|Photo by Tuxyso 2013|
One night as I Iay awake, my mind churning through dark waves of shoulds and coulds, of “if only I’d…,” and “what if…,” I felt my heart pounding against the rocky cliffs of failure, doubt and despair. But the Holy Spirit brought a verse to mind that calmed me as no other could, as I meditated on it word by word:
Be still, and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)
Be. To be, not to do, that is the answer. As if I could do anything for God on my own merits or in my own strength – without Him, I can do nothing (John 15:5). I had gotten so wrapped up with doing that I forgot that more than anything, God wants me to just be. Be the Shepherd’s sheep (Psalm 23), the Father’s child (Romans 8:16-21;9:26: Galatians 3:26), the Son’s bride, the Spirit’s student (John 16:13). Only then, when I let go of my own identity, my will, and my pride, can He use me as a fully yielded vessel (Romans 9:21; 2 Timothy 2:21) and do works through me for His purpose (Ephesians 2:10), making me an ambassador for Christ (Ephesians 6:19-20).
Still. Not clamoring for worldly attention (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13), not bewailing my fate (Job 2:9), not reciting my shopping list of wants to God (Matthew 6:7-8; James 4:3) and calling it “prayer.” Listening instead for that still, small voice (1 Kings 19:11-13) Who will guide (Proverbs 3:5-6) and comfort me, leading me beside the still waters (Psalm 23:2). The peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7) comes only from stillness, from waiting on Him (Psalm 27:14; 37:34) to reveal Himself and His specific plan.
And. Stillness in and of itself is not enough – God wants more. Stillness is not passively waiting; it is actively seeking His face (1 Chronicles 16:11; Psalm 27:8; 105:4), which requires faith, or knowing that He is Who He says He is and that He will do what He has said He will do (Hebrews 11). He commands us to know Him through faith in His recorded Word, as well as to be still. And yet, being still is a prerequisite to knowing Him. He promises the reward of knowing Him if we are still enough to drink in His presence.
Know. When I pray to God or read His Word, do I hope that He will hear me, or that some of His promises might come true, depending on His whim? If so, I am just performing a religious exercise while denying its power by my own lack of conviction (2 Timothy 3:5). Or do I truly know, in every fiber of my being, that God is unchanging (James 1:17; Hebrews 13:8), faithful (Deuteronomy 7:9; 1 Corinthians 1:9), and true to His Word (Titus 1:2), and that if He said it, it is so? Only that degree of resolute faith can tap into the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) that He gave us through the indwelling Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30) at the moment we accepted Him as our Lord and Savior.
That. What specifically does He want me to know? I could know all the genealogies and prophecies and quote Scripture and verse for any occasion, yet I could miss the point entirely (1 Corinthians 13:1-3), unless I set all knowledge into its proper place in the framework He has so clearly built.
I. It’s all about Him. It’s not about me, what I want, what I can do, how lovable I am, because I’m just a wretched sinner (Romans 3:23) deserving eternal punishment in hell (Romans 6:23), and all my self-righteousness is like filthy rags in His sight (Isaiah 64:6). The danger is that any ministry, any service, any act of worship could be directed to the idol of Me (1 John 5:21) if I fail to give Him the pre-eminence (Colossians 1:18). Christ alone is worthy (Revelation 5:12), and I must decrease so that He can increase (John 3:30) and take His rightful position on the throne of my life. Reserving any part of my life for my own selfish desires amounts to partial obedience, which is disobedience (1 Samuel 15:22). He bought me with the priceless sacrifice of His own precious blood (Romans 3:25; 1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23).
Am. He is the great I AM (Exodus 3:14), the eternally existent One (John 1:1), the completely self-sufficient One (Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:27), the Beginning and the Ending (Revelation 21:6; 22:13), the timeless One Who was, and is, and is to come (Revelation 1:8). He made me in His image (Genesis 1:26-27), for His pleasure (Psalm 147:11; 149:4), so because of I AM, I can be.
God. God is Love (1 John 4:7-8), which is the framework in which all knowledge, faith and works must rest if they are to have any power or meaning (1 Corinthians 13:8-10). His infinite love led Him to give His only Son (John 3:16) as the perfect sacrifice on our behalf, so that whoever places their faith in His death, burial and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only Way (John 14:6) to Heaven will be saved. God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5), for He is perfectly holy. And God is Spirit (John 4:24), empowering His love and purity with complete might.
So to be still and know Him, I must walk in love (Ephesians 5:2), in light (1 John 1:7), and in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16,25). Yet these are not deeds or good works, but the source of power for good works, allowing my life to bear fruit as I abide more deeply in Him. The branches do nothing in themselves to grow grapes; it is only their utter dependence on the Vine that accomplishes the purpose for which they are created (John 15:5).
Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth (Psalm 46:10).
Ultimately every knee will bow to Him and every tongue will confess that He is Lord (Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:10), but for our lives to glorify Him in this short span of earthly time He has allotted us (James 4:14), we must first be still, and know…
© 2014 Laurie Collett
Your words are good for me in this moment. I read that in neighbouring Ukraine just started war - what will be in nearest future, we will see. Ukraine need now a lot of prayer. In my church there is group of Ukrainian Christians, we still think about them and their families.
Poland has border with Ukraine, so we aren't sure, what will happen.
Greetings for You :)
Such a comforting post to come across today.
Hi Laurie! It sure sounds like you got some 'late night wisdom' here. It reminds me a lot of the passage in the Psalms, to sit quietly like a weaned child in the arms of it's mother. To be still and content. To depend on our parent.
Why is it so hard to think that God will fight for us? That we can be still, and be in the arms of the Lord? It really is good news.
Thank you for this lovely post today my friend.
I have always loved that verse 'Be still and know that I am God'. Ever since I have been born again I have felt like a leaf on a slow moving stream. The leaf goes wherever the stream takes it, and that is how I feel my life is in the Lord, that my times are in His hands. I totally agree with you as far as prayer is concerned, that it is not a shopping list of 'wants' to God. thank you for sharing your wise thoughts on this subject. God bless you.
Be still. "Stillness is not passively waiting: it is actively seeking his face." Yes! I am learning to actively listen for his voice.
Thank you, Zim, I'm glad the post was helpful to you. Praying with you for Ukraine. My grandparents (my mother's parents) were Ukrainian, and I sponsor a Tomorrow Club (Christian children's club) in Ukraine. Praying for your safety and that of Poland also.
Thank you, Rosey, for your encouraging comment! May you have a blessed Lord's day!
That's a great point! At the moment when I was saved, that was exactly the sensation I experienced -- resting peacefully in His loving embrace. (You can read more if you click on "My Testimony -- In His Arms" -- ion the sidebar).
Praise God that His strength is made perfect in our weakness!
Blessings to you,
What a beautiful metaphor, Brenda -- a leaf floating on His living water! I love that verse also, and I gave my husband a ring with its text in Hebrew letters. He wears it all the time (except when we're dancing -- it' could do some serious damage, like a brass knuckle, if it were in the wrong place at the wrong time!).
Thank you as always for your uplifting comment,
Thank you, Carol, for your visit & comment! May we all hear His voice over the clamor of the world, and may He reveal His perfect will to us.
Your latest blog reminds me of Psalm 119 where each stanza began with a letter from the Hebrew alphabet.
A well laid out devotional. God bless.
Thanks so much for the kind comment! I always appreciate your feedback. May you have a blessed week in Him!
What a great way to remember, "Be still and know". Thanks for the reminder!
It too prayed today for Ukraine and for Poland. I am going on my 5th mission trip to Poland this summer. May the Holy Spirit fill the hearts of believers so they do not fear, but do pray fervently.
I am following you from The Sunday Community. Very happy to know that I am your neighbour on that site. I love the way you took the Scripture and thought about each word. That is awesome.
Blessings to you,
Hi, Trinity Grace! Thanks for your lovely comment & God bless!
Thanks so much, Janis! I'm glad to hear I am in such good company! You are always such a blessing in all of the many lovely ways you communicate God's Word.
Love in Christ,
Amen, Janis! Surely we are in the End Times, with all the wars and rumors of wars. Praise God that He is still on the throne.
Blessings to you,
Yes, today I thought that the most important thing now is prayer. I prayed today for Poland and Polish government, for Russian leaders and peace for Ukraine. Thank You for Your prayers!
Bless you my friend.
God bless you too, dear one!
Sometimes it is so hard to be still in this merry-go-round world. Good reminder, that being still before our Lord is the only way to get off that crazy, dizzy ride. :)
Thanks so much, Dionne, for your visit & comment! It is so true, that everything in the world clamors for our attention, which is Satan's strategy to keep us from hearing God's still, small voice!
Many blessings to you,
So many of us need to learn to wait upon the Lord, to actively serve him like a waiter who waits until we tell him what we desire, while actively seeking to provide what we need but not insisting we settle for his opinion.
Praise God that He knows what we need before we even ask Him! Thanks, Donald, for your comment, & God bless,
Back again following you from Missional Women. Must be another call to prayer. Lifting up all those who have to live through this time of terror (may they know the Lord and lean on HIm).
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