There are multiple examples in Scripture of God’s people being told to “be still.” In most cases, this command came during a time where it seemed like those same people should be doing something, anything, to resolve their situation. It’s easy to look at the Biblical mandates to be still and decide that those mandates only applied to those people in those days.
However, that’s simply not the case. God wants His people today (that’s us) to be still. His desire for us to be still is only intensified when we’re facing times of trouble and sorrow. Unfortunately, being still doesn’t come naturally.
In addition to our own desire to resolve our own situations, we also live in a culture that teaches us that we should always be busy doing something. If you’ve ever sat down and taken a look at your weekly schedule, you’re probably aware that it doesn’t look like you have time to be still. Between work, family, friends, and any other number of responsibilities, it may seem impossible to truly embrace the kind of stillness that God wants for His people. Do you have time to be still? You don’t have time not to!
There are some practical steps that you can take to be still with God during the chaos of life. Discover them here.
Get in Union with God
John 15:4 (TPT)
So you must remain in life-union with me, for I remain in life-union with you. For as a branch severed from the vine will not bear fruit, so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to mine.
For years, Nike has told their customers to “Just Do It.” When it comes to being still with God, the first step is to simply do it. In this passage from Saint John’s Gospel, Jesus discussed the relation between Him and His people. He compared them to a branch and a vine. He explained how He is the vine, and we are His branches. Branches don’t work to be in union with the vine. Instead, that is simply the state in which they exist.
In order to truly be still with God, you must begin by committing yourself to His care. There isn’t anything for you to do. Embrace your role as a branch and thank Him for His work as the vine. When you start there, being still comes naturally. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that you don’t have time to be still. Just do it!
Psalm 46:10 (TPT)
Surrender your anxiety. Be still and realize that I am God. I am God above all the nations, and I am exalted throughout the whole earth.
Being still isn’t about a lack of physical movement. Instead, it speaks to a mental, emotional, and spiritual act in which you allow yourself to focus more on God than on the things going on around you. This Psalm was written during a particularly difficult time in Israel’s history and was penned by one of the sons of Korah. In this Psalm, God spoke directly to the author, telling him to “be still and realize that I am God.”
God wasn’t telling the author to stop physically moving. Undoubtedly, there were things to do. However, God wanted His child to live in a place of spiritual stillness. The second way to be still with God is to let go of the things that are causing you to experience anxiety.
It’s not a natural move for most of us. When we’re facing trouble, we like to figure out how to escape it. However, when we’re still, we allow God to handle the problems that are too big for us.
Spend Time in His Word
Proverbs 30:5 (ESV)
Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
James Merritt once said, “The primary purpose of reading the Bible isn’t to know the Bible but to know God.” When you make sure that you’re taking time every day to read the Bible, you’re putting yourself in a position to better know the God of the Bible. The Bible is the only book in existence where when you read it, the Author comes and sits down beside you. No, not in a physical form, but in the spiritual realm, God is with you when you read His Word.
Communication is the cornerstone to any healthy relationship. When you read the Bible, you allow the God of the Bible to communicate directly to you. Solomon, the man who penned the 30th Proverb said that every word of God proves true, and that He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Being still is a form of taking refuge. When you find your refuge in Him and His Word, you can find the comfort that you need.
Communication is a Two-Way Street
Philippians 4:6-7 (TPT)
Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will guard your heart and mind through Jesus Christ.
If reading the Bible is God’s way of speaking to you, prayer is your way of speaking back. In his letter to the Philippian Church, Paul says that prayer is an effective way of combatting the madness of our daily lives.
Look at the verbiage that Paul used. “Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing.” Do you feel like you’re often being pulled in 100 different directions? If so, you’re not being still. However, praying every day, giving God praise, and offering “faith-filled requests” to Him is an effective way of dealing with it.
If prayer isn’t a part of your daily routine, make it one! Soon, you will feel the impact of being still.
The Stillness of Worship
Psalm 71:8 (TPT)
I’m overflowing with your praise for all you’ve done, and your splendor thrills me all day long.
Finally, it’s important to understand how worship provides us with an opportunity to be still. Depending on the type of church that you attend, worship may look different. In some churches, worship is a subdued moment of self-reflection. Other congregations take part in charismatic worship, filled with dancing, jumping, and other outward expressions. Please understand, none of these are wrong. Worship does not have to look the same from one body to the next, or even from one believer to the next. The important part about worship is simply that you do it.
Worship shifts our focus from the things going on around us to the God who we belong to. When you worship, you can truly be still. It’s equally important to understand that worship isn’t about where you are. Yes, worship with other believers at church is important. However, worship should be a part of your daily routine.
Worshipping God every day allows you to be still, refocus, and rest in His goodness. No matter what’s going on around you, you can be still in the goodness of God. He has never failed you, He has never left you, and He won’t start now.
A Closing Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I am amazed that You want daily time with me. Help me to find opportunities to be still. I know that my schedule is crowded, and I know You are aware, too. However, I don’t have time to not be still every day. I need refreshed, renewed, and rejuvenated. I can only achieve those things by being still. Help Your Word to come alive to me when I read it. Help me to be a daily worshiper. In Christ’s name, Amen.