Thursday, July 2, 2015

Be Still and Know...Part 3

Been busy lately? I sure have! My days and weeks have been filled with people, meetings, phone calls, issues needing work and clarification and prayer. Sometimes though you just have to stop and get away from it all. Lately I've been contemplating and studying the importance of silence -- getting away, turning off the noise and giving myself a chance to hear God speak. The first two posts talked about some of the aspects and benefits of silence, moving from an understanding of Psalm 46:10. But wait! There's more! Especially when we are alone with God, we get to deal with two important messages: we can hear God's "I love you," "You are my beloved" as well as to respond with "I love you!" to God. 

Henri Nouwen, in an article published in 1995 in Leadership Journal, wrote about the importance of hearing that message from our wonderful, loving God. With that assurance ringing in our ears, he wrote, "you can deal with an enormous amount of success as well as an enormous amount of failure without losing your identity, because your identity is that you are the beloved." 

Reading through the Gospels, we see that not everything went well for Jesus -- but he never quit, never slacked, never let go. He just kept going because the Father's assurance ("You are my beloved Son") continued to hold him up. Nor did he get a swelled head from healing hundreds of sick or walking on water. He simply lived out being the Son of God, living as the Father showed him he should, and that was enough. 

And yes, we can have the same assurance and the same stability, created in us by the Holy Spirit as we stop and listen to the voice of the Father. Then, any work we do for God -- that is, loving anyone in any way he shows us to -- will be fed and energized by that assurance. Our successes come from resting in who God says we are, as we hear him: his assurance that he loves us and will fully provide for us.  In contrast, our failings come from wanting to grab something for ourselves, so we lie, lust, burn in anger, accuse and so forth, to get that thing, even if it's something God doesn't want to give us. 

So our best hope is to listen, rest and trust. Stopping, maybe getting completely away, and waiting on God in silence (see Psalm 62:1-8). And then letting him both provide for us, and show us what he wants next for us to do, in that calm assurance. Are you ready to give it a try? 

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