Day 63: March 4, 2014

Today's Reading(s)

Psalm 46
1 God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble. 2 Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains topple into the depths of the seas, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with its turmoil. Selah 4 There is a river— its streams delight the city of God, the holy dwelling place of the Most High. 5 God is within her; she will not be toppled. God will help her when the morning dawns. 6 Nations rage, kingdoms topple; the earth melts when He lifts His voice. 7 The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah 8 Come, see the works of the Lord, who brings devastation on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease throughout the earth. He shatters bows and cuts spears to pieces; He burns up the chariots. 10 “Stop your fighting—and know that I am God, exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.” 11 Yahweh of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.



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Be Still and Know that I Am God
by Amy Keys, Member of Brentwood Baptist, The Church at Station Hill

Psalm 46 reminds us, among other things, of two important principles:

1. The power and trustworthiness of God. He is our place of refuge and help.

2. The importance of stopping our pursuits in order to recognize His character and essence!

The NASB reads, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” Cease striving can also be translated as “Let go, relax.” [1] Set aside your priorities, worries, checklists, and projects. Take a deep breath and focus, not on your own life and the things you’re trying to accomplish, but on God.

How can letting go and relaxing, or being still, help us focus on God and who He is? Think about what happens when we don’t let go and relax, when we don’t cease striving and take time to be still. We’re working, driving, talking, moving, running late, etc. and our focus naturally falls on ourselves and our tasks. It has to! If we’re not focused on what we’re doing, we won’t do a good job, or someone might even get hurt!

Therefore, it’s necessary to stop what we’re doing, to set it down and let it go, so that we can place our focus instead on God and Who He is.

Why is this hard? If your schedule is anything like mine, stopping and being still means, inevitably, that one of those 17 balls you’re desperately trying to keep up in the air is going to fall. It’s hard to hand all of those balls to God and trust Him with your life, your commitments, your expectations, and your responsibilities, even for just a few minutes. It’s much easier to just keep going, trusting yourself to get everything done.

Being still takes trust. When you say you don’t have time to stop and be still, you’re essentially telling God you don’t trust Him to be able to accomplish His purposes in you. You don’t trust that He knows what He’s talking about when He tells you to set it all down for a few minutes, stop focusing on your giant to-do list, and instead focus on the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God of the universe.

When your life is scheduled tightly, it can be scary to think about things like stopping and letting go. There may even be a control issue at stake. When you stop and give your day, your commitments, your stresses, to God, you are also giving Him control. Take the time each day to stop, set it all aside, give up control, and focus on God—your present help in trouble, your refuge and strength.


[1] Biblical footnote from Psalm 46, NASB Bible

Praxis

No matter how busy you are, take time each day to set your schedule aside, turn off the electronics, and sit before the God of the universe.

  • Acknowledge His sovereignty in your life.
  • Relinquish control over the items on your to-do list. Instead, give God control and ask Him to help you be responsible, in His strength, with your commitments.
  • Make a list of your commitments and responsibilities. Now, pray over that list. Which of these commitments have you taken on without the Lord’s leading? Which of them is He leading you to let go? Are there any commitments that you are afraid to let go? Why? Tell God about your fears and ask for His strength to trust in Him, not yourself.

About JourneyOn Today

For seven weeks, we'll take a break from our written devotionals and read through the Sermon on the Mount in short passages, allowing us to meditate on these truths for spiritual formation. We'll return to our regular written devotionals on September 8, 2014.