Fasting Challenge #7: Spend time in silence and solitude
Noise. It’s all around us. Music, television, other voices, notification alerts on our devices, etc. Even as I sit outside writing this, I can hear the wind, sirens, birds, passing cars, and more. So, if noise is all around us, how can we rid ourselves of it?
This week’s fasting challenge is to fast from noise. This may seem to be impossible depending on your profession, work atmosphere, family dynamics, etc. However, as we embark on this challenge, I want us to consider the actions of Jesus. As we enter Passion Week (the last week of Jesus’ earthly life leading up to the cross), let’s look at Matthew 26:36-46 in relation to silence and solitude.
For three years, Jesus was making rounds throughout Israel with a rag-tag group of followers. Twelve chosen men were walking, teaching, and doing miracles with Jesus during this time. But in the last few days of Jesus’ earthly ministry, things began to change. Matthew records in his gospel account Jesus and the disciples going to the Garden of Gethsemane following the Last Supper. The text tells us that He [Jesus] left the disciples and took Peter, James, and John a little bit further. He began to express the sorrow and trouble that He was feeling. Then He left the three and went a little farther. This is where I want us to see the need for silence and solitude.
Even Jesus Christ needed to be alone. There are other passages of Scripture that tell us Jesus would spend time with His Father alone; sometimes rising before anyone else (Matthew 4:1-11, Matthew 14:23, Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16, Luke 6:12). If the King of kings needed to be alone in solitude, how much more do we need to be? I want us to lean into the phrase from Matthew 26:39, “going a little farther He fell on His face.”
Going a little farther…in prayer.
Going a little farther…in reading Scripture.
Going a little farther…in our Gospel conversations.
As you fast this week, find a place and a time to experience silence. When this seems difficult, go a little farther. Know that this is a struggle for me as well; I always have music playing. But what if God is speaking and we can’t hear Him because of the noise. As you fast this week, find a place and a time to be alone. This may be difficult, but our souls need this solitude to hear from the Lord. Let me encourage you to take your Bible and a journal with you. Read Scripture with a pen or pencil in hand, and as the Lord speaks, write the truth that He reveals to you. When you think you can’t do it…go a little farther.