Be still and know

As I’m writing this, here in South Africa, we have been confined to a 21-day nationwide lockdown amidst the pandemic known as CoVid19.  During this lockdown period, I’ve been stirred by the Psalmist David, as he pens an encouraging word spoken by God that talks about being “STILL” and “KNOWING” that He is God.  Psalm 46:10, “He says, be still and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

For many of us, being in this lockdown has presented us with a time where things can seem really quiet.  From busy schedules and engagements to suddenly being unable to go anywhere, some of us might feel like we are left with extra hours in our days.  For some, this is an absolute blessing, and for others, the very thought of silence and not being busy is quite scary. If you are anything like me, the process of being busy all the time has served as a very good way to avoid the silence. A silence that forces me to face certain things in my life that I have buried deep down. Things that I felt I was not ready to let go, or even interested in facing even though I knew I needed to- in order to move forward. 

Can you identify with any of these feelings in your life right now?

It’s almost like when you find yourself in a place where the absence of noise is so loud that the silence shouts at your innermost being. A place so void of distractions, that it forces you to confront the deepest parts of who you are. This could be a really scary place for some. The thought of keeping still for long enough to be reminded of the hurt, the failures, the feelings of inadequacies or insecurities is debilitating.

Lets take a quick breath … Breathe deeply. Ask God to speak to you during this time.

We are going to spend some time getting a God-perspective on this thought of “silence” and what read in Psalm 46:10- “be still and know that He is God.”

There is a beauty to behold in the silence that God speaks about. God is inviting us to a place of silence in Him where we know that He is God, followed by a promise that He will be exalted in all the nations and in all the earth. 

Let’s look at the first part of the verse- “Be Still”. To be still simply put- is to be silent or can be seen as a place where there is the absence of sound.

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines silence as a transitive verb to mean “to compel or reduce to silence”. I love the wording here of “reducing to silence”.

As many of us would know in today’s modern age- there is A LOT of NOISE! Noise, not only in the form of audible distractions like social media, negative news, busyness, and the list goes on – but also the noise that we have in our daily thoughts. All the thoughts that pull us away from, or speak contrary to what God is saying to us.

“Being still” is not simply sitting in a quiet room or away from audible noise. It speaks of us reducing to silence all those forms of noise, thoughts, distractions, and clutter that could prevent us from hearing that still small voice. It speaks about a silence not limited to location but rather a position of your heart and thought pattern.

The Psalmist goes on to say “and know that I am God”The definition of the word “know” really brings depth to what is being said here. 

Know means:

– to be absolutely certain or sure about something.

– to recognize the nature of

– to be aware of the truth or factuality of, be convinced or certain o

So when we speak of “knowing” someone here, we are not simply saying – be aware of the details concerning the person. We are speaking of a “knowing” that is intimately involved in knowing the nature of that person, being absolutely certain and convinced of everything pertaining to the truth about that person.

This is the kind of “knowing” that comes with time spent engaging and in relational exchange. A relationship forms the base of this “knowing” in which the truths surrounding the nature of the person is understood and not simply known.

Looking at Psalm 46:10 in this context, we see this beautiful narrative that God is inviting us into. God is saying we should take the time to be still and reduce to silence everything that distracts and clutters our lives and thoughts from knowing Him. He is speaking of the importance of silencing the lies and noise that floods our minds. He invites us to this intimate “knowing” of Him through relationship. A relationship that has a “knowing” of His nature and truths that bring certainty to the God that He is. 

This “knowing” and “being still” go hand in hand, because the thing that equips us with being able to silence the noise, is knowing the nature and truth of who God is.

On the other hand, knowing who God is, comes through being silent and spending time valuing the truths of who God is over whatever the noise might be in your life.

The last part of the verse says …I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth”.

Now, note how it does not say I might be exalted or if you are still, that He will be exalted. Nope. He is saying He WILL BE EXALTED. He is establishing His promise and authority on the matter. He is saying that regardless of all the noise, distractions, COVID-19 virus, lies, negativity, etc… His name will be exalted. God has the final say in the matter. Everything that we get to experience or go through here on earth, is set toward the eternal goal of spending eternity with God in constant knowing of Him.

I would love to leave you with this final thought. Pursue that silent place with God- run towards it with everything you’ve got. Allow God to bring healing to those silent areas in your life that you might have spent so much time running away from because of the fear of failure. Let God have the final say in your life about who you are and what He thinks of you, not the opinions of others or the lies of the enemy.

Let’s hold tightly to the nature of who God is amidst all the uncertainties and world pandemics. Let’s be found as a people and generation in hard pursuit after God and the “knowing” of Him. A generation that finds strength and beauty in the silence. A generation that shouts louder with HIS truth than any of the noise. We shout so that people will know our Creator God and be drawn into silence with Him.

BE STILL & KNOW.

 

Ghiome Kolbe