The 46th Psalm verse 10 states: “Be still and know that I am God.” For many years this was one of the more difficult and challenging biblical statements for me. How could I a talker by nature and by vocation, ‘be still and know?” If you are an activist by nature nothing seems more unproductive than sitting quietly. Since the scriptural command is written to people regardless of personality or temperament, then one has to examine what God is communicating to us through this command.
The word we translate as still is more than just sitting idly by or quietly in the corner. It really indicates a person who has surrendered and ‘let go’ and has put their trust fully in God. Surrender is an aspect of being still, the idea of giving up control and acknowledging with all that I am that God is in control and not me. He is not only in control in the world He has control of my life as well.
Too many times it seems that if I just do this or go there and I push and pull, eventually I will experience success. What if I succeed at the wrong things? What if God is not pleased with all of my doing? Nothing fails quite like success without God. The psalmist is reminding us of the need to orient ourselves to an awareness of God’s presence, power, provision and that He is God, I am not!
It is in the alone time that God develops in me the confidence to trust Him and the patience to wait for His timing.
The busier I am, the more I feel the need for time alone with God. The real ability to minister rarely if ever comes from the chaos of crowds. Amy Carmichael said it best: Certain it is that the reason for so much shallow living much talk but little obedience is that so few are unwilling to be like the pine tree on top of the mountain alone in the wind with God.
It is in the quiet times that I have become confident that God is in control, I am not, nor is any circumstance that is garnering my attention at the moment controlling my life. Rather than ignoring difficulties, I have found that stilling myself and spending time with God helps me hear from the Lord and to receive the guidance that I need. Eddie Gibbs said: “There is no problem so big and complicated in life that it cannot be run away from.” Running seems to be opposite of “stillness in the presence of the Lord.” Running gives me the impression that if I just hustle and work a little harder I can get this thing worked out. I believe in hard work, preparation, and follow-through. Running is also avoidance, stilling yourself in God’s presence is not running away. It is in these times that God has convicted and convinced me of needed attitude adjustments that He desires to see implemented in my life. There is a needed reminder for each of us that God is in control. He is willing to change and conform us to His will if we will surrender.
Stillness in His presence gives strength, calmness and develops patience as we once again learn to trust Him who is the Lord of everything. Left to our devices we will worry, fret and complain, in His presence, we learn to trust and obey.