I don’t know about you, but I am a person who can never seem to be still! I keep going and going and going! It’s already in my nature as a woman to be a multi-tasker…and add on to that my type-A tendencies? Yup, I pretty much never take a break…until my head hits the pillow at night! Even my husband will ask me to just sit down on the couch with him and hang out for a little while…Hang out? Seriously?
Ok, yea sure, I have a load to put in the washer…a load to put in the dryer (because the Lord knows if my 3 year old doesn’t have a dinosaur shirt to wear to school tomorrow…well let’s just say a battle I choose not to fight in the morning!) …dishes to wash and put away…toys to pick up….thoughts of dinner lurking in my mind…do I really have the time to sit down and hang out? Yes, I just might have some Martha tendencies…like in the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42)…but that’s a topic to discuss at another time!
When I think of my busy life, I can’t help but be reminded of the scripture in Psalm 46:10.
Be still, and know that I am God! Psalm 46:10 NLT
Throughout the years in growing in my relationship with God, I have heard a few interpretations of this verse…interpretations such as…
You have got to sit still and not be so busy so you can spend time with God and get to know Him better!
You need to stop talking so much and be quiet so that when you pray you can actually hear God…
Have you ever read Psalm 46:10 and felt this way too?
Well, just recently this scripture caught my attention…so much so that I began to play and replay in my mind the words…be still and know…be still and know…be still and know. And so the desire to dig deeper grew inside of me.
“Be still” is defined in the Webster’s dictionary as “motionless, stationary; quiet; calmness or silence.”
Not surprising… definitions I most certainly expected in defining “be still” and definitions that most certainly do not describe my life!
But check out this out!
The word translated “be still” actually comes from the Hebrew term raphah which means “to let go” or “to release” or “to be weak.”
“Be still” implies that an action takes place…that we must actually do something (let go, release)…which seems contrary to the Webster’s definition of being motionless or stationary.
One commentary states:
Be still – means properly to cast down; to let fall; to let hang down; then, to be relaxed, slackened, especially the hands: It is also employed in the sense of not making an effort; not putting forth exertion; and then would express the idea of leaving matters with God, or of being without anxiety about the issue. Barne’s Notes
I believe this seeming contradiction can be clarified by understanding that the first aspect of this scripture… “be still” …goes hand in hand with the latter aspect… “know that I am God.”
So what are we exactly letting go of? And why do we need to let go?
We must first “be still”…let go…release…surrender…control to God. And then we will know that He is God! It almost appears conditional, doesn’t it?
When we realize that we are truly incapable of controlling our life (as much as we may try!), we can surrender our will to God’s will. It just may be a matter of finally saying that we trust Him completely. This will then open the door so that we may experience the fullness of all God wants and has for us. Then we will know that He is God!
And so what exactly does it mean to know that He is God?
“Know” is defined as “to be aware of the truth or factuality of; be convinced or certain of; to understand.
Do you know God today? I mean really know God? Are you aware of the truth or factuality of… are you convinced or certain of… who God is? That He is God?
We can know God by having an intimate relationship with Him. That does not come from knowing about Him, but rather getting to personally know Him by what He says (in the Bible), recognizing the things He does in our lives, and by way of His Holy Spirit who comes to guide and comfort us.
And know that I am God – See, in what I have done, the evidence that I am God. See a work accomplished which none “but” God could effect. Barne’s Notes
Know that I am God – Understand that I am the Fountain of power, wisdom, justice, goodness, and truth. Clark’s Commentary
Now, LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, LORD, are the only God. Isaiah 37:20
When we can “be still” …and release control to God….we open the door to see who He is!
Control must be surrendered to unlock the doors for us to truly know God and to know who He is. It’s just like when we admit that we are weak, then we are strong because God’s power and strength is made apparent in our weakness.
…My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2Cor 12:9 NLT
By letting go…we will know! We will know how awesome and amazing God is and His name will ultimately be glorified and lifted high!
As important as it is to literally “be still” so that we can spend time with God, it is important to also understand that the context of Psalm 46:10 is greater and deeper.
My hope and prayer for you and for me is that we would “be still” and “know [He is] God!
1) Have you read Psalm 46:10 before? How have you interpreted it?
2) Does understanding that the Hebrew translation of “be still” means “to let go or to release”, help you to see that releasing control to God is important in knowing who He is?
3) What areas of your life do you need to surrender control over to God?
4) What exactly does it mean to know that He is God?
5) Do you really know God?
1) When we are able to “be still” …let go…release…surrender control to God, we will know that He is God.
2) Control must be surrendered to unlock the doors for us to truly know God and who is. It’s like when we admit that we are weak, that we are strong because God’s power and strength is made apparent in our weakness. (2Cor 12:9) Then we may experience the fullness of all God wants and has for us.
3) Pray and ask the Lord to show you areas of control that you need to surrender to Him. And then pray for the strength and willingness to let go. You will be amazed to see what God will do!