Psalm 46:10a “Be still and know that I am God”.
Stillness seems to be the antithesis of our current lifestyle. So much of life is about being busy and doing more. In some ways it is odd since several decades ago people thought ours would be an age of leisure. They thought that as “modern” conveniences such as dishwashers and microwaves became more available people would spend less time on chores and be free to pursue leisure. We now laugh a little at this notion since we feel anything if not hurried all the time. Our lives are so full that we move from activity to activity hardly knowing what day it is or where we are. By the end of the day we are exhausted from having been up early and pushing until late in evening. We might have less time washing dishes or cooking food but that time is now full with a host of other activities.
This state of hurry is expected, if not encouraged by our society. We often see this as a sign of success in business, medicine or even ministry. If a doctor isn’t busy we might assume that they aren’t busy because they aren’t good. We might even wonder if they are lazy since they haven’t been drumming up more business.
The problem with excessive hurry in one’s life is that it can impede our ability to get to know God. The Bible tells us to “be still” and in our stillness to know God. When Elijah fled from Mt. Carmel after his showdown with the prophets of Baal he wanted to spend time in the presence of God. He was told to go to Mt. Horeb where he was to have an encounter with God. While he was on the mountain there was wind, an earthquake and fire. God was not in the wind, nor the earthquake or the fire. It was only in the gentle whisper that Elijah heard God’s voice and entered into his presence (1 Kings 19). He was still before the Lord and discovered both the voice and the presence of the Lord.
For us to hear the voice of the Lord and experience deeper times of his presence we need to have times of stillness in our lives so that we can grow deeper in our life with Christ. We must protect this time and see it as an essential part of our lives, not a luxury. We can think of stillness as times where we come before the Lord simply to sit in his presence with our only agenda to give him our loving attention. This is not a time of quick intercessions or speedy prayers. It is time to be still and simply get to know God, to wait on him and minister before him.
Often we feel like we aren't doing anything or achieving anything. While initially it might seem this way the deeper reality is that we are simply obeying the Lord’s command to be still and get to know him. We come to this time with simple trust that obeying him is time well spent and that this is fundamental to what it means to be human. Over time we will come to treasure our time with the Lord since getting to know him is wonderful and life giving. I encourage you to think about how you could carve out some stillness in your life so that you can get to know the Lord more fully.