Hey so… Is it just me or does it seem that the phrase “Be still and know” is really trending right now in almost every home decor store? I am seeing wall decor with that phrasing or something very similar more and more often, Women are buying them left and right to decorate their walls or shelves. It gave me pause and I began to wonder why it is that that phrase is so popular. It led me to understand a few things that I want to share with you.
The phrase “Be still and know” is an excerpt from a verse in the Bible found in Psalm 46:10. The entire verse reads, “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. “
This is something that I say to my five year old often. Sometimes there’s just too much jumping, too much running and too much flailing of the arms. Eventually, when my nerves have had enough, I have to say, “Stop, Just stop. Sit down and be still.” I say it mainly because it’s been too loud or too wild and I need a break from the sensory overload. But when God tells us to be still, it’s not because He needs a break from us. It’s not because He’s having a hard time keeping up with us. In fact, when God issues directives to us in His Word, it’s not because He ever needs anything from us. It’s always for our benefit.
So this lends to the questions why should we be still? What is the benefit and how exactly do I do still myself before God?
Life can be so busy. Your days are most likely filled with work and/or school, grocery pickups, special events, appointments, and meetings. On top of all of this, you have to also prioritize time for family, friends and self care. Within all of these different categories of your life, you have subcategories. In the friend section of your life, you have a friend who is going through a hard time and you are doing your best to be there for them during their struggle. In the self care area, you are trying to eat right and exercise a little more. So you see that each area of life has even more details. It can be stressful to keep up.
All of these details are the things you juggle and toggle between day after day, fifty-two weeks out out of the year. All these different facets of your life push and pulls on you. Like standing on the shore of the ocean, you feel a strong push as a wave crashes against you only seconds later to feel the very same water tugging your feet backward.
I distinctly remember a few years back getting a phone call from someone from our church asking for prayer. It was a really serious situation and it broke my heart. Immediately, and I mean immediately, after I hung up with that person, I received a text message from someone else. They were so excited to share the news that they were offered the job that they had been hoping and praying to get. I didn’t have enough time to process one situation before I was presented with another, both leaving me with completely opposite reactions.
These type of regular pushes and pulls and tugging and towing of your mind and emotions can really weigh heavy on you at times. Just like the sensory overload I can experience with my kids, all the different parts of your life can just be too much sometimes, especially when things seem to be piling on.
Knowing about how chaotic our lives can be, it is no wonder that God tells us to be still. I want to give you some understanding of what happens when we still ourselves before God.
1. When we are still before God, we can see what God sees.
Messy situations in life are hard to understand much less figure out how to navigate. Often, it’s hard to see things for what they really are because our vision is clouded by our feelings, emotions and even the opinions of others. It’s easy to rely on others to give us advice in these moments because it’s easier and quicker for us to ask for advice then it is for us to do the work to see what is really going on. However, when we still ourselves before God, there is a clarity of thought that breaks through the fog in our mind. When we stop listening to what everyone else has to say and start looking to see what it is that God sees, we have a breakthrough in vision allowing us to see what is really taking place. A good prayer to pray over your situation is: “God, please show me what it is that I am not seeing. I want to see this situation through Your eyes so I can make decisions that would honor You.”
2. When we are still before God, we can hear His voice.
God may not speak to you in an audible way in which you actually hear His voice, but He speaks. God speaks when we read His word. He speaks through sermons and devotionals. He speaks through dreams and visions. He speaks through His servants. The problem is not that God isn’t speaking, the problem is that we can’t hear. We can’t hear him, because we are listening to so many other voices. Our friends and family have place in our life. We have our boss and co-workers that we communicate with day after day. Even when we are alone, we watch shows or movies and listen to podcast or music. Our mind is constantly being bombarded with different voices. Each word that enters our mind instigates a thought and those thoughts carry on until another thought interrupts it and so on until we finally fall asleep. Quieting the voices that are all around us allows us to hear The Voice. A prayer to pray so that you can hear His voice could be something like this: “Lord, Your voice is the one that matters most. Help me to listen to Your voice above all the other voices in my life. Give me an ear that can discern what is of You and what is not. Your voice is the one I want to hear the loudest in my life.“
3. When we are still before God, we are restored in His presence.
We’ve already covered all the ways that life can push and pull on us. Our minds and our spirits can take a hit. When we still and quiet ourselves before God, there is a restoration process that takes place on the inside of us. There isn’t a special song or specific prayer chant that one needs to pray to get a refreshing from the Lord. His presence is enough to make the crooked paths straight in our lives.. The biggest part of this is remembering that He is already with us. Deuteronomy 31:6 is one of many verses that remind us of the promise “He will never leave you or forsake you.” Because He is already with us, all we need to do is acknowledge His presence. It’s like having a room full of people, but walking up to that one specific person and standing in front of them. Before, you were in the same room but not engaging with one another. Now that you have acknowledged that they were in the room by walking up to them, you are in their presence and they have your attention. It is the same way with God. All it takes is acknowledging that He is there with you right now as you read this. You can pray something along these lines: “God, I thank you that you are here with me in this room right now. I want to remove every distraction and focus on your presence here with me right now. I ask that as I sit in your presence, that your Holy Spirit would begin a work in the tired and hurt areas of my heart. I open myself up to a restoring touch from you.”
I mentioned earlier that I would give you some ideas on how exactly we can still ourselves before God. I want to quickly list them below. The following points are simply a list of ideas. Pray about which one or ones would benefit you the most.
1. Take a break from your social media accounts. These things will steal massive amounts of your time and will take up so much space in your mind.
2. Find a scripture verse and think about it throughout your day. Roll the words in your mind until those truths are absorbed into your heart.
3. Turn off music and podcast in the car. Allow yourself to sit in silence in the moments that you often fill with noise. This creates an environment and oppourtunity to hear His voice.
4. Clear your schedule. You may need to cancel some coffee dates or rearrange some things in your day in order to give God priority. Be intentional about making time to spend with Him by cutting back on distractions.
5. Be worshipful. Sneak away to a private place where you can listen to some music and worship in stillness of soul and spirit.
I pray you have found some encouragement in the words you read here today. What ways will you find to be still the Lord?