Be Still… In Stillness is Strength

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

The most common travesty committed toward Psalm 46:10 is that only a portion of it is quoted.  A portion of this verse is seen on coffee mugs, in artwork paintings, on fridge magnets, and other trinkets. Because only a part of the verse is what is often seen most don’t know how to “Be still, and know that I am God.”

The greatest justice we can provide for this verse is to actually quote it in its entirety. What an incredible comfort and reminder to know that we can be still and know that God is in control. Stillness indicates lack of movement but it does not indicate inactivity. We are able to be still as we wait on God’s plan to unfold. We do not have to try and manufacture the work that God is trying to bring forth. Christians who receive God’s rest are the most active people I know which is best illustrated in a story of a lumberjack competition.

There was a story of one man who challenged another to an all-day wood chopping contest. The challenger worked very hard, stopping only for a brief lunch break. The other man had a leisurely lunch and took several breaks during the day. At the end of the day, the challenger was surprised and annoyed to find that the other fellow who took breaks constantly had chopped substantially more wood than he had. “I don’t get it,” he said. “Every time I checked, you were taking a rest, yet you chopped more wood than I did.”

“But you didn’t notice,” said the winning woodsman, “that I was sharpening my ax when I sat down to rest.”[1]  The sword of the Spirit, your spiritual ax is sharpened as you rest and receive from the Word of God, Jesus Christ.

When we are still and surrendered to God, we find peace even when the earth gives way and the mountains fall (Psalm 46:2), or the nations go into an uproar and kingdoms fall (verse 6). Be still and know that He is God and your axe or your Sword of The Spirit will be sharp to take down those troubling things that come against you as you speak out verses like our verse today in Psalm 46.

The words “Be still” is raphah which means relax.Relax and know that your God is with you. He is our refuge, our strength, and our ever-present help in time of need. Crazy stuff happens in the world and in our lives, but through it all, watch God work. When trouble comes you have an ever-present help in your time of need. Find shelter, take refuge in the shadow of His wings.

How does acknowledging God impact our stillness?

Acknowledging God implies that we can trust Him and surrender to His plan because we understand who He is. His plan for you and me is so much better than anything we could devise on our own. Stillness significance trust. We can look to other things to help us and God can use people to help us in our time of need, but ultimately, I have been at peace and find rest and can relax even in intense moments is when I remember that God is my refuge and strength, an ever-present help in my trouble.

It isn’t into we relax in His presence and we receive His peace that we become at peace. Allow God’s universal triumph to take hold of you and change the outlook of your very life. God’s desire is for rest and refreshment of our soul. What we need is spiritual rest from God’s Word which will lead us to physical rest. How well are you going to sleep at night if you are not relaxed and your spirit is troubled?

Many people in our world today are exhausted, fatigued, and frustrated. Those emotions would describe Peter who had labored all night and caught nothing in his fishing net. What turned it around was the words of Jesus. Because Peter followed Jesus’ guidance, he caught so much his boat began to take on water. Whatever your struggle is today, you can know that God is with you (ever present) and knows exactly how to help (He is your help in time of need).


[1] Source Unknown. https://bible.org/illustration/i-was-sharpening-my-ax.

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