Building A Resilient Faith Week 3: Silence And Solitude
Ever wondered the secrets of people who live a life of faith over a long haul? Why do some followers of Jesus have a resilient faith that can withstand the storms of life while others flame out or implode? Join us at Eastside this weekend as we unpack the secrets for building a resilient faith.
Silence And Solitude
Begin with some conversation, checking in on how people are doing. You can talk about whatever you’d like but here are a few potential questions to get the conversation going in the direction of this week’s study.
- It’s so easy to live a hurried life. What are some of the things in your current lifestyle that could be expressions of your own version of “hurry sickness?”
- What are some of the good things that we miss out on when we live at a 200 MPH pace of life?
Select a few questions to discuss as a group.
- When you think about the concept of solitude and silence, what comes to mind? And is it something you desire or something that sounds uncomfortable to you?
- Read Ecclesiastes 2:22-23. How did wise King Solomon describe the consequences of cramming too much ambition and activity into life?
- What did the Psalmist teach was a necessary step in order to know God better?
- We need these two spiritual practices to be intentional about slowing ourselves down so we can know God better, hear from Him more clearly, and follow Him more closely. Fortunately, we have a great example to follow:
No one had a more important agenda and mission in life than Jesus. Yet he resisted being squeezed into the mold of busyness. Multitudes followed him and demanded his attention. Yet, his schedule never was never controlled by their demands. Identify something we can learn about solitude and silence from Jesus’ example in each of these passages. What inspires you most from Jesus’ example?
- Read Luke 5:15-16
- Read Matthew 4:1
- Read Matthew 14:22-23
- Read Luke 4:2
- Share a time when you were able to spend time in solitude and silence and what it looked like for you.
- How does your personality introvert vs. extrovert play into your feelings about silence and solitude?
- Read Mark 1:35 Jesus would go off early in the morning for solitude and prayer.
Mike challenged us to block out some time soon in order to be able to take a whole day around silence and solitude, listening to God. What might be an obstacle that could hinder you’re taking off a whole day to spend with God?
Going Deeper | Put In To Practice
These activities are designed to help you to develop the weekly spiritual practices being focused on in this week’s message and discussion guide, remembering that if we’re going to become like Jesus, we have to arrange our lives around the same kind of training practices that He did.
- Pick a time to experience solitude and silence with God this week.
- Make a plan for it. Pick a place you can be alone with God, free from all distractions.
- Let those in your life know that you are going to be spending time with God in silence and solitude, so they don’t disturb you.
- Turn off any devices that might be a distraction to you.
- End your time thanking Jesus for giving us that example of withdrawing. Invite Him to grow your relationship with Him as you practice silence and solitude.
- Give yourself grace – remember that “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
- Identify two specific things you could do to ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your routine and add margin to your life. Mike made these suggestions:
- Turn off the cell phone
- Be unavailable for a day
- Shut off the laptop
- Don’t check email
- Fast from social media
- Withdraw from the usual barrage of activity and information
- Turn off TV
- Take off your watch
Then get alone with God and breathe deeply. schedule a time and place to pray, meditate, listen, and soak in His love for you.
Which two things from this list do you think would be most helpful to you? What could you add to this list?
wrap up | prayer
Have everyone share a prayer need for them personally, having everyone write it down. Then ask someone to volunteer to open the prayer time by praying aloud. Give an extended time of silence so that everyone can pray silently for the needs of the members of the group. Remember God is in the silence. After an extended time of silence, the leader of the group can call upon another person to close their time of silence with a closing prayer.