He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10 (NIV)
When I reflect on how I can know God better, the words of Psalm 46:10 come to mind: “Be still and know that I am God.” This is probably because I like to be busy and fill my life with activity, but also because where there is a problem or difficulty, I want to solve and fix it. To me this passage means I need to slow down, cease striving, stop trying to figure it out, and turn to Jesus; to completely know and trust that He is in control of whatever I’m praying about, thinking about or working frantically to make happen. He knows and cares about it, and is looking after it in His way and in His time. This means I need to “let go” and surrender the situation, circumstance or person as well as the outcome to Jesus. As you probably already know, this is easier to say than it is to do. We can even think we are surrendered to Him and still be holding onto our own ideas, desires and plans.
For the last 25 years, I’ve attended Bible studies and spent time studying God’s word, learning to embrace His truth and discovering how to use the word of God to battle the lies of the enemy in my life. This is a spiritual discipline that I know is important if I want to know Jesus more fully and become more like Him. He continually reminds me that He cannot develop the fruit of His Spirit in me unless I am spending time with Him and learning from Him and His word.
Another practice that I adopted 10 years ago is to regularly walk through the “rooms of my life” with Jesus, taking stock of my strengths and weaknesses, so He can show me the areas that need attention, growth and repentance. I recently went on such a tour and learned a valuable lesson about how different God’s ways are than mine; how even when I think I have the “mind of Christ” regarding a specific circumstance, I may be missing what He is really saying or doing. The condensed version of the story is that God showed me how He answered a prayer that I had been praying for one of my children. However, because it was not answered in the way I expected, I missed it! To be completely honest and transparent, I didn’t embrace this answer to prayer at all because it wasn’t what I wanted for my child or how I thought things should look. God and I were at cross-purposes, and I didn’t even know it! Seeing this broke my heart, because at the time I believed I was doing all the right things. As I cried out to God in sorrow and repentance, He showered me with His love, grace and forgiveness, reminding me that becoming like Jesus is a process, a journey with Him, and that I am His temple under construction (which He will carry on to completion – Philippians 1:6). There is no shortcut for spiritual transformation, it isn’t an accident and for some (like me) it doesn’t happen fast. It’s intentional and requires time spent with Him in His word, active listening, obedience, stillness so we can hear His voice, and a heart that seeks to know Him better.
One of the lessons I am learning is that a lack of peace, serenity and joy are warning signs. If I am anxious, restless, agitated or stressed, I’m probably still holding onto my thoughts, ways, desires or plans, and I have not surrendered completely and fully to Him. Tiffany Fletcher says it this way: “When our mind and spirit are still, our whole body is at peace. We are able to see things with a clear mind, feel things with a pure heart and hear the voice of our Heavenly Father with ears that are open and in tune with His Spirit.”
Prayer: Kind & gracious Father, thank you for your patience, faithfulness and transforming power. Give us hearts and minds that desire to know you better and a willingness to be still and listen so we can hear your voice and truly experience your peace, joy and love. Amen.
Listen to Be Still and Know by Steven Curtis Chapman, and as you do, reflect on the character of God—His goodness, faithfulness, holiness and love.
Contributed by Debbie Thul