Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Be Still and Know...Part 2

Last time we looked briefly at what silence is about, and some of its fruits. Let's continue to look at those concepts, and see what we
can learn about being still with God.

Silence, in its next principle, is stoppingPsa. 46:10 says, in part, "Be still, and know that I am God." A more full translation, in the context of the human trouble and sorrow (earthquakes and war) of the rest of this psalm, and of the Lord being superior over all those trifles, including war, would be "Stop your fighting - and know that I am God !" (the Holman translation says it this way). To be silent, as a practice or habit, is a chance to begin recognizing that we haven't been seeing God for who he truly is.

Being still and focusing on God is a reminder that he is God, and we are not! To stop our fighting, striving, attempting to accomplish, means that we start facing all the ways that we are trying to be the god of our own lives by insisting on having everything our own way. As we begin facing those sins -- let's call them what they are! -- we can begin to surrender and stop using these idols to attempt to control our surroundings. After all, if God really is God, then he is in charge (not us), he provides for us (not we ourselves) and we can truly trust him to do his job (instead of relying on our own unpredictable delivery). When we start looking at that principle in every part of our thinking, we begin to see that we can truly relax and live life with constant joy!

When I practice a time of silence, focused on God instead of my busy-ness and my sense of duty or accomplishment, he reminds me of the way Psalm 46 begins: "God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble. Therefore we will not be afraid." He reminds me that he is good, and he is strong and he is loving. That he is not like any of the other people in my life who have been there sometimes, but sometimes absent when I needed them. That he fully loves me and gives me what I need, so that I don't have to get what I think I need from others. That my life is fully secure in his hands, and I don't need to make it happen myself. When I am reassured like that, there is a whole long list of concerns that completely fall away from me, and I don't need to spend any energy chasing them. Isn't that wonderful?

Beyond that, since he is caring for me in ways I don't even see, I can be free to open myself to others and let him use me as a channel to care for them. (Knowing I can't rely on others for my needs can tempt me to ignore them and their needs, but that doesn't leave me open to being God's answer for them in some way. My duty to be God's hands and feet to others, does not depend on whether others meet my needs!)

You can have those assurances too. When you are quiet, God can speak to you in that "still, small voice" (1 K. 19:12) and you will be assured of his love. And that will change many, many things in your life.

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