Be Still

Be Still

This is our final post in our series of meditations through Psalm 46. If you haven’t yet, take some time to read through the Psalm and then read the first few posts.

  1. Confidence in Crisis (v. 1-3)
  2. The Joy, Stability, and Security of God’s Presence (v. 4-7)
  3. Behold the Works of the Lord (v. 8-9)

In verses 8-11, we are given a 2-part invitation to know God’s presence. This isn’t just knowing His presence theoretically, but knowing it as a day-to-day reality. The first part of the invitation is to come and gaze upon who God is, what He is like, and what He has done. To begin to live in the reality of God’s presence, we must open our Bibles and read.

The second part of the invitation is found in verse 10.

Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”

For many of us, we’ve considered this very famous call to “be still” as a nice quiet devotional thought. But the call to “be still” may be a little less devotional than we realize.

The call to 'be still' may be a little less devotional than we realize. Click To Tweet

Don’t think of this as an invitation to sit down on the back porch, drink coffee, and listen to the birds sing. Instead, you should imagine a mother getting the attention of her 3-year-old son who is running around the house in a frenzy because he can’t find his favorite toy.

See the difference?

The command to “be still” is really a call to stop and surrender. It literally means “cease striving”, or in modern terms, “calm down”. When we are afraid, our tendency is to try to find some way to escape it or fix it. Human tendency says, “I’ve got to do something! There has to be some way to make all this come together so everything will be OK.” Some try to manipulate people, others make deals with God. Some sit paralyzed by worry, while others switch into all-out survivor mode prepping for the end of the world. In all of this, we tend to work ourselves up about what may or may not happen.

“How long is this going to last?” 
“How will I ever handle all of this?”
“Is it ever going to end?”
“What’s going to happen?”
“Am I going to make it?”

Before long, it feels like everything in life is spinning out of control. But God, in His kindness, comes and speaks into our frazzled and fear-filled life, “Calm down. It’s not out of control; it’s just out of your control. I am God and I know exactly what I am doing.”

Not My Will, But Yours Be Done

In order to know the reality of His presence, we must surrender to Him. This is when we say, “I’m going to stop trying to play God and know that He is God. I’m going to back down and take my hands off the situation; I’m going to quit running around trying to find security in what I can do and what I can figure out. I am going to recognize that He alone is God.

He brings joy, not my grades, my health, or my children.

He brings security, not my plans, my spouse, or my bank account.

He brings stability, not my family, my job, or my retirement plan.

He is God, and it is He that will be exalted in the earth.

This is the sovereign of the universe inviting you to know His presence in a very real way and to begin to live in the reality of His presence, you must come to a place of absolute surrender and dependency. Acknowledge your fears. Admit your insecurities. Honestly come before God and say, “God, I don’t know what you are doing, and frankly, I want things done differently.” It’s okay to pour out your heart to God. But in the end, you must surrender and submit to His good plan.

God, You are my God, and I will trust in You and not be shaken.

Lord of peace renew a steadfast spirit within me to rest in You alone.

That is being still.

When you learn to come and behold the Lord by running to His Word, and when you submit to His good plan in prayer, then you will begin to know the joy, security, and stability of His presence. And though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling, you do not need to fear because God is for you a refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

The Lord of Host is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

To live in that reality, knowing the joy, security, and stability of His presence come behold the works of the Lord and be still and know that He is God. Maybe we could get really simple in this: read your Bible and pray. Open the Word and meditate on Who He is, what He is like, and what He has done. Then, in prayer, submit yourself to His good plan.

Whom Shall I Fear?

In many ways, fear is simply an issue of being overwhelmed by something. Someone or something has become so real and overwhelming to us that we live preoccupied with its reality. When we live in constant awareness of something, it impacts how we think, how we feel, and the choices we make.

What is it that has become so overwhelming to you that you have become preoccupied with its reality?

Psalm 46 is an invitation to go from fearing the circumstances to fearing God. To fear the circumstances is to allow the awareness of their presence to overwhelm us; to fear God is to allow the awareness of His presence to overwhelm us. In our world there is so much to fear, so much to overwhelm and unsettle us. The only way we can say, “we will not fear” is to live aware of the presence of the One who is more awesome than the circumstances we face.

To fear the circumstances is to allow the awareness of their presence to overwhelm us; to fear God is to allow the awareness of His presence to overwhelm us. Click To Tweet