Waiting is not my cup of tea. Neither is being still. In fact, I’m pretty good with being busy and getting things done. Now, THAT’s what I’m talking about. Give me 10 things to do, and I’m right in my comfort zone. Deadlines? Exciting. No sleep? It’s alright. Busy busy! Izzy. Dizzy. Frizzy.
I used to feel pretty bad about my “help in everything ever always forever” tendencies. Nevertheless, God has shown me that being still and waiting on Him have little to do with our personalities, and more to do with, well…obedience. I also found out that being still and waiting on the Lord have a very different meaning in the Bible as I had commonly learned it. Let’s see!
Asking me to be completely still is like asking me to draw a human hand that does not look like an abnormal alien body part.
It’s just not gonna happen. At least not naturally to me.
Nevertheless, In Psalms 46:10, our Lord says: “Be STILL and know that I am God.”
No Nathalia. It doesn’t say “spend every waking minute doing lots of stuff and know that I am God.” It also does not say “worry, thrive and know that I am God.” It says: Be. Still.
Now, before you go celebrate and spend the next 24 hours in your bed, eating a gallon of ice cream and watching chick flicks for the sake of “obedience to being still”, know that God is not referring to being inactive. We know this because in the Word, life is described as a battle, as a race.
We all know what happens when you go grab a bite during a Halo match, leaving your character idle. You’re dead. Killed 78827533 times. All for just “standing there.”
In 2 Timothy 4:7, Paul says: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.”
How can you be “still” while fighting, or running? What does God mean when He commands us to be still?
Psalms 46:10 has two parts: “(1) be still and (2) KNOW I am God”. Whatever being still means biblically, it involves engaging our minds and hearts with our Father. It involves HIM. He is in the equation.
This reminds me of restaurants and waiters. Think of the last time you went out to eat. Do you remember your waiter or server’s name? What did he/she look like? What was the color of his or her eyes? Hair?
The truth is, we often don’t take time to note those kind of details. We look to the people that surround us, impatiently thinking about the food that’s to come, remembering what we ordered last time, all the while looking at our phones for the latest update. We can be so focused on things that we don’t recognize the very person that is serving us. Does that sound familiar?
We often run through life in the same way. We focus on the people around us, worry about our future, feel nostalgic about our past, or get distracted with the incredible amount of technology and entertainment that’s right in our fingertips. In the midst of all of these distractions, we often forget the One who blessed us with them in the first place, the One who sustains our very existence daily, the One who gave it all just so we could be free.
Being still means looking up. It means making time to search for His presence, dwell on His love, hear His voice, see His works. For me, it means thinking, pondering and meditating on my Creator, Savior, Father, King and Lord. It means knowing that He is God, therefore recognizing and accepting His authority and lordship in my life. Not just parts of it, but all of it. It means digging in His precious Word and getting refreshed, nourished and directed by His still, tender voice. It means being intentional in separating – and guarding – time daily, exclusively and solely for Him. It’s our time.
If I know and trust on His attributes — He is all good, all knowing, all powerful, all loving, Sovereign and Just (to name a few) — I can find a new type of rest. I am able to let go of my circumstances. I can find a sweet peace that only comes by understanding His grace and passionate, unfailing love for me. If I have accepted His sacrifice and have made Him my God (not my hobby, not my sidekick, not my Santa Claus), I am guaranteed His tender loving care, favor, protection and purpose in my life.
I can finally quiet my thoughts in the assurance of His care. I can be still, indeed.
Meditate on this:
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4
Most of us hold fast to some promises that we long to see in our lives. It could be provision (a job, children, spouse, living space), protection (removal of a dangerous or harmful situation), clarity, direction…you name it.
But life almost never goes as planned. Disappointments come. Things happen that we don’t understand. What He has spoken seems dim and far away from our realities. We just don’t see it.
And yet, instead of telling us to look for the immediate meaning of our problems, worrying about them and working to fix or arrange a better outcome, God tells us to do something very peculiar:
“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” – Psalms 27:14
“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him” – Psalms 37:7-9
If you notice something, the Word does not say to simply wait or rest.
It emphasizes the following:
- Wait on the LORD
- Rest in the LORD
- Wait patiently for Him
Once again, He HAS to be in the equation. God wants to take full responsibility. And He wants all the glory (remember that’s why we were created! To bring Him glory).
When we try to control our circumstances and do things by our own strengths, we are placing these promises above God Himself. Be careful not to do that. Lay down these “delays” in prayer, let them go, give them out to the One that can be trusted. He has all power to bring them to pass. There is no small thing for Him. Let go. Be still. Know that He will take care of your life. But He can’t if you’re holding to it tightly.
“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.” Mark 8:35
I read an amazing teaching by Charles Stanley on the reasons for God’s delays, waiting on Him, and why He calls us to simply be still and let go. Here’s a review on some of the main points. Navigate through these tabs and meditate on each and every one of them. I’m sure they will give you a broader understanding and encouragement just as God used it to speak to me:
- Arranging circumstances that need to be there in order for His perfect will to be completed
- Purifying our motives and searching our hearts. Do we have the right intentions and motivations?
- Teaching us to rely on Him alone.
- Protecting us from unseen danger.
- Preparing us to impact others. As a friend once said to me: “Your mess is your message.“
- Click on next tab: “Why God lets us wait”
- Sometimes we are not ready for the next step, so He wants to prepare us.
- Perhaps all the details of God’s will are not yet in place.
- His delays are designed to increase our faith in ways that no other circumstance can.
- He wants to teach us endurance. Will we stand strong, or will we give in?
- Perhaps our attention needs to be refocused on Christ. He should be – after all – the center of our attention.
- Click on next tab: “The spiritual blessings of waiting”
- As we approach God with abandonment and complete surrender, we discover God’s will and purpose in the things that most concern us. We receive clear instructions. When we finally tune our ears to listen to His voice – with no distractions – clarity, beautiful clarity, can be seen in the midst of the fog.
- We receive supernatural strength. He makes us stronger, fuller. He fills us with meaning, conviction, security and boldness.
- We win battles because He is on our side.
- We see the fulfillment of our faith (Isa 49:23 ” Those who trust in me will never be put to shame.”)
- We are able to see the Father working on our behalf. And this is perhaps my favorite point of all. When we step back, become still and wait upon Him, we have front row vision of how His supernatural power moves the mountains and boulders of our lives. We can see His resurrection power on promises and revelations that seemed dead or far away. We are able to watch Him work in our place. What a privilege!
Did you go through all the tabs? I hope you did!
I pray you would be filled with Him today, become more intentional with your personal, intimate time with Him alone and understand the beauty of walking side by side with your Creator. Get ready – as you do so- to be blessed, filled with His love and glorious power to face every day with boldness and confidence.