Did you know that they say, that in today’s world it is impossible to go anywhere in the world without your quiet being interrupted by our modern inventions? The remotest jungle will still have jets flying over it. We have done an incredible job of creating noise.
True, that noise is called progress, and often it is too. But to know God, we need to be still. And being still is increasingly hard. Every moment of the day we have bells clanging that notify us of new texts or emails or social media messages. So becoming still requires making an intentional choice to create space for being still.
So be brave, be bold! Turn off your smart-phone and your laptop. God is inviting you: “be still and know that I am God.” For me quieting my heart and subduing my head-noise is the hardest part of being still. Being still can also mean to be motionless. To physically stop. To cease!
But I need to move beyond just being quiet. This being “still” that this verse talks about might also be appropriately referenced by an old phrase: “pregnant pause.” Not just being quiet, but also anticipating something, eagerly expecting something.
In the Bible, “to know” often referred to an intimate encounter, sometimes even sex. That is real intimate. God invites us to know Him intimately. You can know a lot ABOUT God without KNOWING God. God is not satisfied with us knowing about Him. He wants us to KNOW Him, as a real and relational Father.
Knowing is also often equated with seeing. If I have seen it, I believe it. Seeing it removes the need for faith. Because seeing it brings it into a reality where proof is no longer required. It is simply accepted as reality. So God is in affect saying that if we will be still, we will SEE God! If we can become quiet and wait with expectation, we will see God be God! Now, we won’t see Him physically, but we’ll see Him in such a fashion that we will know we have seen of His essence.
So let me give you a new translation of this verse. “Stop! Just stop, and watch me be God!” Even though this is my translation, it is surprisingly accurate. And all of a sudden I know that all the excuses I had for not taking the time to be quiet, are moot. Because to not be still, denies me the very chance to see God at work.
He wants me to stop my own way of solving problems, wait expectantly on Him, and watch Him be the God He has always said He is: Love, Provider, Creator! And everything else He says about Himself. And when I am still and see Him at work, the part I play in this world will be one fitted into His purpose, not my own.
I really struggle with this one, and maybe that is why it seems God is out to teach me this one. I have always had the practical side of getting something done, conflicting with my spiritual sense that there was more to this life of faith than what I was experiencing. And that conflict still shouts loudly in my mind.
But being still and knowing God is not about doing nothing. It is about watching God at work first so that I can work along with what He is doing. It opens the way to be a builder that builds the house God is building so that my work is not in vain.
For me, it is an incredible challenge to accept God’s invitation: “Be still and know that I am God.”