Almost every Christian has heard the phrase taken from Scripture, "be still and know." We love to put it on t-shirts, journals, bumper stickers, wall art, and other paraphernalia. But how many of us have actually stopped to ponder this phrase and how to obey the action that the verses demands? Let's read the Scripture from which the phrase is pulled from, break it down a bit, then put it into practice!
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." ~ Psalm 46:10
Be still. Well that command seems fairly straightforward and simple..no breakdown of that command is really needed, but I'll expound a bit on it anyways. Stop bustling around life for just a few moments. Put the iPhone down, stop scrolling on social media, turn off the news on TV, close the laptop, pause the Spotify playlist, put down the dirty dishes and laundry (Men, drop the power tools and lawnmower), give the screaming kiddo a cookie, set aside that homework assignment, and go find a place of solitude and be still. I have a hard time with this. My phone is practically glued to me and it really doesn't help that I have an Apple Watch too. I love to work and do my tasks for the church I help serve, and I feel unproductive and lazy if I am not working, so I'm always monitoring or doing work things on my devices. It's a fault of mine in that I struggle with finding the boundary when to turn the work off or at least pause. I always have to be doing something with my hands, whether it's doing my work on my computer, reading a book, walking my dog, cooking, typing, or cleaning, otherwise I get antsy. But do it anyways. Find a quiet place where you can be still and know. My favorite place is the outdoors. There is something incredibly soothing about being surrounded by the handiwork of our Creator. Bonus points if it is near water!
The Lord is referring of His power in this verse. He is telling us that He. IS. God. The God who created the universe and all its beautiful pleasures within. The God who is still in control even when everything in our lives seems to be spiraling out of control. The God that created us: our souls, our hearts, our passions, our external appearance, our ability to glorify Him. The God that sees a frail sparrow fall from a tree, pinned the glowing stars in place, knows every one of names, and knowns the very moment we would be born and will cease to live. The God that sees our pain, our hurt, our tears, our anger, our joy, our loves, our faults, our character, our everything. The God that will be exalted above all the nations and earth itself. The God that has so many different facets that He will never be able to truly be understood by our mere mortal minds. But in order to cultivate a strong relationship with Him and commune with Him closely, we ought to take the time to learn as much as we can about our God that we serve and love.
So be still and know. Even if you're caught up in the midst of an intense storm of challenges, be still. Let the storm roar around you, but go bask in the presence of Christ. Know God's character. Rest in God's presence and acknowledge His grand splendor and awesomeness. Then carry in your heart the special things you have learned about God back into the hurricane of life, share them eagerly with others, and encourage others to be still and know. You and they will not regret it. Stillness provides stability. Think of how if you've been spinning around and when you stop, the environment around you seems to be still be spinning. But the longer you are still, the more stable and clear things become. So slow down and cease the spinning of life by being still and resting in the stability of God's presence and let Him grant you clarity.
Stillness and silence seem to accompany each other quite often and make for excellent companions...like a hot fireplace on a snowy day. Why have one without the other? Job 6:24, Exudus 14:14, and Psalm 62:5 speak of this silence. What these verses also speak to is how God will use this silence to teach us, fight for us, and give us hope when we are silent and shut the world out. Job 6:24 says, "Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have gone astray." Be silent and let God tell you what areas of life need a little cleaning up. Then get busy cleaning, and ensure the Holy Spirit is guiding you along the way. Exodus 14:14 says, "The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent." We are all fighting a spiritual war (Ephesians 6), and most of us are also soldiers in the frontlines of other earthly wars involving the physical, emotional, and mental aspects of life. These daily wars are draining, exhausting, and isolating. But be still and let God fight for you. His yoke is easy and His burden light. Reflect upon His mercy and strength, and just be still, even if only for a few moments. The final verse, Psalm 62:5 says, "For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him." One of my favorite writers, C.S. Lewis, states, "Faith in Christ - hope is the only thing to save you from despair." Hope keeps the essence of the soul alive and gently nudges it forward with purpose, even in the darkest of times. Hope cannot be placed in futile, mortal, earthly things, however. It must be placed in an eternal thing, otherwise the hope is a false illusion. A few verses earlier in Psalm 62:1, David states that from God comes his salvation. THAT is our hope. The fact that Jesus Christ would offer us His incredible saving grace, mercy, and forgiveness for our vile sins and welcome us with open arms into His family. His forgiveness has washed our sins clean, He has granted us eternal life free from our sin, pain, and the brokenness of this world. And the best part? It is free for every human being on this earth, we need only to accept His gift of salvation and repent from our sins. How truly amazing is that?!
So in conclusion, be still and know. Be still in the midst of your crazy life. Know God and His character. Encounter Christ. Be speechless. Listen to the voice of God that pokes and prods your heart and directs you in life. Then follow His commands. Encourage others to be still and know.
As a final thought, I urge you to take few minutes and give this song a listen, "Be Still and Know" which is written by Stephen Curtis Chapman. I promise it will encourage you tremendously today. My dear friends, Jason and Alex, that I serve with at LIFE Fellowship are performing this lovely acoustic arrangement.