Be Still… Do You Trust Me?

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Be still. Two small words yet such a great command. These are words that God has spoken to me through three different people within this last week. Today, I faced a lot of spiritual attack because of it. There are things in my life I’m working on letting go and surrendering to the Lord, all while being still. While the attack part has to do with being prayed up and pushing against the enemy which is another article in itself, the command from God to be still is what I want to focus on. How do I be still? What does that look like practically? Well, I’m still figuring that out. I do know that it is a state of mind and an attitude of heart. I also know that it comes from spending intimate time with the Lord.  That being said, I went to God’s word to read Psalm 46 and study what God had to say about being still…

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.  Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.         Selah
Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.         Selah

The student in me could sit down and pick this apart for hours, but I’ll just share a few of the things I found. The first thing that I noticed when I read this chapter is that God’s command to be still comes after a description of violence and turbulence. There are roaring seas, the earthquakes, burning chariots, the earth melting and words like rage, totter, and desolations. Whether it is the world on its own or the Lord’s response, there is a lot of destruction happening. The only word God has for his people is to Be Still….and Know.  Translation: when the world is crashing down around you, be still and know who God is.

Who is God? He says he is our refuge. The Hebrew word for refuge is machseh which is to be a shelter from storm or danger. The word is also used in the Old Testament for hope and trust. Refuge literally means “a place of trust”. So God is our place of trust. Last October I was at a woman’s retreat with my church and when I was praying God gave me a picture (being a visual person and a movie lover, he likes to speak to me with nature scenes or with movie lines/scenes).  It was the scene from Disney’s Aladdin when Aladdin reaches out his hand to Jasmine and asks, “Do you trust me?”  During our worship time at Bible study last night, a friend said he got the same exact scene and words. God was speaking to me. Do I trust him? Do I trust the plans he has for me and that he has my best? Is he my refuge?

God is also our strength and our present help. Strength. When I’m lifting weights at the gym, it is the strength of my muscles under the weight that enables me to lift it up. God’s strength bears us up under our burdens. He lifts us up and he is our present help. God is just that, our present help…not our past help. He is waiting at all times to help us in our present, not just what he did in the past or what he will do in the future. He is in present just as much as he is in our future (Jeremiah 29:11).

So what would he have me do? He would have me know that he is God. I know that he is my place of trust, the strength for my burdens, and my present help. But the first part of that statement…Be still. I cannot know God until I am still.  The Hebrew words for “be still and know” are raphahyada which is literally translated “cease – striving and know”. Raphah means to cause to fall, to let go, to relax. I believe that God is speaking to the human nature that takes over when we start to feel burdened and overwhelmed which is fear, anxiety, worry, etc. Let those things down and relax. God is over his children for our safety. Another verse in scripture that uses the word raphah is Psalm 138:8 which ways,

” The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hand.”

No matter what season of life we are in, as children of God we can rest and know that God has our back! Relax and rest in God. Know who God is. If you don’t know who God is start with reading His word; the Psalms are a great place to start. If you know who God is but have forgotten, read his Word but also look at your life and see what God has done in it. Where do you see his grace and his mercy? His healing hand and compassion? His protection? His provision? His comfort? When did he defend you? When did he pursue you?  See how he loved/loves you. See the people he has put in your life. How did/do you respond to these things?

As someone who is constantly burdened by taking care of the people in my life, I don’t do a great job at resting and taking care of myself sometimes. But God says to be still. When I feel anxious, worried, fearful, doubtful, hurt, insecure, inferior, broken, weary, uncertain…I can rest, be still in my heart, and know that He is my place of trust. I can trust him. I can enter his throne room through prayer and be embraced by his Holy Spirit. I can breathe in his sweet aroma and feel at peace.

As I learn more of what this means for my life and how to do these things practically, I pray that you are encouraged to do the same…

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