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  • Writer's pictureWill Johns


Today we are going to talk about one of the most challenging commands in all of Scripture. This is perhaps the most difficult thing God will ever ask you to do. And no, it's not climbing the highest mountain, or running a long distance, or lifting a great weight. Anyone with enough motivation can easily accomplish those types of challenges. This is different because it isn't exactly something we do. It is more like something we stop doing. It isn't exactly something we conquer. It is more like something that conquers us. And it isn't a great accomplishment for which we will be praised. It feels more like a failure which others won't understand. And that's what makes it so difficult.

Our verse today is short, direct, and packed with spiritual depth, but very difficult to practice. Here it is from Psalms 46:10: "Be still, and know that I am God."

You see what I mean? Being still isn't really an action. It is ceasing to do all other actions. And that's what makes it so difficult. If the Bible told me that I had to 100 pushups a day and I would find spiritual peace, I would do it. I wouldn't like it, and I would have to work up to it, but I would do it. I would work hard to gain that amazing gift of spiritual peace. But this verse pulls the rug out from under my performance mindset. It is telling me to stop doing things. I want God to give me a pilgrimage, a challenge. Like Martin Luther, I'm ready to walk up some steps on my knees if that's what it takes. But this? This feels too easy. And that is precisely what makes it so difficult.

Hidden within my resistance to being still is my ego that wants all the credit for everything good that happens in my life. Being still is humiliating to the ego. No one can boast about being still. In fact, it isn't something that anyone would want to talk about. Being still feels like a waste of time. It feels like we're being lazy. In a culture that values productivity above all else, being still is by far the most difficult thing that God could ask us to do. And yet, it is the only path to a deeper walk with God available to us. Being still and acknowledging that God is God go hand in hand. The choice to let go and stop trying to do it all yourself is an act of trust in God to provide for you. So whether it sounds wonderful or terrible to you, I would invite you to try it for yourself this week. Just step out by faith and do what God is asking of you: "Be still and know that I am God."

Here are a few tips to help you get started. 1. Prepare for you mind to ambush you when you attempt to be still. Your mind will fill your head with all kinds of crazy thoughts about random things in your life. Mostly it will have the undertone of "let's hurry and get this over with." Just relax and let all those worries go. Remember that you aren't God. Trust the real God instead. 2. Silence definitely helps (see last week's message on Silence). Remove distractions. Put your phone on Airplane mode. Set aside all electronics. Just focus on God. 3. Remind yourself that this is the most important thing you are going to do all day. This will undercut most of the lines of attack that your mind will throw your way. 4. Trust. If we can't trust that God will take care of us for 5, 10, 15, or 20 minutes while we are simply being still, how are we going to trust God with all of our lives? Being still is the direct practice of trusting God. 5. Schedule it. Make a plan right now to meet God in stillness every day. Pick a time you can commit to regularly.

I would invite you to be still this week. Make it a daily habit. At first you may not like it. You might get busy and forget to do it. You will fail many times. That's OK. If you persevere, you will begin to experience the joy and peace and love of God's presence. It is a wonderful thing that even Paul couldn't quite put into words. He just called it the "peace that transcends all understanding" (Philippians 4:7). Once you experience that for yourself, you will begin to see how important this text is to your spiritual life. You will crave time with God and know when you're missing it. You will thirst for God and this signal will prompt you to drink fully of God's presence and experience first-hand the living water that Jesus spoke of. So set aside all of your fears and just try it this week.

May you be still and know that God is God.

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