“Be still and know that I am God.”
Our God is a consistent God, our God doesn’t change like shifting shadows. I love that the God who breathes stars and holds us in the palm of His hand is the same God that sent Jesus, who wrote His mission to be carried out in a way that breaks cultural barriers. The thing that strikes me about the prospect of stillness in acknowledging who God is, is that it’s not our first inclination as humans.
Yesterday, we remembered the horrifying event that is forever stamped on the date 9/11. During that time 12 years ago, and throughout the weeks following, the churches were brimming with people looking for security. Were we still? Our human reaction in the midst of desperate times is to create for ourselves false security by whatever means necessary. We’ll go to money, houses, relationships. We’ll even go to church. But none of it’s secure. No, we gain this Hunger Games mentality whenever we are faced with the chaos of a fallen world. But the fact is, God is God. He is sovereign. He is all powerful. And believe it or not, He is still the one on control.
And when we are faced with the painful reality of earth and it’s horrors, His encouragement to us is not “make a way for yourself to be safe. Hoard, prepare, ensure.” No. The God of the universe tells us, “shh. Acknowledge who I am. Remind yourself who is spinning the world that you are so wrapped up in. Remind yourself that no matter how much chaos you contribute, this world won’t spin out of control but by my hand.”
Some of you might say it’s a bit bold to talk about the sovereignty of God with 9/11 still fresh in our minds. It’s bold at all times, because our limp faith muscles often refuse to accept a sovereign God when we look at our lives and all the places He didn’t seem to show up. But let me ask you, from which perspective are we sitting? Where are we that we would have the audacity to assume that we know better than the All-Knowing? The questions we should be asking often point more at our own hearts than at the character of God.
God asks those who follow Him to counter what this world tells us to do. When the world tells us, “give in,” He tells us, “resist the Devil and he will flee you.” When the world tells us to build up false security, the One who blew on dust to create a human being in all it’s complexity said to be still. He holds the authority. As I was thinking through these things, I asked myself why we shy away from being still. If we are supposed to be still, why isn’t it attractive? I think that A. W. Tozer put it well when he wrote, “religion has accepted the monstrous heresy that noise, size, activity and bluster make a man dear to God.”
What a statement as we look at the American Church and see often, a blind group of people who are caught up in believing this lie. They are leaning so much on works. Our often discipleship consists of training new believers with fresh fire how to run the welcome center, or work in the nursery. But heaven-forbid we admonish, encourage, or teach them in a direction of Holy fear of the Lord. How much more harmful to our narrow minded Kingdom would it be to teach them how to make MORE of us. The things that could come of that! The people they bring in might have baggage…pasts…they might ask hard questions or ask us to be transparent. How much more inward focused can we get? I will follow that up by saying I know that there are few left that are Kingdom focused, and I encourage those. The road is narrow. Few will find it. Most will believe they’ve found it. This is a petrifying thought. We have whole congregations of people thinking they’ve found Jesus and thinking that they’re Heaven bound. We have hoards of highschool and college age kids leaving because they thought this was going to be about Jesus, and it turns out that it’s about us. It turns out that we are wrapped up in expanding our bubble of Christianity as the American church knows it and not about expanding an actual Kingdom. We are wrapped around the worlds finger often without knowing it at all.
Little do we humans know that the works we do, the programs we start, the business of our lives driven by being good people carries absolutely no weight in light of what Christ did for us. We have no love. We have no desire to obey a simple command such as, “be still and know that I am God.” Why is that? Because if we give God room to be heard, we are perpetually without excuse. Our perception of the Lord is so much more comfortable than the One True God.
My prayer in all these thoughts is that I will listen. That I will not be blinded by the god of this age. That I will disregard my human desires for noise, so that I may recognize the voice that’s real. The voice of Truth. I pray also that the people in my life and beyond will not be deceived but that we would put the Glory of God above everything else. He is the one to be worshiped.
I love you all.