“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” - Psalm 46:10
If God says He’s going to do it, He’ll do it.
I spent some time going through the Bible a few years ago and started to make a list of every time God said, “I will” in the Bible. There were more than 2,000 different variations of God making a promise in just the English Standard Version alone.
I’ve read the Psalms forward and backward in the last ten years, so this passage wasn’t a surprise to me. It’s meaning, however, was recently impressed a little differently on my heart.
The Hebrew word for “still” in this context is har-pu, which means to cease striving. Webster defines “striving” as devoting serious effort or energy. I’m really good at striving. If striving were a sport I’d have won the Olympic gold a couple of times by now. To cease striving is something I’m learning to do the way a teenager learns to drive a stick shift.
The word “know” in Hebrew is yada, which is to acknowledge. Cease striving and acknowledge God. I’m good at acknowledging God if we’re talking about a high five while striving to my next task. That’s not what Psalm 46:10 is talking about though.
Who is God? Who does He say we are? If we don’t know his character and trust Him, then we’ll never be okay being still and resting in His presence.
The beginning of Psalm 46 says that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Not just a present help, but a very present help in trouble. I praise God for that. I rejoice that when we live and walk in the light, He is our very present help. He fights our battle for us if we’ll let Him (Exodus 14:14).
There’s a common misconception that being a Christian means being something of a wimp. This is usually because in the midst of persecution the biblical Christian wont fight back. Emphasis on biblical Christian. (The martyrs of the first century come to mind.) As Jesus took his beating and the cross without resisting, a Christian following in His steps will do the same. It looked like Jesus lost, but at the resurrection the truth came to light. Jesus won - big time.
I’m learning how to be more obedient being still and silent because God is a much better and craftier fighter than I am.
When you feel powerless, when you begin to think that the battle you’re up against is far too big for you to fight… stop. Remember the Lord is God, Creator of heaven and earth. He’s very creative. If He can create the world in seven days, He can create a solution to your predicament. If He can split the red sea for millions to pass through, He can move a few hearts and minds in your life.
When you’re persecuted to the point of feeling crushed and you don’t know how you’re going to make it… stop. Look to the Word. If you’re crushed for Christ, persecuted for His sake, He will fight on your behalf if you ask Him and let Him. You ask Him to let the truth come to light, to vindicate you and deliver you and He will. Give Him time to move in the way He has planned so it can work to its full effect.
Don’t jump the gun. Wait on the Lord. Be still, and wait on the Lord (Psalm 37:7). Breathe in. Now breathe out. Repeat the cycle, and between breaths acknowledge God and His power, love and zeal for you. You are his daughter. As His daughter you can run to Him when persecuted and He will tuck you into His lap and simply say “leave it to me.” You can rest there knowing your Daddy is going to take care of it and you’re safe right there, silent and still, in His arms.
This week I’ve been tempted to crumble, to fight, to rage and to demand. Beneath it all God has whispered, My daughter, be still. Trust me. Leave it to me. When I remember who God is, when I remember the works He has done in the Bible, and in my own life, I can take a deep breath and stand still. I can stop and say, “May your Word prove true.” Then spend time on my knees, in silence, in prayer, fighting the battle God has called me to fight in stillness - appealing to Him to fight for me, reminding myself who I am in Christ, and resisting the urge to strive on my own behalf.
This week may you remember who God is. Remember all that He has done in His word and in your life. When faced with a battle too big for you to face, humble yourself before Him, draw near to Him, and let go. Be still, and know that He is God.