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Be Still and Know

sharon
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth

In him we live and move and have our being, (Acts 17:28 NIV). 

Friend to Friend

I pressed the send button on my latest manuscript, What God Really Thinks about Women. For twelve months I had spent night and day with Jesus and the women he encountered while he walked the earth. I was going to miss them. Miss walking in their sandals. Miss breathing their air. Miss crying their tears. Miss carrying their water jugs. And while I wasn’t going to be in their lives and in their business every day, their imagined faces were etched in my mind and they had become part of me for eternity. But it was time to move on.

I grabbed a cup of coffee, snuggled up in my favorite overstuffed den chair, and opened my Bible in my lap. “OK, God,” I began, “that project is finished and tied securely with a bow. So what do you want me to do now?”

I wondered if I should get into a Bible study group, take a class at the local seminary, or finally write those magazine articles I had been putting off. Should I start a small group, volunteer at a charity, or start a new book project? I asked the question and waited.

God surprised me. Acts 17:28 came to my mind. I believed He put it there. In him we live and move and have our being. Learn what that means, He seemed to say.  Let’s just spend time together.  No agenda.  No goal. No deadlines. I want to rekindle the romance.  Will you let me?

His answer startled me.  I hadn’t even realized the fire had died down.  Wasn’t I working for Him?  Wasn’t I doing God’s will?  Wasn’t I busy about my Father’s business? And then I began to see what He meant. He began turning the lens of my mind’s camera and the fuzzy image grew clear. I wondered how I had missed it before.   In the middle of all my busyness for God, I had neglected my relationship with God.

I was made for goals, or so I thought.  Sitting still wasn’t in my nature, and perhaps that was what God was trying to tell me.  My “nature” or natural bent of work was standing in the way of worship.  My natural bent of activity for God was getting in the way of my communion with God.  My daily routine of sanctioned quiet times was getting in the way of divine romance in which He wanted me to engage.

Like the men caught on the stormy Sea of Galilee, I felt I had been reeling in the waves for years – never in danger of truly sinking – just reeling from one rolling wave of work and deadlines to the next.  But on this particular morning, I began to see the cast of characters in this Galilean scene in a different light. I was definitely in the scene, but I wasn’t in the boat at all.  I was the storm.

I love how Eugene Peterson describes Jesus’ words to the wind and the waves as his friend stirred him from his sleep to calm the squall: “’Quiet!  Settle down!’” The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass.”(Mark 4:39 The Message).

What does God really want from me? I’ve pondered that question since the day I first came to Christ. It was one of the two questions Saul asked when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus: “Who are you? What shall I do?” (Acts 22:8, 10).

I think I’ve made my relationship with Jesus far too difficult. I have spent so much time striving to get closer to the heart of God. And all the while God has been whispering to me, “Cease striving and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10 NASB). “It’s not that hard. Settle down. Be quiet.”

And that is what Jesus was telling me that frosty January morning. But I realized I didn’t really know how to be quiet and settle down. I had never mastered the idea of “be still and know.”  I knew that God was God.  It was the “be still” part that stumped me every time.  Now don’t get me wrong. I can be still for a few minutes, maybe even an hour if need be. But much longer than that and I’m undone. Restless spirit syndrome begins to shake my soul, and the urge to get up and get moving wrestles me from worship.

So on this January morning, as I share this with you, I’m asking…will you be still and know that He is God with me?  For a moment?

God had a lot to show me in the year that followed that frosty morning. I’ll be sharing what I learned from time to time as we go through 2012 together.

So Happy New Year! I look forward to linking arms and hearts in 2012.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Help me to learn what it means to live and move and have my being in You. Thank You for a New Year. I am excited to see what You have in store.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

How good are you at “be still and know that I am God?”

Have you ever felt God say those words to you?

Easy? Hard? What do you think stands in the way?

More from the Girlfriends

Are you ready to see yourself as God sees you this year? You are a chosen, dearly loved, child of God! Transformed! Totally new! To learn more about who you are, what you have, and where you are in Christ, see Sharon’s book, Becoming Spiritually Beautiful and put on your holy glow!

 

 

29 Responses

  1. Wanda Williams says:

    I have been awaken from a dead sleep recently with those words, Be Still and Know That I Am God. I have prayed and waited, but I like you have a hard time sitting idle. I am still awaiting what He wants me to hear.

  2. Alienhippy says:

    This is wonderful, thank you Sharon.
    Love and hugs. Lisa. xx :)

  3. Carole says:

    Thank you, Sharon, for the timely reminder to “be still”. I tend toward action & find it really hard to sit still. I find it harder to listen to God instead of talking to Him. I pray that He will enable me to sit at His feet & listen attentively to His calming voice this year.

  4. Anita says:

    Hi Sharon,

    Happy New Year :)

    Thank you for your devotion, sharing your journey with us. I love being still in God’s presence. Years ago, I wasn’t comfortable with silence (too many thoughts wirling around my head) I would have to have the T.V or radio on or even both. Then one night at a Christian retreat centre as I sat in my room in tears, praying in silence. I heard the stunning, amazing music of angels singing in my room. I will never forget that blessing! Everything changed for me in that moment

  5. Pat says:

    I need help with this and so many things. I am so glad that I learned of your website last year.

  6. linda says:

    good is not required in being still! Stopping,resting,and believe He is our Savior of our confessions. Being still and say He has forgiven us and claim He is also our healer in a blink of a eye He will change us. He is in our U-Turns and in the Night shift of our lives Is.prayer for me is to convey this to my friends or families that have not believed this in my faith.

  7. Eunice says:

    I am not very good at being still. And sometimes I like to meddle with what God is doing instead of watching and enjoying God’s presence or letting him work in my life. I guess it’s something we learn to do as adults, take action or control of our own lives and that’s good but, not when we know God is trying to work in our lives and we don’t allow him because we have such a tight grip on what we would like to be in our own reality.

    Many times and more recently God has been telling me He needs me to be still and remember that, He, is God. That no one can perform the miracles, deeds that He does. Give peace when calming the storm like He does… Like you Sharon in my prayer life I realize that I am the storm God is working through me on that one too. :o)
    I have stood in my own way for far too long. Keep me in prayer as I allow God to clean up the messes I have made in my life and I step back and let God be Lord of my life.

  8. Joan says:

    Just this morning I asked God what His focus was for me in the coming year. Guess what He said?! “My Presence” Then to read God is drawing you to the same thing…
    I look forward to where this adventure will go, knowing there are others on the same path. Just to know that someone else is learning to be and is learning to live in His presence and with His presence rather than dwell in the familiar shadow of the presence of sin is encouraging. It will give strength when the way is not so clear or easy.

  9. Wilma says:

    Sharon, Psalm 46:10 has been popping in my mind over and over as I have been thinking about 2012… Only when I hear it, I am hearing, “Be still. And know. That I. Am God.” Four short, incomplete sentences.

    I am also not very good at being still… I grew up in the church but was away from God for 20 years. Since “He took me back” 2-1/2 years ago, I have been doing Bible studies – one right after another, trying to keep my head in the Word. Yes, I have learned so much and grown so much.

    I couldn’t come up with a resolution for 2012, where it was so easy for 2011 and 2010. My resolutions have been promises to God that I would do specific things for Him each of those two years. But every time I think about 2012, I hear that verse being read as those four short sentences. Your devotion was very enlightening… Thank you!

  10. Tamie says:

    Today I was invited by a dear friend to join your Bible Study. I thank God for my friend and for this wonderful opportunity. Your words are very inspirational and I look forward to studying His Word each day with all of you. Thank you for letting me be a part of this wonderful experience.

  11. Gina Hunter says:

    I haven’t been listening as I should. In the past 48 hours my heart
    Has been broken and tears shed for several different reasons.. Yet
    Those words I have ignored.. Thank You.. for reminding me..

  12. shongam says:

    thank you sharon..bless you!

  13. Kristy says:

    I can so relate to you. I just finished nursing school this past May. It has occupied much of my time and life. It was a HUGE sacrifice, but one I willingly made because I knew this was going to be a ministry for me. Now that I am done and am working, I find myself saying…well, where now am I to go God? What should I do now? This devotion has struck a cord with me! Stand still…and KNOW that I am God. I truly beleive that God wants me to reconnect with him first, and family and friends second. That in itself is also a ministry. Having time to be there for your family and friends…I believe that is what I am going to spend this year doing! I am so thankful that God has led me to this site! :)

  14. Kim says:

    Sharon, what an encouraging and timely word! Sometimes it’s good for us to simply be still and rest in the comforting arms of our Lord. Thanks for sharing such a powerful word!

  15. It is difficult to live in the present, ridiculous to live in the future, and impossible to live in the past. Nothing is as far away as one minute ago.-Jim Bishop

  16. Sharon,
    Your devotions are such a blessing to me. I searched and just found your site. I’m not very good with computers and all this new technology. So I know it was Gods will I find your site today. I can honestly say that Girlfiends in God has been such a blessing to me and helps me grow spiritually. I do miss your emails. Your emails suddenly stopped coming, please put me back on your email list. And yes you are so right, sometimes we get so busy trying to serve and meet our goals with our on going projects, that we fail to be still and listen to what God has to say to us. Please pray for me, my family and the work I want to do for Gods glory and honor. Love you all!!
    God bless,
    Marilou

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