Sunday, May 11, 2008

Solitude & Silence

(From the Desk of Dave DeVries)

The invitation from God to be still and know Him is easily lost in our addiction to noise, performance, and busyness. Solitude and silence are practices used by Christians to intentionally open themselves to the presence of God by giving God undivided attention. What sticks with you from the sermon? What questions do you have?

8 comments:

Scott R. Davis said...

there was the video clip at the end which said to clear space. There can be a lot of clutter in our lives which cause ourselves to be double minded and divided. If we could devote more attention to God that would be helpful.

Julie said...

This morning Pastor Dave talked about needing to know ourselves before we can know God. For me personally, this works out the other way around. The more I learn about God's character and experience His love, the more my own "self" is revealed to me---the good, the bad, and the ugly. My intrinsic value as God's creation, as well as the depth of my capactiy for sin, becomes most clear when set against the backdrop of God's holiness and perfect love.

How about the rest of you? Do you find this your experience, or do you find that you need to know who you are before you can really know God?

Anonymous said...

interesting comment julie. I find when I seek to know my self I am on a shaky foundation. But when I seek to know God first, then I have a stable place to learn more about me.

John said...

I'm really glad that Pastor Dave has begun this series on the spiritual disciplines - a topic that is rarely talked about, but one that can have the power to foster spiritual growth in our lives.

I've actually been reading a lot about the disciplines lately, so I was encouraged and pleasantly surprised by the message on Sunday.

To add to the discussion, I thought I would quote something Richard Foster wrote about solitude which I found helpful, lest we attempt to be "monks or monkesses" (as Pastor Dave put it):

"It is quite possible to be a desert hermit and never experience solitude. But if we possess inward solitude we do not fear being alone, for we know that we are not alone. Neither do we fear being with others, for they do not control us. In the midst of noise and confusion we are settled into a deep inner silence. Whether alone or among people, we always carry with us a portable sanctuary of the heart."

I'm looking forward to next week...

Jan H. said...

My husband and I loved the video graphics and song at the end.
I feel similarly to Julie; I can't really know myself until I look at God (because I tend to deceive myself about how good I really am).

Marylou Messy said...

While I see validity in all the comments, the biggest revelation was in my discovering that God loves me just the way I was, I am, and I will be. The biggest realization was when I learned that while I already knew what a wretch I was, God loved me anyway. That alone made me realize I had no clue who God was but I sure wanted to know more. This alone made me deal with who I was,am and who I wanted to become. I want to reflect Christ and can only do that by being one with HIM!!!!!

christie said...

I really liked the video clip too. It helped me through the awkwardness of silence and I was struck by how I just sat looking at a blank screen waiting for more words to appear. I didn't want to look away in case something more appeared. I was curious what it would say. I didn't want to miss it. I felt like God was saying..."this is how I want you to approach prayer with me."

Don said...

"Knowing yourself" carries with it too much baggage for me. It conjures up self-help books and the idea that you can find a god inside of you that will somehow reveal all things and bring you a better job, prettier spouse, nicer car, etc.

God's Spirit does live in us, though, so their has to be a dynamic of hearing Him from within. I think of it in terms I understand: Is my knowledge of God and my relationship with Him being fed enough so that I hear His TRUE voice speaking to me throughout the day?

For example, as newlyweds Carlye and I went through a process early in our relationship where we (mostly me) thought we knew what the other really wanted (Christmas, birthdays, etc) only to find that at times we (mostly me) were mistaken. Over time, though, as we became better listeners we were able to know the thoughts and desires of one another more completely. Why? Not because I spent time knowing myself. Because time spent listening--really listening--creates a real understanding of who you are listening to. Knowing yourself doesn't mean knowing God. Knowing how to listen to God's Spirit within us, though, is absolutely essential and time with Him learning His voice is the only way to do it.