If motion is a sign of life, we are really alive in this age of mankind. We put a premium on speed:
- Faster cars,
- Faster planes,
- Faster trains,
- Faster video screens,
- Faster phones, and of course,
- Faster computers.
What have we gained with all this rapid motion? Does our hurry bring us any closer to God? Is there some necessary thing that eludes us when we live at this pace? The command of the Lord is interesting, and arresting—“Be still and know that I am God.”
Stillness and prayer are natural companions.
The battle for daily prayer is half won when we decide to schedule stillness into our lives. To “know that God is God” is worth going to bed early so you can get up early to be still before the Lord. Stillness is not inactivity. It is a quiet and intense focusing of the mind on the Lord Himself. In stillness we listen for His voice from a position of openness free of presupposition and clear of random ideas. It is much like looking at a body of water or a stand of forest or a mountain vista without focusing our eyes on any particular detail. We end up seeing something that would have escaped our notice if we had zoomed in on something we already knew was there.
In stillness, strength builds within us, and with strength comes joy. We will need strength as the day progresses and joy will make the trying times bearable. The voice of the Lord is still and small as it was with the prophet. Before the whirlwinds and earthquakes of the coming day set in, it is good, joyful, and empowering to hear His still, small voice.
Angels and Saints
When we who live on earth are still, we can hear more clearly the worship of heaven. Angels and saints never cease worshiping before the Throne of God. The continuous sound is so great the doorpost of heaven shake in sympathetic vibration. When we engage stillness, as we are commanded, we can feel the rhythm and hear the song. No wonder the Scriptures require the silence of stillness from those who dwell on the earth.
A Demanding Discipline
We must not confuse stillness with inactivity, it is a demanding discipline. We must not mistake silence for that of a brass heaven. The heavens are not brass, neither are they silent, nor are they distant. The heavens are telling about the Glory of the Lord. The hosts around the Throne of God are singing of His Majesty, Grace, and Everlasting Love. Even our inmost hearts are whispering about comfort and courage if we are only still enough to hear.
And when we hear, we know that God is God.
Luke 21:19 KJV
In your patience possess ye your souls.
Nehemiah said, … This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a sacred day. Do not grieve.”
Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Lord Jesus, help me be still. The gravity of the world is pulling me down. The pace of life is pushing me forward. The pain of the past beckons me backward. Your voice is an upward call drawing me higher. Even in this upward motion there is still a place of stillness. There are things about You, Lord, that I cannot know in a hurry. There is a place in You that settles my heart where the soft music of Your song soothes my spirit. Help me today to counter the inertia of life with the stillness of Your Spirit where You are more fully known. Amen.
Be Still, My Soul
Words and Music: Kim Noblitt
1. Be still my soul. Be still my soul
Cease from the labor and the toil
Refreshing springs of peace wait
To troubled minds and hearts that ache
Be still my soul God knows your way
And He will guide For His name’s sake
Plunge in the rivers of His grace
Rest in the arms of His embrace
2. Be still my soul Be still my soul
Though battles round you rage and roar
One thing you need and nothing more
To hear the whisper of your Lord
Be still my child I know your way
And I will guide For my name’s sake
Plunge in the rivers of My grace
Rest in the arms of My embrace.
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved