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"Be Still and Know"




“Be Still and Know”

Psalm 46

Mark 6:30-34

After church one Sunday morning, a young boy suddenly announced to his parents, "Mom & Dad, I've decided to become a minister when I grow up!"

"That's okay with us, but what made you decide that?"

"Well," said the little boy, "I have to go to church on Sunday anyway, and I figure it will be more fun to stand up and yell, than to sit still and listen."

It can be hard to sit still and listen, can’t it?

In my world, the saying is, “It’s Sunday, but Sunday’s coming!” The process... the schedule... the ebb and flow of life keeps on keeping on...

I try to make it into the Church office by 7:00-7:30 am, most mornings. It’s quiet. The phone isn’t ringing. The doorbell doesn’t ring. And that quietness, that stillness, gives me the chance to prepare for the day... Of course, maybe that’s what we need to be reminded today! Maybe you and I need to be reminded of the importance of stillness when it comes to our faith. We’re surrounded by noise - the TV... the Radio... News... everyone seems to be trying to talk over everyone else... the anxieties and stresses of this life. All of it... in it’s on way... is noise.

What we need is stillness before the Lord. God’s Word says as much:

“Be still and know that I am God...”

“Be still and know...”

“Be still...”

I certainly enjoy moments of stillness... times of quiet reflection. The peace & quiet is one reason I like to go camping! Or maybe it’s “glamping?” Anyway...

When you find a good camping spot... looking out over the lake... listening to the water lap at the shore, and the sounds of nature... it “restores your soul” a bit. Kayaking does it for me, too. Paddle up, north of the train trestle here in West Point, or just south of Downtown, and the hustle and bustle of life fades away... You seldom hear a voice unless it’s yours!

That’s why some of you like to go hunting... or fishing... or walking... or just sitting outside on the porch. There’s a peace and quiet in God’s natural cathedral that restores the soul.

Of course, you may be wondering “what’s the big deal?”

Well, the “big deal” is this: you and I cannot be the people God has called us to be without moments of stillness. And if you’re not making moments for stillness before the Lord, he’ll find a way to get that time.

We’re called by God’s Word to “be still and know.” Stillness is an essential part of our growing deeper in our relationship with Christ; especially if we hope to mature and grow as followers of Christ. Maturity in Christ requires solitude, stillness... quiet reflection in prayer and the Word of God.

And such “stillness” isn’t just about physical calmness or quietness - and stepping away from the “busy-ness” of life. It’s about the mind and spirit, too. Because, the truth is... sometimes we’re limited physically - we have to “be still” bodily because we can’t do much else. We can’t run or walk or get about as we once did, so keeping up with the Joneses (so to speak) isn’t much of a thing for us anymore.

But we often find ourselves wrestling with, and contending with anxiety, and stress. Maybe over our health... or our family. Maybe we grapple with grief and despair... fretting over the life we once lived... and all the things we can no longer do.

Maybe we struggle with “busy-ness” of mind. Maybe we watch too much of the CNN/FOX 24-hour news cycle... and we find ourselves so “worked-up” over the condition the world with its “wars and rumors of war” and the constant division and enmity of politics, that we’re never truly at peace... never truly “still” before the Lord... too worried... too anxious, to be still.

I know this: sometimes we do everything we can to avoid stillness and quite... because we KNOW that when we get still, when we get quiet... God speaks. And despite the fact that you and I are God’s Children - and we know his voice... there are, honestly, times when we don’t want to hear what God has to say. We’ve already made up our minds, and we don’t want God, or anyone else, offering an opinion or contrary view.

But IF you and I really (honestly, deliberately) want to grow in our faith... if we really want to benefit from quietness, from stillness, in this overstimulated world of ours... then we’ve got to be intentional about it. We need to make time for quiet.

We NEED to “be still and know.”

I wonder, how much our lives would change if we took this biblical admonition seriously? If you and I would deliberately, intentionally schedule a time out. If we’d “gear-down” our lives for a moment... to carve-out some much needed quiet time... a Sabbath... for prayer, for meditation on God’s Word... for some soul searching alongside no one save the Spirit of Christ.

How much of our agitation and irritable-ness and confusion and disorientation would simply begin to fade away... how insignificant petty differences would become... and how BIG would God become... how small would our troubles appear? Security, peace, and confidence would surely overcome our fear, and insecurity... and anxiety.

Was it not Jesus, who said to his disciples, after a time of busyness in ministry, to “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest”?

You know... the truth is... it can even be difficult to experience stillness, quiet in church. In fact, the current trend in most churches today is to “rock concert” you to death with lights and music and noise - in a effort to elicit some sort of emotional response... that mimics a spiritual high... a cloud-nine experience...

But I can’t find anywhere in the Scripture where Jesus did that. I can find, time and again, references to Jesus retreating to a quiet place to pray... and to seek God’s face...

And if it was good enough for Jesus to break away from the demands and frustrations of life, to a solitary, quiet place... then, my friends, it’s good enough for you, and me. It’s what we all, really need.

“Be still and know that I am God.”

“Be still and know...”

“Be still...”

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest”

If you and I aren’t making the time to “be still” - we’re not doing it right! Let’s follow Jesus. Let’s seek his face as we listen for the “still, small voice” that thunders through the noise of this life... if we get still enough to listen.

Amen...

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