more likely to hear God speak to us when our mind is free from distractions. God tells us that we will seek him and find him when we seek him with all our heart.

Deepens Our Relationship

Many Christians have a thriving church relationship and even great fellowship with other believers, yet their relationship with God is shallow and lacking. Although church attendance is wonderful for corporate worship and learning the scriptures, it can’t substitute time spent with God apart from others. It is during silence, solitude, and meditating on God’s word that we open the door to a deeper and more intimate relationship with God. It may be difficult to trust God if he is unfamiliar to you. Therefore, we should instigate daily meetings with Him. Habitual meetings will definitely build a closer relationship.

It Makes Us Christ-like.

The scriptures tell us that we become what we meditate on. If most of our attention is on sports, the Atlanta Housewives, or 48-hours crime shows and very little time is spent on God and his word, we can easily become preoccupied with worldly cares at the expense of our walk with Christ.  The Bible says that “faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God.” If worry, fear, or doubt are plaguing your mind, it may indicate the need to spend more time with God through daily devotions and less time on activities that drain your spirit.

Increases Your Joy

The scriptures say that God’s presence is full of joy.  Any time we spend with God is never wasted. Through Christian meditation we learn to quiet our minds from fear, worry, negativity, and unnecessary distractions. Because our thoughts are linked to our emotions, toxic moods often follow toxic thoughts. In addition, our thoughts can be so jumbled that we don’t recognize them or their effects on our emotions. By observing our thoughts and bringing them under the obedience of Christ, we can learn to maintain peace of mind and joy. Daily devotions allow time to get still before the Lord so we can observe and eliminate faithless mindsets and cast every care on the Lord.

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