Sermons

Summary: To show that silence and solitude are essential for any disciple.

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-I’m reminded this morning a little of the movie from several years back now, “Castaway” with Tom Hanks

-In that movie, due to an airplane accident, Hanks’ character finds himself stranded alone on a deserted island with his only companion being a volleyball he named “Wilson”

-As we see him progress for hours, days, weeks, months and even years, we find him becoming a much different person

-Much of this is due to the fact that his world is different than it was

-No more modern conveniences

-No more hustle and bustle / stress

-No more noise

-No more companionship

-Yet, to a great degree, he is changed for the better

-He comes to realize the unimportance of such things

-He comes to know himself in a much deeper way than he could have with those things

-What Hanks’ character goes through is, in a sense, what every believer who longs to be a disciple of Christ needs to go through from time to time

-We need to go through regular, even weekly or daily, periods of silence and solitude

-These are spiritual disciplines that can assist believers in their growth in discipleship

-Periodically this year we will look at different spiritual disciplines

-We start this morning with silence and solitude

SILENCE

-Noises abound in our world

-Even out here, in the country

-Dogs howling

-Airplanes flying overhead

-Cars and trucks whizzing by

-Keith Drury said, “Silence is abstaining from sound in order to open our spiritual ears and listen more closely to the voice of God”

-Yet, silence is seldom desired in our society

-We fill every moment with noise

-The radio

-TV

-Communication

-Power tools / motors

-Yet, scripture hold silence in high esteem

-There is certainly a time for silence

-Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7

-There is certainly a scriptural call for silence

-Habakkuk 2:20

-Zephaniah 1:7

-There is certainly a promise of silence

-Isaiah 32:18

I. The Abundance Of Sound Clutter

A. Too much talking

Q: Have you ever known somewhat that spoke very little, but when they did you knew to listen because it was likely to be very important?

-There are actually few of those people around

-Rather speech and communication is the rule of the day

-We can’t even escape it anymore when we’re alone because of the prevalence of cell phones

1. By others

Q: Have you known people who simply talk too much?

-They always have something to say about everything

-And often about nothing

-Usually about themselves

2. By ourselves

-Excessive talking can only eventually show how little we truly know

-All of this trivializes speech to a great degree

-It reduces its meaning

B. Background noise

1. Imposed

-Those we have no control over

-Planes overhead

-Cars on the street

-People in public places

-The natural world

-Elevator music

2. Self-inflicted

-Turning on the TV as soon as we come in the house

-Keeping the radio up in the car

-Participating in boisterous activities

-Sporting events

-Going to public places / shopping

II. The Softness Of The Voice of God

A. Often He speaks in whispers

-I Kings 19:11-12

-It’s a strain to hear Him

B. Often in silence we come to know Him better

-Psalm 46:10a

-It’s a reward to hear Him

-Because His words are valuable

-Because they have life-changing implications

III. The Benefits Of Silence

A. Hearing God’s voice

1. Words of love

2. Words of comfort

3. Words of guidance

4. Words of correction

B. Improving other disciplines

-It paves the way fr us to be more submissive to God and for the other spiritual disciplines to have greater effect in our lives

SOLITUDE

-Solitude is the act of getting away

-From the noises of life

-From the stresses of life

-From the people of our lives

-It is intentional seclusion from all that seeks our attention in order to give full attention to God

-Keith Drury said, “Solitude is abstaining from people contact in order to be alone with God and get closer to Him.”

-Jesus has given us a wonderful example of this discipline

-Remember: Jesus started His ministry years with a period of 40 days of solitude in the desert

-But throughout His life he would draw back by Himself to spend time alone with the Father

-Each of the four gospels give us an example of it

-Matthew 14:23

-Mark 1:35

-Luke 4:42

-John 6:15

I. The Resistence To Solitude

A. Fear of loneliness

B. Fear of seeing ourselves clearly

C. Fear of seeing God clearly

-His greatness

-His holiness

-And we don’t like what we see

II. The Need For Solitude

A. It helps to draw us closer to God

-And keep us there

B. It improves our appreciation for our companions

-“Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

CONCLUSION

-This morning, the call is not a public one

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Talk about it...

Tom Shepard

commented on Jan 17, 2008

Interesting subject matter. Thought provoking. Thanks Kemuel.

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