[Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle recently posted a five part series on Silence and Solitude.  I hope & pray you will allow the Lord to use it to help you grow deeper in your walk with Jesus.  If you would like to learn more about Pastor Mark or Mars Hill Church, visit their website at www.marshillchurch.org]

by Mark Driscoll

(Part 1 of 5)

I am an introvert who is contemplative. This means I crave and desperately need silence, solitude, study, prayer, and journaling because the Holy Spirit uses these moments to connect me to Jesus that I might be more like him. For those like me, organizing days for silence and solitude may come rather naturally. But for those who are extroverted and active, the people and tasks in their mind and life can keep them from having regular and productive times to fast from noise and people and to hear from God, speak to God, and be with God.

So, this blog is the first in a series that will help you organize a silence and solitude day. The series of blogs will culminate in a lengthy template I use to organize my own silence and solitude days. I shared this document with the Mars Hill staff and so many friends on Facebook and Twitter asked for it after hearing about it that I decided to write it up in brief form and give it away in hopes of being helpful.

Four Ways to Live Your Life

In his book Leading On Empty, Wayne Cordeiro says that there are only four ways to live your life:

  1. Reaction – passively dominated by urgencies and pushy people
  2. Conformity – succumbing to the fear of man and just being and doing what everyone else wants, which is not necessarily following God’s will for you personally
  3. Independence – nonconforming rebellion in the name of freedom, marked by doing only what you want and ignoring godly authority over you
  4. Intentionality – reverse-engineering your life and living it prayerfully and purposefully, journaling your thoughts throughout the day, and using silence and solitude to hear from God and organize your life

Which one of these four most typifies you? Is your life a frazzled mess because you are in perpetual reaction mode? Have you not really even deeply pondered God’s will for your life but just done what you were told by other people?

Are you the sort of person who is defiant, independent, and self-reliant? Or, do you regularly (e.g., at least one hour a week and one day a month) get silence and solitude with God to work on your life before you work in it?