Start Small Pt. 4

Welcome to the finale of our podcast series, Start Small. Check out the audio and today's script down below!

Need to catch up? Check out Pt. 3 here or download our app for easy access to all of our amazing content at Pipeline!
Podcast notes:

Hey family, and welcome to our part four and our final in our weekly devotional Start Small. This is where we equip you with the tools you need to walk in the purpose God has for you, one step at a time. My name is Schmitty, and I want to start off today’s devotional with a question I want you to ask yourself. How are you resting?

That’s not an easy thing to answer for me. In our culture rest is often reactive – we rest when we have nothing else to do.  We also have a wrong idea of what rest is – before I studied what rest is supposed to be I would shut myself off from everything around me after a full day and “hermit” – my wife would ask me what I’d want to do and I’d answer with just “existing” and nothing more.

I don’t know about you, but when I left my “hermit mode” I didn’t feel rested, I felt numb.

The truth is the Bible tells us we can find rest in Jesus. This isn’t theoretical, either – Psalms 62:1 says, “I am at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.” Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to me all of you who are weary burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:29 says that as we follow Jesus, we can learn to find rest. As we study the Bible, we encounter ways God teaches us to live in what we call spiritual practices, or spiritual disciplines. Today we’re going to look at the practice of Silence and Solitude.

In Luke chapter three we see the Jesus being baptized by John. This was a huge display – the heavens opened, the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove, and a voice from Heaven says, ““You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”

This was a big deal! This was the proclamation to the world that Jesus is the Son of God, and it marks the beginning of His ministry on earth. At this point all eyes are on Jesus to see what he was going to do.
Luke 4:1-2 says, 'Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry. '

 Jesus didn't begin His ministry with casting out demons or preaching from the tallest mountain. He went to the wilderness. The word Wilderness used here and many other places in the New Testament – nine times in Luke alone – is the word eremos. It could mean desert, but it more likely means  “an uninhabited, deserted, remote, solitary place absent of inhabitants, or the lonely pace”. It was a place removed from the crowds and the bustling world. John Mark Comer in his book The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry calls it the Quiet Place.

He didn’t just go on a whim – He was led by the Holy Spirit.

When researching this topic, I realized that I alongside so many other people have thought that the wilderness was a place of suffering or weakness, but that simply isn't the case. Jesus was led to the Eremos, the quiet place, to face the devil head on. The Spirit was not leading Him to a place of weakness. In the full reliance on the Spirit, Jesus was facing the devil from a place of strength – in the quiet place.

God’s Spirit led Jesus in forty days of solitude and silence so that he could gain the strength to take on the devil’s temptation. Notice, as Jesus left the place of solitude in Luke 4:14, He “returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit”.

This isn’t the only time we see Jesus doing this. Luke 5:16 says that “He often withdrew to deserted places and prayed.”

I get it, Some days we feel like we don't have time to withdraw from the world. When we do experience silence, we normally attempt to fill the silence with noise and distraction. Yet, silence allows us to pay greater attention to what the Holy Spirit is doing in our lives and speaking to us. It is in the stillness and quietness of life that we often begin to develop a deeper and truer sense of self-awareness.

In C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters, Senior demon Screwtape calls the devil’s realm a “Kingdom of Noise” and claims, “We will make the whole universe a noise in the end.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer says in his Meditating on the Word, “We are so afraid of silence that we chase ourselves from one event to the next in order not to have to spend a moment alone with ourselves, in order not to have to look at ourselves in the mirror.”

Hear me out, though – Solitude and Isolation are two very, different things. John Mark Comer says that, “Solitude is engagement; isolation is escape. Solitude is safety; isolation is danger.” Richard Foster in his Celebration of Discipline writes that ““Loneliness is inner emptiness. Solitude is inner fulfillment.”

Being silent and alone with God allows him the opportunity to speak first and last to us. Remember, Jesus didn’t go off in the wilderness to be “alone” – He went to be with God. The stories in the New Testament tells us that Jesus went to a quiet place to pray.

This lesson on Silence and Solitude is important for me because sometimes I forget that Intimacy with Jesus must be the center of our lives, not ministry for Jesus. Here's the reality: I'm not good at this – yet. If you listened to or read the previous devotional, you’ll remember me talking about my favorite music teacher, Mrs. Davis. She would say often, “practice makes permanent”. That’s true here, as well. f you don’t practice how to rest, if you don’t practice alone time with God, you won’t know what to do when your world is falling apart and you need the strength and rest to get through it all.

So as we close this four-week devotional on starting small, here’s my commitment to you – I’m going to continue to practice this spiritual discipline. I urge you to practice with me.

Thank you for listening to Start Small. Next week we will begin our new series devotional called Home. If you’d like to be a part of what God is doing through Pipeline, check out our website at to find out our times and location for our Sunday Service. Have a blessed day!





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