“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
This command, to be still, would appear on the surface to be very easy to obey. However, in many cases, being still does not necessarily come naturally, especially for those who are action-oriented or highly motivated. Most of us are innately inclined to be active. We do not usually associate being still as a particularly productive activity. However, God knows what is best for us and instructs us to be still. Sometimes the best thing we can do is to be still.
One reason we may need to be still is to get a more godly or biblical perspective. We need to become more “God conscious.” The psalmist was told to “Be still, and know that I am God.” It is in being still that we are able to get to know the Lord. It is common for us, even in our devoted service to God, to become so task-oriented that we neglect our personal fellowship with God. The work of the ministry can become a substitute for spiritual devotion. When that occurs, it is necessary that we be still. It is in our stillness that we get closer in touch with God and realize that He is the source of our wisdom, and that our victory is entirely dependent on Him. Being still promotes faith and worship.
Being still helps us avoid the snare of flesh-oriented service and also the pride that can develop in those who are not humbly dependent on the Lord. We need to remember that God has not called us simply to be active. The unsaved can be active. Social programs with no Gospel are active. We are to be actively involved in the Lord’s will, but activity alone is not the objective.
There must be times when we can put everything else on hold and simply be still. Even in our attempt to spend time alone with the Lord, we can find that responsibilities and opportunities are clamoring for our attention. Jesus was an example of the importance of protecting times of solitude. “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed” (Mark 1:35). There were times when Jesus saw the need of pulling the disciples aside that they might rest and be refreshed from the daily drain of “people ministry.” For those who are involved in serving the Lord, being still is not a luxury; it is a necessity, and the source of our strength and perspective.