The D-Word silence

Published on October 30th, 2012 | by Carl Simmons

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We can do everything except sit in silence. What are we missing?

It’s not always easy to drop what we’re doing so we can have times of refreshing with Jesus. Some of us feel guilty about not giving our human obligations top priority; we may feel we’re letting others down. A lot of us feel rushed and don’t think we can get into “the right frame of mind” to be with Jesus. Some of us may even wonder whether we’re wasting our time by doing “nothing” (by human standards) with Jesus.

Try being still for exactly 97 seconds. You may find it’s hard to do. Thoughts may even flurry in your heard and interrupt the process. So why do we seem to be able to do everything except be still? What is it about quiet or stillness that makes us so uncomfortable?

Here is a list of mental and spiritual exercises to help you reflect (in stillness!) about your friendship with Jesus. 

Get quiet and  reflect on the time you first drew close to Jesus. Who was with you when that happened? Where were you? What were some of the sounds and smells? What were you thinking and feeling? Take another minute to replay that in your mind and heart.

Now, reflect on where you are right now in your relationship with Jesus. Think also about where you are in comparison to those first days, and why.

Finally, where is Jesus alongside you right now? What’s different from before? What’s better? And what do you miss from that first time you drew close to Jesus?

Remembering and reigniting your first love

If you think about your best friend growing up in comparison to your friendship with Jesus, of course we’re going to act a little differently around our Lord and Savior!

But Jesus calls us his friends (John 15:13-15), and that’s not something we should take lightly. Jesus is going to be there for us, no matter what we’re thinking or feeling, and He wants us to be with Him, too. That’s a pretty mind-blowing concept, but it’s true.

Therefore, if we’re going to grow in a healthy relationship with Jesus, we’re going to need to spend quality time with Him. It’s hard to love—let alone follow—someone you don’t even know. A.W. Tozer put it this way, “True Christian experience must always include a genuine encounter with God. Without this, religion is but a shadow, a reflection of reality, a cheap copy of an original…The spiritual giants of old were men who at some time became acutely conscious of the real Presence of God.”

When have you been “acutely conscious” of God’s presence in your life? Think about the times you’ve encountered Jesus—during a retreat, in the midst of a crisis, or maybe even when you least expected it. Where or when do you tend to feel closest to Jesus? Why are those times or places more special? And when do you feel furthest away?

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About the Author

Carl Simmons is the author of the 6-book study series Growing Out: From Disciples to Disciplers (Group). He's been a writer, editor, Christian, small-group leader, and husband to Marion for more than a quarter-century. Carl served as discipleship pastor at Living Word Church (C&MA), which began in their living room in West Milford, NJ, and moved to Loveland, CO in 2005. Learn more about Carl, and Growing Out, at his blog Lay It Down.



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