I am not one that does well with being still. I am a mover and a shaker, a person who likes to be active and busy. Having spent so many years in ministry without a lot of assistance means I have to become very adapt at many things, very quickly. I am almost always doing something because I do not like being idle. In the process of such a life, swamped with phone calls, due dates, articles and work to be written, letters to write, web work to develop, people to help, lessons to prepare, sermons to draft, books to finish…and even more than this, I have developed a literal spirituality where I am constantly “praying without ceasing,” as written in 1 Thessalonians 5:18. I am always talking to God, thinking of God, and listening for His Word to me. I do not like to miss God in anything, so I seek Him in everything.
In not doing well with being still, it is very difficult for me to rest. I am constantly thinking, even when I am supposed to be sleeping. I even talk in my sleep, trying to debate and work out problems. I have had many people tell me I am even teaching in my sleep. It is difficult for me to see things that happen to the church and not be grieved by them, not understanding why people don’t have God’s revelation and do not understand the clarity of His Word. While I am thankfully, past the point where I take such confrontations or issues personally, I am not to the point where I cannot see beyond any personal attack to the inherent problems the false heresies proclaimed by others affect the church. This is a serious issue in covering, especially given the fact that we do not want to let people run wild with winds of doctrine. Much of my time is spent in a life of apologetics and education, thinking and functioning with every thought for the Lord and His truth. And…I think and pray about it, constantly.
Sometimes, it is exhausting.
Then I am confronted with two very powerful realities that sometimes every one of us – even those who are the most profound, most diligent, and most dedicated – need to hear. Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.”
Hmmm. I know that He is God. The fact that He is God is my very life and ministry. But the “be still” part? That doesn’t come quite so easily. In seeing this verse, however, I recognize the command can’t be taken at half a word. It says to “be still AND know,” not just be still…or just know. Being still AND knowing He is God represents a powerful balance in the life of the believer…and a powerful way to hear from God in our everyday lives.
Certain religious groups have “be still” down really, really well. They will sit and meditate for hours…not moving…not distracted…in strange and funny positions that look extremely uncomfortable. They seek to center themselves by thinking about nothing, focusing on singular phrases or riddles and attempting to attain a new level of enlightenment.
While they know how to “be still,” they do not know He is God. Many of these systems deny the existence of a Creator and totally reject the idea of God. Their meditations do not seek to bring them closer to God, but to a greater awareness of themselves and of mysteries of the universe. They have mastered stillness in every position under the sun, but reject the balance because they do not know God.
Christians today aren’t good at “being still.” I would like to believe the majority of believers have the second part, “Know He is God” down pat, but I know better. A major reason why we do not know He is God is because we are never still. We are so busy jumping up and down, “amen-ing” everything the preacher says, and wanting to run around the room that we miss essential instruction in Who God is and what believing in God is all about. In our strive to try and know God with enthusiasm, we are missing God because we can’t sit still.
The Lord is dealing with me in the importance of finding that balance of “being still AND knowing He is God.” It is amazing what I learn when I sit still and listen. I find this to be so true in my prayer life as well as in a church setting. Apostle or not, I am forever learning and receiving the Lord’s revelation. If I am to hear the Lord, that means I need to stop talking. I need to be still, so as not to miss His move in my life. Sometimes I think we surround ourselves with noise and business so as to miss God’s Word because we are afraid we do not want to hear it. It is easy to be noisy; it takes discipline to be silent.
The church today could benefit from such a discipline. I am not suggesting we have to sit mute in church, but we can’t let our enthusiasm drown out the Word proclaimed. I have offended preachers of recent because I am not jumping out of my seat over every word that they say. I simply respond, “If I am jumping and yelling, I can’t hear what you are saying. I do not like to miss revelation because I am being too emotional.” Some preachers are still offended, even after this explanation, because it seems to totally contradict how they believe the congregation should react to their preaching.
We also must “be silent AND know He is God” to distinguish true preaching from false. A deeply emotionally charged message can easily disguise false doctrine. If we are busy looking for emotional cues rather than the true Word, we will not be “knowing God.”
How are you on “being still AND knowing?” In a world of technological buzzes, phones ringing at all hours, email, internet social networks, family distractions, computers, televisions, fax machines, bluetooths, instant messaging, and more – it is easy to not “be still AND know God.” With all these distractions, the enemy knows how easy it is to swoop in, feed our minds with nonsense, and send us chasing after roads that lead to nothing but destruction. It is time for us to grow up, BE STILL AND KNOW!
Emerson once said, “Let us be silent that we may hear the whisper of God.” There is peace in silence, revelation in silence, truth in silence. I want to hear that whisper of God, uncontaminated, not competing with anything else in my time and space. I am learning to be still in a deeper sense than ever before. I am learning to be silent, that I may hear the whisper of God, and receive His revelation without distraction.
(C) 2010 Lee Ann B. Marino. All rights reserved.