Be Still and Know

Stillness is a highly valued quality with God.

"Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10, emphasis mine)

I tend to push myself. I wouldn't say that I'm driven in a bad sense, but I do like to fill up all of my free time with activities: writing, coffee with friends and acquaintances, errands, curiosity. Next on my list would be reading--I have to read, it's genetically encoded into me. I believe that these things will further my cause and vision and purpose. What's wrong with this? Maybe nothing. I will say however, that if I end up squeezing the sweetness of the Holy Spirit out of my day and my life because I was so intent on doing what I thought was right then that's wrong.

Sometimes I wonder about this: I believe we see God with our spirit. But this doesn't mean that we necessarily take the time to think through--with His word and the Holy Spirit as guardrails--how God lives. Ill explain.

One of the strongest characteristics of God's character and personality that you'll find in the Bible is that of stillness. "In returning and rest shall you be saved and in quietness and confidence shall be your strength" (Isaiah 30:15)

David saw this. He says in Psalm 23 that the Lord "leads me beside still waters." (verse 2) This is impossible if I'm only intent on doing my own thing. It doesn't take much to push my temperament into an erratic and distracted facsimile of my former self. Here's another side of that: I could be doing the very things—in a rudimentary sense—that God would have me do, yet be missing His sweetness and fellowship and stillness that God wants me to sense and be a part of. God doesn't need me to do stuff. He does need me for fellowship and companionship and relationship, provided I remain grateful and don't take Him for granted. But God can do "stuff" on His own. It's us He's interested in. It's us He wants to know. And in this world, the way we know God is to slow down and seek out stillness.

Occasionally, I get incredibly harried. So hurried and fried and frustrated and worried regarding time that I wonder how this word of admonishment even makes its way through the storm of activity, but then again, "with God, nothing shall be impossible." (Luke 1:37). The word in question sounds something like this: "slow down for two moments and wait." Two moments, not just one. I find that if I do this, the time constraints fall off and I realize that, not only is two moments not going to set me back at all, but that my mind clears up to sanity and the worry that was so intense dissolves. It works and it's wonderful.

Another thing that helps when cultivating God's stillness is to think of the things that, by their very nature are still. This one may not be immediately evident, but consider gravity. Gravity simply is. Of course, gravity is caused, or created by movement through time. But you don't feel it. The perfection of gravity happens and subsequently creates stillness on earth. Take two moments (one for God, one for you) and thank Him for gravity, and feel His peace envelop you and give you fresh focus to proceed.

This fact hardly bears repeating, but it's nigh impossible to live in today's world and society without having a million things on your docket. Necessary, integral, important things that, left neglected, would cripple and crumble your life. Don't stop! Except for two moments and ask God to show you--to move you to His stillness. It's closer than your very breath. Closer, even, than gravity.

"How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with Thee." (Psalm 139:17-18, emphasis mine)