Saturday, November 30, 2013

Be Still and Know

"Be still and know that I AM God." ~Psalm 46:10

Due to the holidays, this Scripture has been on my mind.  When family visits and plans are made, normal devotion times are sometimes set aside for other activities, and we can become spiritually dry or distant from God.  We become so busy, the world around us is a swirling storm with no peaceful harbor.  

For me, any stolen moment away from chaos is my time with the Lord.  I'm often ribbed for going off on my own and being "antisocial" at times, but I don't thrive on activity.  I need calm, peace, and the still, small voice of God.  Perhaps I am antisocial.  I'm okay with that.  Sitting in the presence of the King of Glory trumps anyone else's company in my book.

This Scripture from Psalm 46:10 has been on my mind a lot lately.  The Lord has been using it as a reminder for me to stop and be still.  When we slow down and take a breather, we can empty our mind of frivolous worldly activities and fill our mind with HIM.  It's often hard to do.  Having so many things to get done, my mind often wanders during prayer time.  And confession time: due to a buzz of activity and family visiting for the holidays, I haven't cracked my Bible for many days.  The enemy has been on my back about it, but the Lord just beckons with a smile and asks that I sit with Him for a time.  That's what I've been doing, grabbing a few solitary prayer times whenever and wherever I can find them.

And through all the hubbub, He says, "Be still, Becka.  Know that I am God."

Which means to me, "Don't be anxious, there's no need to stress.  I've got this."

The more He impressed this Scripture on my heart, the more I began to study it and really dig in and read each word.  There are two other instances in Scripture where the Lord says to "be still".  The first is in Exodus 14:14 (NIV), which reads: "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."

The other is in Mark 4:39 (ESV):  "And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Peace! Be still! And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm."

As I began to think about these verses more and more, they seemed to be tied back to the verse in Psalms.  The reference in Exodus talks about God fighting for us.  When God tells us, "I've got this", that's essentially what He's doing - fighting for us.  We aren't strong enough, we aren't wise enough, we aren't holy enough - but HE is.  The other reference is spoken by Christ Himself as He calmed the storm.  Sound familiar?  The storm (of life) is raging, Christ calls out, "Be still!And thus the storm is still.

I do not doubt the Lord spoke these words on purpose.  He could have simply said, "PEACE!" and the storm would have ceased.  But He also said, "Be still!"  Regardless of the fact His disciples were mere fishermen, their schooling as young boys would have familiarized them with Scripture.  As you read those words in Mark, "Be still!" you can almost hear the silence after that storm whisper back, "...and know that I am God."

In fact, the disciples were taken aback, and whispered amongst themselves, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" ~Mark 4:41

Were some of them whispering about Psalm 46:10?  I looked back through the book of Mark.  The Twelve had seen Christ perform a few miracles already, healing the sick, crippled, and such.  And I'm sure those miracles were shocking as well.  Surely the Spirit of God rested upon this man.  But calming the storm was much more of a shock to them, I believe, as Yeshua showed His disciples that He is more than a "man of God", but God Himself.

"Be still!  ...and know that I am God.

What a glorious confirmation of His Deity they likely missed at the time.

Notice also the order of Christ calming the storm.  The storm didn't calm itself.  Christ didn't tell it to be still while it was calming itself down.  He declares peace, and peace is left in the storm's wake.  We should take a lesson from this.  Too often we try to calm ourselves and find our "moment of zen" while coming into the presence of God.  But no, God tells us to be still, and thus we are.  This is not by our own effort.  We must pray for Yeshua's peace to calm us from the storm of our lives.

I imagine breathing in His Spirit and breathing out my stress, all the while praying.  Yeshua's Spirit speaks peace into my spirit, and thus my storm is calmed.  Without Him, I can do nothing (John 15:5).

It is hard to explain, this peace of God.  It passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).  We don't know how it flows down to us.  I liken it to the water cycle of earth.  We send our prayers up, the Spirit carries them to the Son, who brings them before the Father, who then rains down Yeshua's Glorious Peace into our hearts.  It's almost like being out of tune, and His presence resonates our hearts to sing His Frequency.  It is an amazing experience.

We learn from Exodus that God fights in our stead.
We learn from Mark that Christ speaks His Peace, and thus it is so.
We learn from Psalms that when we're still, we can focus more clearly on God.

Is there anything further to learn from Psalms?  Yes.  An amazing truth, actually.  This little verse, only eight words long, is packed with Heavenly wisdom.  First, the obvious - I AM.  This is God's personal name, Yahweh.  Christ used this title many times in the book of John (John 10:9, John 10:11).  This verse does not say "Be still and know God", rather it says, "Be still and know that I AM God".  This means the God of the Hebrews, Yahweh, is the One True God, not Allah, Buddha, Krishna, Vishnu, Ra, Jupiter, Odin, or a vast plethora of other gods.  

Also, the wisdom of this verse hinges on one little word: "know".  It is Strong's number H3045, the same exact word used in Genesis 4:1.  Jews often used this word "know" as an idiom between husbands and wives when they consummated their marriage.  This word "know" isn't merely speaking of acknowledging God's power, understanding God is there for you, or even feeling His presence in prayer.  This verse is telling us to KNOW God.  Seek Him for the sake of seeking Him.  Become familiar with His Word.  Praise Him often.  Pray without ceasing.  Always give thanks.  Make Him your Best Friend.  No, go one step further.  

Make Him the Love of your life.  

God wants intimacy, not cold praise.  God wants our hearts, not only our minds.  He wants to be our Treasure, just as we are His treasure, for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Luke 12:34).

When read another way, we see Psalm 46:10 in a new light:

Peace!  Be still.  I've got you, My child.  Make Me, Yahweh, your One True Love!

If peace doesn't come easy for you, there are some verses that gives us a fuller picture of how God infuses us with His Peace.  For extra study and meditation on this topic, here are some choice Scriptures:

Psalm 119:165

Isaiah 26:3

Isaiah 32:17

Matthew 5:9

John 14:27

John 16:13

Ephesians 2:14

Colossians 3:15

1 Thessalonians 5:23

2 Thessalonians 3:16

James 3:18

These verses aren't linked on purpose.  Go crack your Bible and get your nose in His Word!  \O/


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