Psalms 46:10 (ESV)
10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
This morning as I was praying, I was reminded of a sermon I preached a few weeks ago – “The Discipline of Silence.” I was just talking away to God, asking Him for several things for my family and my ministry. I was praying for the couples I am currently counseling and also some of the issues that are going on in church. During that time, I heard in my spirit God ask me when it was going to be His time to talk. Of course I immediately stopped and ask Him to forgive me of hogging the conversation. I am guilty of always talking while I pray and then just getting up to leave never really sitting quietly listening to the Spirit of God.
The psalmist is writing about all the troubles that are going on around him and how God is his strength and refuge in those times. He sings about God’s stability even though the world around him and us for that matter is chaotic and tumultuous. God is never moved by anything other than His own desire. The psalmist then calls others to recognize God for who He is. While the psalmist is recalling some of the awesome traits of God, God interrupts his song with the command to “BE STILL.” WOW!!! The Hebrew word actually means to stop. Stop what? Stop worrying, stop striving, stop trying to find answers, and stop striving in this world. One author actually says that “it means that if the house is on fire, you are supposed to sit down and relax.” Now that seems to be extremely farfetched. We would want to try and save as much as we possibly could. We would want to help put out the fire…we would have to do something. God says, “Be still.”
Remember the story of Elijah in I Kings 19 when God was trying to speak to him. God brought about an earthquake, a mighty rushing wind, and a fire, before He spoke in the “still small voice.” Again, the phrase actually means “in silence.” Yes, sometimes God will use something spectacular to get our attention. But most of the time when God wants to say something very important, He waits until we are still and silent so He can speak through that silent moment of time. God wanted Elijah to know Him as God. He tells the psalmist to “be still and know that I am God.” He desires for us to listen to Him so that we can know exactly what His will is for our lives.
Who is God to you? Have you taken the time to be still in order to know Him? Sometime in history, someone labeled a personal time with God as a “Quiet Time.” I wonder how many of us are actually quiet during that time. Do we talk the whole time? Are we willing to listen? The discipline of silence is one that brings us more into the presence of God than many of the other disciplines. Are we ready to know God? Then we need to be still.