October 10, 2017

An Invitation to Silence, Solitude—and Transformation

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 10, 2017

By Shana Schutte

The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. Psalm 14:2

Because life can be so busy, there are days when I want to take a vacation from my cell phone, e-mail, and all the other technology that sometimes feels like it controls our daily lives. But the great news is that no matter how complicated life becomes, God’s invitation for His children remains uncomplicated:

 “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Isn’t that awesome?!

It’s astounding to think that the Creator of the Universe invites us to discover Him in a more authentic way through the practice of entering into solitude and silence. This is where we find Him most, when we—even if it’s for a short time—leave the busy world behind.

In her book, An Invitation to Solitude and Silence, Ruth Haley Barton writes:

“The invitation to solitude and silence is . . . an invitation to enter more deeply into the intimacy of relationship with the One who waits just outside the noise and busyness of our lives. It is an invitation to communication and communion with the One who is always present even when our awareness has been dulled by distraction. It is an invitation into the adventure of spiritual transformation into the deepest places of our being, an adventure that will result in greater and greater freedom and authenticity and surrender to God than we have yet experienced.”

Although God’s invitation involves such beautiful transformation, I have to admit there have been times when the thought of entering into it has felt unsettling and perhaps even a little scary. But why? Why does it sometimes make us uncomfortable?

One reason is that entering into it means that we not only commune with God, but we are forced to commune with our own hearts. And, this can be difficult because we may become aware of things about ourselves we don’t like, as His Word “judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). In her book, Barton also writes, “In silence we become aware of inner dynamics we have not been able to avoid by keeping ourselves noisy and busy.”

Honest communion with God in solitude and silence also means coming to the end of ourselves. It means admitting that those things we have tried to do to control our lives and satiate the thirst in our souls hasn’t worked. This leads us to a crisis of choice: we can stop running frantically from this promise of happiness to that one, from this false god to that one, and quietly settle ourselves at the Master’s feet, the only place where our souls can ever truly find rest. Or we can continue to pretend that we aren’t desperate—and we’ll miss out on the transformative power of getting alone with God.

Will you take a few minutes today to enter into the beauty of solitude and silence to commune with the One who loves you and wants to transform you?

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

 

Prayer

Lord, how awesome and amazing it is that you, the God of the Universe, invite us to intimately know you! Help me spend time seeking you and learning of you each day. Amen.

Application

Spend some time alone with God today and thank Him for being there for you whenever you call. Then listen for His voice through His Word and prayer.

Related Reading

Luke 11:9-10; Psalm 27:8; Matthew 6:33; Psalm 69:32

Post/Tweet today

Transformative power comes from getting alone with God. #WisdomHunters #BeStillAndKnow

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Comments

  1. Carol Russell says:

    Beautifully written. Profound truth.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Carol,
      Thank you for your sweet words after reading Shana’s devotional “An Invitation to Silence, Solitude- and Transformation”. I agree with you, it was “beautifully written and a profound truth”. It was also a powerful reminder that our Heavenly Father, Our Creator, our Sovereign God is asking us to get to know Him more and more in this quiet act of solitude and stillness. Wow! I, for one, needed that reminder and my thoughts are that many others do, too.
      Grateful for these little “nudges” to slow down and “soak Him up!
      Thank you Carol, for taking the time to reach out to us.
      We are thankful that you are part of the Wisdom Hunter’s family. Enjoy your quiet moments.
      Blessings,
      Gwynne

      “The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by’.
      Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire, came a gentle whisper.”
      1 Kings 19: 11-12


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