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"Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen; I will be exalted in the earth.” Ps. 46:10
This is a very simple truth, yet it is so easy to forget. I know I need to be reminded of it constantly. Without much thought, we can get caught in the world’s current of rushing here and there without much time for thought and reflection on God. It is so hard to be quiet and inactive.
The act of sitting silently before God is a sign of respect and honour. We show that we value God when we are willing to make being quiet in His presence a priority. When we always have to be doing something - even good things - we show that our priorities are more important to us than God's.
Silence itself is often avoided at all costs. Even at home “relaxing,” we must have the TV on, the radio, the CD player, the Bluetooth, or...anything just as long as we don’t have silence. The things we listen to may be good, encouraging, and building. There is a time for that, but there is also a time to "be still and know that I am God."
If you think silence is easy, try it. Pick a time when you are alone. Turn everything off. As much as your environment allows, eliminate all sound. Then, sit in a comfortable chair and think about God. Don’t pray or speak out loud. Just sit, be still and meditate. Christian meditation is thinking about God, His ways and His world. It is considering every aspect of a situation. [This is the opposite of Eastern meditation, which wants you to have a blank mind.]. How long is it before your mind wanders? How long before you are bored? Ten minutes...five minutes...two minutes...thirty seconds???
Even our “quiet” times are often filled with activities such as prayer and Bible Reading. Of course, prayer and Bible Reading are vital to a successful, healthy Christian life. But so is a time of silent mediation. Silence is often what we neglect, and yet that is often when we can learn to know God. We develop a deeper sense of relationship as God makes His Truth alive to us in times of stillness.
As we make time daily to be silent before God, we will find our minds and spirits becoming more calm. It is so easy to get in a rush or a panic and be driven by circumstances and fears. When stillness becomes a habit, then when panic or anxiety raises its ugly head, we will be better able to handle it. We will not be swept away in negative emotions or circumstances but will be able to draw on the peace and strength of God.
If you have never especially practiced stillness before, now is an excellent time to start. Examine your schedule and make time - ideally daily but at least weekly. Start small with a few minutes and then work your way to a time that is good for you. Keep your mind centred on God. Consider Who He is and what He has done. Pick a Scripture verse and mentally do a "Devotional Reading" on it, as we taught in the Feed Yourself course. Learn to discipline your mind so that it doesn’t wander. If it does wander, bring it back as soon as you realize what has happened. It becomes easier with practice. Some will find it more challenging than others. But don’t give up. Your relationship with God is worth perseverance.
Out of this stillness and deeper knowledge of God, God will be exalted in your life. He will be honoured. Those around will begin to see Him and be drawn to Him.
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