The Habit of Solitude: Listening to God's Voice


When we practice the habit of solitude, we allow God to purge our thoughts, our worries and our concerns.

Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10a).

Teach me, and I will be quiet; show me where I have been wrong” (Job 6:24).

As we learn to practice the habit of solitude, we allow God to purge our thoughts, our worries, and our concerns. By doing so, we open our hearts and our minds so that we can hear God’s voice.

In his book Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer said that solitude was valuable in helping him listen to God’s word. So much so, that he practiced it at the beginning and the ending of every day. He said that “silence is nothing else but waiting for God’s Word and coming from God’s Word with a blessing. But everybody knows that this is something that needs to be practiced and learned” (p. 79).

So how do we implement solitude in our life in such a way that it becomes a habit? For solitude to become a habit, you will need to carve out time for it. Early morning or late evening schedules may need to be adjusted. You may have to be creative in finding a place where you can be alone with God. Even time in your car, while driving to and from work, can be an opportunity to practice solitude. Maybe you can practice solitude as you take your morning jog or walk.

You will need to make some changes in your life’s routine if you are to create space to spend quality time alone with God. The transformational journey towards becoming a servant leader who leads like Jesus is not an easy one. Each of us need the direction, the guidance and the encouragement that can only come from hearing God speak to us.

Ask yourself these questions: What can I cut out of my daily or weekly routine to create space for solitude with God? Where can I go to be alone with God? When will I start?

Make the change! Begin to practice the habit of solitude today. You won’t regret it and most importantly God will use your devotion to transform you into a leader who is worth following.

Written by Fred Waggoner

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