Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God!” What goes through your mind when you read this? In a world where we are expected to produce, it’s hard to imagine sitting still. Stillness refers to idleness and idleness equates to laziness. We see from God’s Word that hard work and making wise use of the time allotted us is good. Look at Ephesians 5:15-17. The book of Proverbs is full of wisdom in how to live and we see that hard work is a part of God’s plan. Proverbs 12:24 says, “Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave.” Proverbs 10:4 says, “Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich.” Proverbs 14:23 says, “Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty.”
So, why does God want us to be still then? Is there something pertinent that He wants us to understand? Is there something that could cause us harm if we don’t? Perhaps, within all the beauty and splendor of what the world offers us, is it really a trap? But how can that be? Look at what man has accomplished, built and discovered! There is so much for us to see and experience. Look at all God gave us!
Let’s take a stroll back in time to the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve lived in a place of beauty. They didn’t have to toil and work. After they dined on an apple though, they were expelled from Eden. Sin altered God’s original design and it royally screwed it up for the rest of mankind! From that time until this very hour, we endure hardships and toil our way through life. And God who is gracious and merciful, continues to lead and guide us. He has never left man’s side. We deserve to be abandoned but His love is too great! God wants us to be still long enough so we learn to place Him first in our priorities. He wants us to get to know Him. He desires to be close to us.
This means that we need to make some changes. When we are left alone in this world to fend for ourselves, our priorities are dictated by our sight. You could say, we live horizontally. We become proficient at juggling God, marriage, family, interests, etc. We may look Christian on the outside but inside we are far from God.
Jesus speaks in Matthew 23:28 of this, “Outwardly you look like righteous people but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Jesus does not mince words. Sin has wrecked havoc on His creation. We need saving from ourselves and He came to fulfill that for us. He is our Savior. When we choose to believe in Him, the Holy Spirit enters into our hearts. We go from being dead in our sin to alive in Christ! See Romans 6:11.
While Jesus is our Savior, He also needs to be Lord. And this is where Psalm 46:10 comes into play as well many others verses throughout the Bible. When we become alive in Christ, our priorities need to shift from juggling life horizontally to standing up vertically where Jesus becomes first.
Placing Him first simply means that He is directing traffic. We allow Him to have the say in what kind of traffic flows in and out of our lives. He becomes Lord. In order for our flesh to give up it’s wish list of desires, we have to learn who God is and come to trust Him. Walking with God does not come naturally. Thus, God has given us the Bible, His instructional book on how to maneuver in this sinful world. It’s our duty to study it and learn from it and obey it. It’s also our privilege. We can choose to learn or not. God gives man free will to choose how he sees fit. There is a warning attached, man does not know when his time is up. Hopefully Kobe Bryant along with eight others one Sunday morning chose wisely.
Oh, how our wrecked hearts and silent souls dislike the expectations that God has placed upon us. He crosses the line with obedience and surrendering. But if we knew and understood what God truly is offering us! We would listen, gladly. We would surrender, joyfully. If we could see behind the curtains and watch what goes on in the spiritual realm, we would bow humbly.
“Be still and know that I am God!” We do know. We do understand. God makes Himself known. In the United States alone, no one can say that they didn’t know or realize. Everyone can get their hands on God’s Word. Misunderstanding comes from laziness. While man can achieve greatness from an education or a lucrative career, laziness from maturing the spiritual side of life will cause a great downfall. You may not see it while on earth but once you leave, it will be game over.
God created us to live eternally. He sent Christ down to be our Savior. He can’t make it any easier to follow Him. He did all the work up front and He does all the work to keep us on the right track. He will lead us home. Our job is to believe, trust and obey. He is worth getting to know! He becomes our hope which in turn keeps us moving forward. We shall live by faith and not by sight.