I stopped doing resolutions a few years back. They just didn’t seem to be getting me anywhere except discouraged. As I was thinking of doing away with these things, I was reading over past journals. I noticed that there seemed to be themes that the Lord was working on in my life. So I started praying about these themes, “Lord, what is it You want to work on in me this year?” Last year, it was rest. This year it is stillness. I have found that when I keep my focus on something that I think the Lord wants to do in my life, other things seem to fall into place (i.e. relationships, weight loss, organization, etc.).
As I was thinking on the themes of rest and stillness, I thought they were the same thing; but as I did a little study, I found this was not so. I learned several years ago to look up words in an English dictionary to capture the different meanings. Rest is refreshing ease or inactivity after exertion or labor; relief or freedom especially from anything that wearies, troubles or disturbs; a period or interval or inactivity repose solitude or tranquility; mental or spiritual calm. It is a noun. It is something that the Lord gives to us (Matthew 11:28-30). Stillness is silence, or a quiet hush; the absence motion; free from sound or noise as a place or persons: silent ‘to keep still about a matter’; subdued or low in sound; hushed; free from turbulence or commotion, peaceful, tranquil, calm; without waves or perceptible current. In Psalm 46:10, it is a verb, a command; something that the Lord tells us to do. Why? So that we can know that He is God.
There were several verses that I turned to while thinking on these things:
And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: (Exodus 14:13a) The Egyptian army was bearing down on them and the Red Sea was behind them. They had no other choice than to give up control and see what God would do.
Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: (Ruth 3:18a) Ruth had obeyed all that Naomi told her to do and now it was time to wait. That is soooo hard, isn’t it? Was she going to marry a nearer kinsman, Boaz or perhaps no one at all? God knew and was in control.
Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. (Psalm 4:4) When sleep won’t come, what I am thinking about? Am I dwelling on the Lord? Keeping my heart still?
Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. (John 11:20) And once again we have an example of poor Martha taking the bull by the horns, while Mary remains still.
While I was dwelling on all of this, some things came to mind. I have to be still in order to hear the still small voice of God (I Kings 19:12). I need to be free from noise in order to have stillness in my soul. What are some noisemakers in my soul? I can think of a few. Can you? Keep still and see what God will do. What is the opposite of stillness? If you have to stand still to see the salvation of the Lord, then that means you are giving up control!
I have so many changes looming this year. My heart has been anything but still! I’m praying this will be a year of change in my heart and that I will be still and see what God will do!
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.