2016 · Encouragement · Psalms · Scripture

Being Still In The Lord – For Those Who Prefer Action

Folkert Gorter DSC_0631_1_900“God You can tell the waves ‘be still’
Tell the ocean roar to pass
Lord until it does
I’ll wait here…
And I will sing songs in the night
Praise in the storm – You’re God it in all
And I will stand – I’ll be still and know
Whatever may come, You’re God in it all” [*Source below.]

Stillness is not my natural habitat. I like to get things done. I prefer neat, timely answers and something that I can actually, physically do, to get to wherever I need to go. So the idea of being still before the Lord and waiting for His reply, healing, or deliverance is not a comfortable one for me. I am more like the prophet Jeremiah when he said, “My heart, my heart–I writhe in pain! My heart pounds within me! I cannot be still…” Jeremiah 4:19a

But Scripture clearly says: “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14 and in the sons of Korah’s words: “Be still and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10a

Stillness is a spiritual trait we are encouraged to pursue. Being still, means you are not controlling God, or your circumstances; you are stopping and allowing God to be in control. That will always bring the most perfect results, but it is oh, so very, very hard to do.

God won many battles for Isra’el. There were times when the people had to take up arms and fight with the Lord’s active backing, but there were other times when they had to wait on God to do all the work. Nothing has changed. Being still with your focus remaining resolutely on the Lord, continues to be one of the most powerful weapons in our spiritual arsenal.

“I wait quietly before God,
for my victory comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will never be shaken.” Psalm 62:1-2

David then emphasises again:

“Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honour come from God alone.
He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your heart to him,
for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:5-8

This is an important point that David is trying to get across.

David was a man of action too. He was an excellent planner and an outstanding warrior. He’d learnt to wait for deliverance in his own life, and knew that deliverance does indeed eventually come. The frustrating, annoying, pivotal piece of the puzzle, that often seemed to be malfunctioning, was the timing of the help. Deliverance can never turn up fast enough! That doesn’t just apply to David, but to us as well. However, until the Lord has worked in the background to accomplish the best possible outcome, wait, we will. It’s the only way.

We have to trust God. He knows what He’s doing.

800px-Harpist_hands_img_4990-bThis is a song that David wrote for pilgrims who would be visiting the new temple in Jerusalem, once Solomon had built it. Again, he is emphasising the need for letting God be in control: not people. It puts things into perspective. God sees every aspect of every trial we face, whereas we only see one side. Leaving the decision making to Him is a wise move.

“LORD, my heart is not proud;
my eyes are not haughty.
I don’t concern myself with matters too great
or too awesome for me to grasp.
Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself,
like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk.
Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.” Psalm 131:2-3

So if you feel that the Lord is telling you to be still, or if you need to be at peace in a long waiting period, here are practical suggestions on how to wait in stillness.

– Don’t retaliate verbally, or in kind, (whatever the offence was.)
– Don’t dive into any decision you don’t feel a peace about, especially if an answer is debt.
– Stop frequent panic praying. You’ll just stress yourself more, trying to force an answer.
– Go do something mindless, e.g. a household job. Sometimes answers come when you’re focussed on something else and not fretting.
– God will act in His time, not yours. Be prepared for a long wait. Things may need to click into place behind the scenes (spiritually, or in other’s lives,) and you can’t force or control that.
– Be prepared for a surprise, as often the answer God gives you doesn’t look like you thought it would; it will be better.
– Don’t try and bargain with God to get an answer. E.g. “If I donate to that cause, would you please?” Whether it’s money, devotion or work you’re willing to give, God is not a vending machine. You cannot put something in, then expect something out.
– Resort to praise when stressing out. Put on your worship music and sing, as David did.
– Don’t let anything convince you that a lack of an immediate answer means that God hasn’t heard you, isn’t acting on your behalf or doesn’t love you.
– In the meantime, list what you are grateful for and go do something small to bless someone else. It will take the focus off you.

Remember that it’s alright to get upset when waiting for an answer. The Word of God encourages us to show God our emotions, and you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t feel scared, hurt or worried. [Ref. Lamentations 2:19 and 1 Peter 5:7] It can be frustrating; David suffered the same way. Just let stress lead you back to dependence on God, not into taking matters into your own hands and blaming the Lord.

*Lyric source: “Songs in the Night” by Matt Redman, off his album, Unbroken Praise
Words and Music by Jason Ingram, Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman © 2015

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Not even a human warrior could care for Isra’el as the Lord did. This is a quick list of the battles the Lord won / engineered for Isra’el. Who else compares to this?

  • Crossing the Red Sea – Exodus 14
  • Victory over the Amalekites – Exodus 17:8-16
  • Promise to fight for the people – Exodus 23:27-31 and Deuteronomy 7:7-8
  • Jordan River dry crossing – Joshua 3:15-16
  • Fall of Jericho – Joshua 6:20-21
  • Ai – Joshua 8
  • Amonites – Joshua 10:11
  • North captured for Isra’el – Joshua 11:16-20, especially verse 23
  • South captured for Isra’el – Joshua 10:40-42
  • Deborah and Barak – Judges 4:14-15
  • Gideon – Judges 7
  • Samson – Judges 16, especially verse 30
  • Ark of the Covenant against the Philistines – 1 Samuel 7
  • Jonathan against the Philistines – 1 Samuel 14
  • David and Eleazar son of Dodai – 2 Samuel 23
  • David and Shammah son of Agee – 2 Samuel 23

Battles Won for Judah

  • God defeated the army of Jeroboam as Abijah and his army trusted God. 2 Chronicles 13
  • God saves King Jehoshaphat in battle – 2 Chronicles 18
  • Battle with Ammon, Moab, and some of the Meunites – 2 Chronicles 20
  • God helped Uzziah in his wars against the Philistines – 2 Chronicles 26
  • Rescue of Judah under the leadership of the righteous King Hezekiah – 2 Kings 19

 


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