Friday, 28 June 2013

Be Still And Know That I Am God

by Joel Hawting | @jhawting

Do you sometimes find it really difficult to sit still and focus at times? I do. I find it really hard at times. The worst part is that sometimes I find it hard to slow down and do that which I most want to do in life; spending time in fellowship with and building a relationship with Jesus.

I came across Psalm 46:10 the other day in my quiet time. It reads:

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

Be still. Be still. What is it like to be still? So often in our culture - both church and secular - it is all about the doing. It is easy to get consumed with the busyness of life, moving from one task on our to do list to another, or one ministry meeting to another without even stopping to take a breath. It is easy to get consumed with work, work, work; doing, doing, doing. Trying to cram more and more things into each day. But God directs us to be still. Be still and know that I am God. What is this passage of scripture actually saying?

The word translated as "be still" is the Hebrew term raphah which is used in multiple places in the Old Testament and refers to that which is slack, to sink, to relax, or to let drop, or in some cases, to be disheartened or weak. In this context, scholars generally agree that "to be weak" is the most appropriate interpretation.

So what is this passage of scripture saying then? I see it this way: this passage is highlighting that we need to stop relying on ourselves, we need to stop doing everything in our own strength, and we need to take some time out from the busyness to relax with God! God wants us to take the time out to know that He is God! To recognise His majesty and splendour and to know Him as our heavenly Father! To become weak and allow the divine God of the universe to take back the leading of our lives! To recognise our finiteness and to behold His infiniteness.

Whilst we obviously do need to take initiative in our lives to actually fulfill our responsibilities, the key is that we should be relying solely on God to strengthen and prepare us for every task in life. Funnily enough, the Bible highlights the reality that if God is our focus, everything else that we need will fall into its rightful place in time. Matthew 6:33 says:

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

I don't know about you, but I think it is time to truly be still before God. It's not always easy to do, but it is what we all need to do. After all, the almighty God of the universe is just waiting for us to stop doing life in our own strength so that He can come in and offer us guidance, support and His strength to succeed. Sounds like a pretty good option to me!

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