Spiritual
Disciplines for
the Christian
Life
Donald S. Whitney
Sunday, 8 September 13
Silence
and
solitude...
for the
purpose of
godliness
Chapter 10, DonaldWhitney,
Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Li...
Silence and solitude can be
appealing and transforming -
consider Moses and Paul both
of whom were transformed by
years of...
Silence and solitude can be
appealing and transforming -
consider Moses and Paul both
of whom were transformed by
years of...
What are silence and solitude?
“The discipline of silence is the
voluntary and temporary
abstention from speaking so that
...
What are silence and solitude?
“Solitude is the discipline of
voluntarily and temporarily
withdrawing to privacy for spiri...
- silence and solitude are
complimentary disciplines to
fellowship: without s&s we
are shallow, without
fellowship we are ...
- culture often makes us
comfortable with noise and
crowds, we are not used to,
and often are not
comfortable with, the
pr...
To paraphrase Jean Fleming (Finding focus
in a whirlwind world),
“We live in a busy, noisy world.
Silence and solitude are...
Sunday, 8 September 13
Biblical reasons for silence
and solitude
Reasons for practicing s&s
include:
1. To follow Jesus’
example better
1. Lk 4:1...
Biblical reasons for silence
and solitude
2. Matt 14:23 After he had
dismissed them, he went up on a
mountainside by himse...
3. 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 p...
Dallas Willard writes,  “We must
reemphasize, the “desert” or “closet” is
the primary place of strength for the
beginner, ...
“Put yourself in Jesus’ sandals
for a moment. People are
clamouring for your help and
have many real needs.You are
able to...
2. To hear the voice of God
better
- Elijah on mount Horeb heard the
still small voice (whisper) of God,
Habakkuk 2;, 1Pau...
2. To hear the voice of God
better
- Elijah on mount Horeb heard the
still small voice (whisper) of God,
Habakkuk 2;, 1Pau...
Jonathan Edwards on his future
wife, Sarah
“...this great Being, in some way or
other invisible, comes to her and fills
her...
To express worship to God
Worship does not necessarily require words, sounds or
actions - a God-focussed stillness and hus...
There is a need to be silent before him - that is
worship - we do not always need to speak in order
to worship!
How often ...
To express faith in God
Being silent before God can show
greater faith than speaking many
words of prayer / supplication
P...
To express faith in God
Being silent before God can show
greater faith than speaking many
words of prayer / supplication
P...
David Brainerd,
“I withdrew to my usual place of retirement in great
peace and tranquility; spent about two hours in
secre...
“...God was so precious to my soul that the world
with all its enjoyments was infinitely vile. I had no
more value for all ...
To seek the salvation of the
Lord
- for a non-believer seeking to be
born again
- for a believer seeking deliverance /
sal...
I commend solitude to any of you who are seeking
salvation, first, that you may study well your case as in
the sight of God...
To be physically and spiritually restored
Mk 6:31 shows Jesus doing that with his own disciples -
they had given out spiri...
To be physically and spiritually restored
Mk 6:31 shows Jesus doing that with his own disciples -
they had given out spiri...
Taken from: http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/christian-solitude-mike-
wilkins-sermon-on-disciplines-general-89110.asp?...
So he placed his Bible on a stump and knelt down
and said, Oh God; I cannot prove certain things. I
cannot answer some of ...
To seek the will of God
Lk 6:12-13 - when Jesus was choosing the 12
Hudson Taylor and his decision to go to the inland
par...
To learn control of the
tongue
Being silent for periods can help
us in gaining restraint over the
tongue - the Bible talks...
Silence and solitude are an integral
and essential part of practicing the
other disciplines:
- part of personal worship
- ...
Austin Phelps, a minister from
the mid-19th century
“It has been said that no great
work of literature or science
has ever...
So how do I do it?
1. Minute silences / retreats
At many moments in your day you
could choose to be silent and alone
Take ...
3. Getting away for a retreat of s&s
- a day, afternoon, evening, weekend
- nothing but a Bible and notebook
4. A special ...
3. Getting away for a retreat of s&s
- a day, afternoon, evening, weekend
- nothing but a Bible and notebook
4. A special ...
That
seems
like a
good
idea
Bye!
Sunday, 8 September 13
Sunday, 8 September 13
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601 SFL: Section 7 silence solitude

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601 SFL: Section 7 silence solitude

  1. 1. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life Donald S. Whitney Sunday, 8 September 13
  2. 2. Silence and solitude... for the purpose of godliness Chapter 10, DonaldWhitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life Sunday, 8 September 13
  3. 3. Silence and solitude can be appealing and transforming - consider Moses and Paul both of whom were transformed by years of solitude in the wilderness. Whilst we are obviously made for interaction with other people, and God, we need to realise that the Sprit of God calls within us to a deeper way which often involves silence and solitude, Ps 42:7 Sunday, 8 September 13
  4. 4. Silence and solitude can be appealing and transforming - consider Moses and Paul both of whom were transformed by years of solitude in the wilderness. Whilst we are obviously made for interaction with other people, and God, we need to realise that the Sprit of God calls within us to a deeper way which often involves silence and solitude, Ps 42:7 Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. Sunday, 8 September 13
  5. 5. What are silence and solitude? “The discipline of silence is the voluntary and temporary abstention from speaking so that certain spiritual goals might be sought...Though there is no outward speaking, there are internal dialogues with self and God.This can be called “outward silence.” other times silence is maintained not only outwardly but also inwardly so that God’s voice might be heard more clearly.” Sunday, 8 September 13
  6. 6. What are silence and solitude? “Solitude is the discipline of voluntarily and temporarily withdrawing to privacy for spiritual matters.The period of solitude might last for minutes or days...and might be sought in order to participate without interruption in other spiritual disciplines, or just to be alone with God.” Sunday, 8 September 13
  7. 7. - silence and solitude are complimentary disciplines to fellowship: without s&s we are shallow, without fellowship we are stagnant - s&s are usually found together - though they are distinguishable Sunday, 8 September 13
  8. 8. - culture often makes us comfortable with noise and crowds, we are not used to, and often are not comfortable with, the practice of s&s - yet there is good biblical witness for these practices Sunday, 8 September 13
  9. 9. To paraphrase Jean Fleming (Finding focus in a whirlwind world), “We live in a busy, noisy world. Silence and solitude are not 20th century words...which do not fit into our era of tv, video arcades and joggers wired with earphones. We have an aversion to quiet and an uneasiness with being alone.” Sunday, 8 September 13
  10. 10. Sunday, 8 September 13
  11. 11. Biblical reasons for silence and solitude Reasons for practicing s&s include: 1. To follow Jesus’ example better 1. Lk 4:1, 14 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness...Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit... Sunday, 8 September 13
  12. 12. Biblical reasons for silence and solitude 2. Matt 14:23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Sunday, 8 September 13
  13. 13. 3. 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. (Note the context here) 4. Lk 4:42 At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place.The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. - again note the context within the verse Sunday, 8 September 13
  14. 14. Dallas Willard writes,  “We must reemphasize, the “desert” or “closet” is the primary place of strength for the beginner, as it was for Christ and for Paul.They show us by their example what we must do. In stark aloneness it is possible to have silence, to be still, and to know that Jehovah indeed is God (Ps. 46:10), to set the Lord before our minds with sufficient intensity and duration that we stay centered on Him – our hearts fixed, established in trust (Ps. 112:7-8) – even when back in the office, shop, or home.” Sunday, 8 September 13
  15. 15. “Put yourself in Jesus’ sandals for a moment. People are clamouring for your help and have many real needs.You are able to meet those needs. Can you ever feel justified in pulling away to be alone? Jesus did...he knew the importance of being alone” So what about you? Sunday, 8 September 13
  16. 16. 2. To hear the voice of God better - Elijah on mount Horeb heard the still small voice (whisper) of God, Habakkuk 2;, 1Paul Gal 1:17 It is worth noting we can still hear God with other people etc. around us - but it is also necessary to take times away from such distractions We are often addicted to noise or activity - even when reading the Bible we often do need music etc. Sunday, 8 September 13
  17. 17. 2. To hear the voice of God better - Elijah on mount Horeb heard the still small voice (whisper) of God, Habakkuk 2;, 1Paul Gal 1:17 It is worth noting we can still hear God with other people etc. around us - but it is also necessary to take times away from such distractions We are often addicted to noise or activity - even when reading the Bible we often do need music etc. Arguably we are the most noise polluted generation ever, and most in need of s&s Sunday, 8 September 13
  18. 18. Jonathan Edwards on his future wife, Sarah “...this great Being, in some way or other invisible, comes to her and fills her mind with exceeding sweet delight, and that she hardly cares for anything, except to meditate on him—that she expects after a while to be received up where he is, to be raised up out of the world and caught up into heaven; being assured that he loves her too well to let her remain at a distance from him always.There she is to dwell with him, and to be ravished with his love and delight forever.” Sunday, 8 September 13
  19. 19. To express worship to God Worship does not necessarily require words, sounds or actions - a God-focussed stillness and hush will do! Habakkuk 2:20 But the Lord is in his holyTemple. Let all the earth be silent before him. Zephaniah 1:17 Stand in silence in the presence of the Sovereign Lord, for the awesome day of the Lord’s judgment is near.The Lord has prepared his people for a great slaughter and has chosen their executioners. Sunday, 8 September 13
  20. 20. There is a need to be silent before him - that is worship - we do not always need to speak in order to worship! How often are you so overcome with God that you cannot speak? Sunday, 8 September 13
  21. 21. To express faith in God Being silent before God can show greater faith than speaking many words of prayer / supplication Psalm 62 I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken...Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. Sunday, 8 September 13
  22. 22. To express faith in God Being silent before God can show greater faith than speaking many words of prayer / supplication Psalm 62 I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken...Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. Isaiah 30:15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it. Sunday, 8 September 13
  23. 23. David Brainerd, “I withdrew to my usual place of retirement in great peace and tranquility; spent about two hours in secret duties and felt much as I did yesterday morning, only weaker and more overcome. I seemed to depend wholly upon my dear Lord, wholly weaned from all other dependences. I knew not what to say to my God, but only lean on His bosom, as it were, and breathe out my desires after a perfect conformity to Him in all things.Thirsting desires and insatiable longings possessed my soul after perfect holiness... Sunday, 8 September 13
  24. 24. “...God was so precious to my soul that the world with all its enjoyments was infinitely vile. I had no more value for all the favor of men than pebbles.The Lord was my ALL; and that He overruled all greatly delighted me. I think my faith and dependence upon God scarce ever rose so high. I saw Him such a fountain of goodness that it seemed impossible I should distrust Him again, or be any way anxious about anything that should happen to me.” David Brainerd Sunday, 8 September 13
  25. 25. To seek the salvation of the Lord - for a non-believer seeking to be born again - for a believer seeking deliverance / salvation in a particular area Lamentations 3:25-28 It is worth comparing the quote from CH Spurgeon (next page) with the practice of a generation who think altar calls require music, changed emotions, and a “good preacher” Sunday, 8 September 13
  26. 26. I commend solitude to any of you who are seeking salvation, first, that you may study well your case as in the sight of God.  Few men truly know themselves as they really are. Most people have seen themselves in a looking-glass, but there is another looking-glass, which gives true reflections, into which few men look.To study one’s self in the light of God’sWord, and carefully to go over one’s condition, examining both the inward and the outward sins, and using all the tests which are given us in the Scriptures, would be a very healthy exercise; but how very few care to go through it! C.H. Spurgeon Sunday, 8 September 13
  27. 27. To be physically and spiritually restored Mk 6:31 shows Jesus doing that with his own disciples - they had given out spiritually and physically and now needed to be replenished To regain a spiritual perspective This brings a less worldly perspective to our lives and thinking. When Zechariah was told of Elizabeths forthcoming pregnancy he doubted - he faced a time of silence and seems to have reemerged with a new God-given perspective on things Sunday, 8 September 13
  28. 28. To be physically and spiritually restored Mk 6:31 shows Jesus doing that with his own disciples - they had given out spiritually and physically and now needed to be replenished To regain a spiritual perspective This brings a less worldly perspective to our lives and thinking. When Zechariah was told of Elizabeths forthcoming pregnancy he doubted - he faced a time of silence and seems to have reemerged with a new God-given perspective on things Sunday, 8 September 13
  29. 29. Taken from: http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/christian-solitude-mike- wilkins-sermon-on-disciplines-general-89110.asp?Page=4 Whitney tells of how Billy Graham was being pressured by Charles Templeton to give up his belief in the inspiration and authority of the Scriptures.Templeton had many convincing arguments that Graham had trouble refuting, and it was a tumultuous time for him. Graham took some time in solitude and meditated on the many times in scripture that it said “the Word of the Lord came.” He saw how Jesus treated scripture, and he realized that intellect alone would not solve his problem – that it was an issue of faith. Sunday, 8 September 13
  30. 30. So he placed his Bible on a stump and knelt down and said, Oh God; I cannot prove certain things. I cannot answer some of the questions Church is raising and some of the other people are raising, but I accept this Book by faith as the Word of God.” And through that time of solitude and the perspective he gained that night, Billy Graham was shaped into the man the world has known since. Sunday, 8 September 13
  31. 31. To seek the will of God Lk 6:12-13 - when Jesus was choosing the 12 Hudson Taylor and his decision to go to the inland parts of China came out his spending time alone in silence, solitude (and I imagine reflection) on the beach in Brighton on June 25th 1865 Sunday, 8 September 13
  32. 32. To learn control of the tongue Being silent for periods can help us in gaining restraint over the tongue - the Bible talks a lot about the tongue James 1:26, Prov 17:27-28, Ecc 3:7, James 1:19, James 3:2 When fasting from food we discover how often we indulge to excess - much the same is true in speaking - in fact in practicing solitude we rely more on God’s control and feel less need to have some form of input Sunday, 8 September 13
  33. 33. Silence and solitude are an integral and essential part of practicing the other disciplines: - part of personal worship - part of Bible study - part of prayer - maximise your learning, journalling and reflection - most importantly they provide us with time to think about, and listen to, God Sunday, 8 September 13
  34. 34. Austin Phelps, a minister from the mid-19th century “It has been said that no great work of literature or science has ever been produced by someone who did not love solitude. It is also a fundamental principle of faith that no tremendous growth in holiness has ever been achieved by anyone who has not taken the time frequently, and for long periods, to be alone with God ” Sunday, 8 September 13
  35. 35. So how do I do it? 1. Minute silences / retreats At many moments in your day you could choose to be silent and alone Take my life, and let it be Consecrated, Lord, toThee; Take my moments and my days, Let them flow in ceaseless praise, Let them flow in ceaseless praise. 2. A consistent daily time of s&s This is not easy when there is so much that you must do - you really have to plan such times Sunday, 8 September 13
  36. 36. 3. Getting away for a retreat of s&s - a day, afternoon, evening, weekend - nothing but a Bible and notebook 4. A special place - at home, on a walk, locally - find places that have a “special sense of God” for you - Susanna Wesley (mother of many children) used to pull her apron over her head and retreat in prayer and Bible reading Sunday, 8 September 13
  37. 37. 3. Getting away for a retreat of s&s - a day, afternoon, evening, weekend - nothing but a Bible and notebook 4. A special place - at home, on a walk, locally - find places that have a “special sense of God” for you - Susanna Wesley (mother of many children) used to pull her apron over her head and retreat in prayer and Bible reading Sunday, 8 September 13
  38. 38. That seems like a good idea Bye! Sunday, 8 September 13
  39. 39. Sunday, 8 September 13
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