Silence and solitude are spiritual disciplines of voluntarily and temporarily withdrawing for spiritual purposes. It’s about intentionally “unplugging” from the noise and devices that can keep us from God, and plugging in to those things that can draw us closer.
I’m an introvert, so I like quiet and alone time. Not all the time, but normally if I had to choose between going to a party, or a home alone relaxing, 9 times out of 10 I’m staying home.
Now too much of that is actually harmful, we are called to be out, be social, to be in the world (just not of it). But when you can (and if you are an extrovert, you may have to schedule this), there are many biblical reasons for making silence and solitude a priority.
Matthew 14:23 – “After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.” Jesus was intentional here about being alone with the Father.
Mark 1:35 – “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Jesus got up early, because of his mission and what he needed to accomplish, he understood that waiting until morning wouldn’t give him the time for silence and solitude that he needed and desired.
Luke 4:42 – “At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place.”
Put yourself in the shoes of Jesus for a second. People are looking for you. When they find you, they try hard to keep you from leaving. People are clamoring for your help and they have real needs. You are able to meet those needs. Can you ever feel justified in pulling away simply to be alone? Jesus did.
We love to feel wanted. We love the sense of importance that comes from doing something someone else can’t do. We love to be busy (if we didn’t, we wouldn’t be), we love to fill our schedules and keep going and going and going.
But Jesus did not allow himself to be directed by his schedule, the demands of others, or the temptation of people pleasing. He knew the importance of disciplining Himself to be alone. If Jesus did, why can’t we?
When we quiet down and simply be alone in silence and solitude we can…
Hear the voice of God better: Sometimes the noise in our lives can drown out the voice of God.
Express worship to God: Sit in the silence, or simply turn on some worship music and soak it in.
Express faith to God: Silence and Solitude express faith and trust that God is the one in control.
Be physically and spiritually restored: Get poured in so you can pour out.
To seek the will of God: Revelation comes when we are slow to listen.
Find a place where you can take a few days (or weeks if needed) and enjoy the beauty and blessing of God. But, try to find a few moments daily for this discipline. Either at the beginning of your day (get poured in) or at the end (get refilled and quiet your soul), or both.
If alone time was a priority for Jesus, it should be a priority for us as well.