“Be still and know I am God” Psalm 46:10
Recently I have been reflecting over this verse and what it means to me.
I find it hard to be still. At my home church on of the ladies used to call me Tigger because I was always bouncing around, bursting with energy. In my head stillness has been viewed as stagnant, boring even. I like adventure, I adore exploring, discovering new things. I am a busy person, my google calendar is filled to the brim, I am constantly doing something or meeting up with people – and I love that lifestyle. I know not everyone is like this, and it is a lot of people’s idea of a nightmare but I get my energy from this. Hence this verse “Be still and know I am God” really struck me. What does it mean to me?
The Hebrew word for still is rapa, meaning “to slacken, let down or cease”. For me this instantly brings up warning bells, to slacken?! But my life is in order, I can keep going, I’ve got this under control, I don’t need to pause! But oh I have learnt that I do. It is so important to stop and be still. Inviting God into your life, doing it with him, not alone. “Being still” is often interpreted, or I have often interpreted it as being quiet in God’s presence and this definitely comes into it, but it is also about stopping the franticness of life and resting in God. More practically, turning to God for help and guidance, him being our first port of call, not just a thing on Sunday’s. Us taking time out intentionally to spend time with him, regularly. I have come to associate stillness with peacefulness, regardless of what is going on in my life God is constant, my rock, firm foundation, solid ground. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. But we have to constantly turn to him and as a consequence I believe that we begin to live life to the full.
The second part of this verse is “and know I am God”. For me, this is not about head knowledge of God. Yes, he is all that he says he is, but it is something different. It is about knowing it in my heart. Resting in his goodness, his truths and his promises regardless if my life is turbulent or going quite well. It is about having an overwhelming sense of peace, knowing I am loved by an almighty creator and as a consequence I trust him and surrender to his plan. From this knowledge of our identity, we can step out into all that God has prepared for us – and it is definitely the best adventure there is.
I have often struggled to spend time with God daily, and it is definitely a work in progress, but it is so important so here are a few tips:
Spend time with God when you first wake up.
Technology is great, but it is also a bit rubbish sometimes. Every morning I roll over and turn off my alarm on my phone and often go straight on it, scrolling through social media, but now I have the bible app give me a notification 5 mins before my alarm goes off so I read the bible before I do anything else. Even if it is just reading my verse for the day, I think it is a great habit to get into. Those verse speak life and often they are exactly what you need to hear to equip you for the day.
I love walking (and I live relatively far away from most of my friends in Sheffield). So I try to spend time with God on those walks, being intentional with that half an hour. When I cycled to sixth form I would do it then or when I was commuting to Leeds I would listen to my worship music or a podcast on the train. However it works for you, use your commuting time be that to school, uni, work, the coffee shop, spend time with God in that.
Pray out loud.
I have recently been challenged to pray out loud. This has been a really useful tool for me, it helps me not get distracted and when I am struggling where to start I can just start by vocally proclaiming thanks for all God has done in my life.
Write it down.
I have also been challenged to write my thoughts/ prayers down (incidentally this is how this blog post came around!). It is a great tool to be able to reflect, focus and for me to be still and know that he is God.
Whatever works for you, do it. Set time aside, reflect over this verse, spend time with God regularly.
Life with God is life to the full, the greatest adventure there is.