Serving in the children's ministry at Mid-Way Baptist Church, I can attest that a commonly used phrase during Bible story time each week is "be still" — as in “don’t move”. The uncontainable joy of being a child is evident in the amount of energy and "wiggles" that seem to drip from their little bodies. Stand still? Sit still? Lie still? Nope. These are not common things we would use to describe the actions of any child. Most sway from foot to foot or wiggle in their chairs, or flip back and forth in their beds every few minutes. Acrobatics even seem to take place when brushing their teeth.
Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
So when God says, “Be still,” it's hard for kids to wrap their minds around this - and to be honest, it is for me as an adult too! The words may sound soothing and suggestive, but in Scripture they’re a gentle but firm reproof from the Lord saying, "Calm down, Amanda. That’s enough!”. The phrase "be still" uses a Hebrew term which can be translated as "relax," "let go," or "stop." It relates to an act of surrender. At the time these words were written, God was speaking very specifically to His battle-prone people, the Israelites. “Stop fighting”, He told them, “cease striving” and “desist”.
It’s clear that in our own daily battles, we’re to lay down our weapons and trust God for the victory, believing it will come in His perfect timing and according to His perfect will and plan. In the meantime, He tells us to rest in Him and “let go of your concerns!” - to stop trying to be in control of things that we are in no control of at all!
If you are anything like me, I understand in my head that I am not in control, yet I nod in agreement while I am holding on to my troubles with a white-knuckled grip like it's going to make a difference in the ultimate outcome. If I don’t worry over my kids' futures, who will? If I don’t stress about our monthly bills, who will? If I don’t dwell over life’s disappointments, big or small, who will?
He will. That’s what God wants us to understand. Only when we stop moving and striving can we recognize the truth about God: He is in control and He can be trusted.
No matter how scary our world gets — and it’s definitely getting scarier with each passing moment — God is still in His heaven, and His good and perfect will is certain to win.
When the verse continues, “know that I am God” — our Father is reminding us who He is and what He can do. The Creator of all things — including our very own minds and emotions — knows how to calm our hearts, ease our minds, and guide our lives in the right direction.
In the meantime, our assignment in this verse is simple — Be still. Wait Patiently. Trust in our Creator.
My soul, wait silently for God alone,
For my expectation is from Him.
PRAYER TIP #33 - Pray for your heart to be still when life is scary and chaotic.
Prayer Points - (Pray over these requests)
Lord, teach me how to be still in Your presence.
Lord, I trust You as the Giver of Life and understand that Your will is perfect.
Lord, help me to be still, to wait patiently and to trust in You for it all.
Suggested Prayer - (Pray these words in your heart or out loud):
Oh Lord, I come before You in the Name of Jesus and thank You for knowing my own heart better than I know it. Thank You for knowing my heart and my struggles, and for holding my hopes and fears in Your hands. Teach me to be still and to know that You are God. Teach me to wait for Your still, small voice and quiet the earthquakes and blazing fires in my mind, heart and life.
Teach my heart to stop trying and to know every detail of every situation in my life. Teach me to to have an intimate and deep, personal, first-hand understanding that You are God.
Help me to desire a quiet heart. Lord, please help me to no longer come to You with a spirit of "give me more", but instead calmly teach me to rest and press into You. Help me find quietness and happiness in my personal relationship with You. Help me rest in knowing that You have the details of my day, my week, and my life covered. I trust You, Jesus, and I believe that You are molding me into who You want me to be.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.