By Kathi Pelton
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
Many of us have this verse highlighted in our Bibles, hung on the walls in our homes and written in our journals— but do we live it?
It is interesting to me that God began speaking to me right before the outbreak of this virus (or at least it coming upon the shores of our nation) that He was going to rightly align “beliefs and actions.” He began to show me areas of my life where I believe one of His truths (even have a strong conviction in that belief) but my actions have not aligned with it. Therefore, in that area I live in conflict with my own beliefs and in contradiction to my own convictions. God began to help me “take inventory” of the areas where these contradictions exist.
I understand that Psalm 46:10 is more of a “stillness from worry/anxiety (striving)” and an invitation into trust but how much of our busyness and restlessness comes from avoiding stopping? If we stop it causes us to look and see what is behind the veil of all our activity. When we can do nothing (physically or naturally) to resolve a situation we must come face to face with the truth of this verse and enter into the invitation to be still and watch Him move.
For the past year I’ve been hearing so many talking about the theme of a “Sabbath Rest” for God’s people. God has been speaking it to me as well. In the Jewish culture the Sabbath is set aside from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday evening. It is a time to focus attention on God and to abstain from work.
Is God using this quarantine and closures of airlines, public places and even group gatherings as an invitation into a Sabbath rest? Though Sabbath is only a day this call to a “Sabbath rest” may take a bit longer. But we can press in to it and see what the enemy has meant for evil become a spiritual reset into fully apprehending a stillness in our souls where we “cease striving and know that He is God”; even when the entire world is in crisis.
We may be in a spiritual Friday evening sunset where we take the time to allow God to align our beliefs and our action. It may be a time to allow God to wash our “garments” and it may be a time to return to first love.
In our 36 years of marriage, my husband and I find it very crucial to occasionally just stop everything and take a day or two away together. It is usually to the ocean where we can sit together and watch the sunset and rise with just the two of us. It is in those times that we rest, reset and stop long enough to recognize the areas that activity and busyness have been veiling. We get to go behind the veil of our ministry and parenting and working to see “us.” We see how we are actually doing as a couple and were our love is— and it gives us an opportunity to rekindle first love.
Though I do not know how long this “shut in” will last, I do want to take this opportunity to “be still.” By nature I am restless and my mind is constantly active with ideas and spiritual things; but I must learn to have a Sabbath rest. God took one and yet rarely do His people (especially since Sundays are often one of our busiest days!). Even on our days off we make plans of how to fill it with activities for getting things done that have been unattended to our or having fun as a family. Though these things are important— where is our actual Sabbath rest where we focus on God and abstain from work?
Yes, need to be praying during this time and we need to be His hands and feet to a hurting and fearful world during these hours, but we need to understand the times and seasons and this may be a call to a Sabbath rest.
Let’s discern well and respond well. What if our greatest form of intercession is the postures of, “Cease striving know that He is God?”
It may shift the atmosphere! The enemy seeks to wear out the saints of God and yet God calls us into rest. As we refocus and reset our affection upon Him we let the battle belong to Him.
I submit to you this word; this invitation to be still. Turn your gaze toward God and stop your works. Take a Sabbath rest. It may be dark but that is because the Sabbath begins at sundown. The dawn will awaken and we will spend a day resting in Him.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
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