I have been intentionally trying to learn the spiritual discipline of being still. It’s hard. Being still is just not something that comes easily to me. How about you? I’m a doer, a fixer. One of the worst feelings in the world to me is finding myself in a crisis and not being able to do anything to change it or fix it. I don’t like that feeling of helplessness.
So what does God mean when He says to be still and know that He is God? What does that look like? I think often times we confuse being still with doing nothing.
Now get this. I was watching the remake of The Karate Kid with one of my boys when Mr. Han, the maintenance man turned martial arts instructor, said this to his young trainee: “Being still and doing nothing are two very different things.”
I jumped up to grab a pen and paper. “That’s it!” I thought. Suddenly, God began giving me insight into the discipline of being still and knowing that He is God through a Disney movie. Seriously, Who is there like our God?
What is doing nothing?
I do nothing when I am tired, have too much on my plate, and I decide to give up.
I do nothing when I don’t want to be inconvenienced.
I do nothing when I’m afraid of what will happen if I do something.
I do nothing when I don’t want to get involved.
I do nothing when I don’t care.
Being still, on the other hand, is not doing “nothing.” Being still IS doing something. Being still often requires more effort because it is against our nature to not be in control. To be still is to trust.
I am being still when I choose to seek His direction before I add another activity to my already busy life.
I am being still when, like Mary, I choose to sit at my Savior’s feet and spend time with him instead of hurrying around working on my own agenda.
I am being still when I choose to endure hardships instead of fighting God because I know that God uses hardships to perfect my faith.
I am being still when someone offends me or says something hurtful about me and I choose to stay quiet and trust God to defend my reputation for His glory, not my own.
I am being still when I find myself in a fearful place and I trust God to protect me or provide for me and those I love because I know He is sovereign and nothing escapes His notice.
The purpose of being still is to know that He is God. To really believe that He is God requires faith. The stronger our faith, the stiller we learn to become because we trust Him with all of our heart.
In Psalm 46:10, when God says, “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth,” God is speaking to two groups of people. To the nations around His chosen, He is saying, “Quit trying to destroy my people.” To His chosen, He is saying, “Trust me to protect and defend you.”
God says, “Be still, child, and trust Me. Trust Me to direct your every step, to defend you against every attack, and to provide for your every need.”
Being still does not necessarily mean stilling our actions, though at times it does. What it really means is to still our hearts and our minds in the presence of a sovereign God. It means we quit our fretting, worrying, and being anxious. It means we stop our constant self-directed planning. It means we trust Him no matter what the circumstances are.
You know, if I had mastered the discipline of being still when I was younger, I probably wouldn’t have to pay to have my gray colored now.
Have a great week!
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