As Luke (my husband) gathered my kids and me to our living room, he urged us to memorize today’s Bible verse. We recited together a very common verse Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” As he was instructing the kids to state the verse three times each, I felt the Holy Spirit nudged me to dive into the Word.
I asked them, what does the Bible tell us with being “STILL” (in the Children’s Version the word used is QUIET). Does it naturally follow that it pertains to keeping our mouths shut? Possibly. Especially whenever we utter babbling prayers, as if God were deaf. More than that, I think the very word is referring to our souls in restlessness.
In these uncertain times, it’s inevitable to have unsettled and anxious minds. What about tomorrow? Will we survive? Is there going to be war? Will we live or die? Will we have the money to buy food? Can I go back to work? How will the economy look like in the next few months? What now? Sounds crazy?
While these concerns are valid, the Lord commands us to be still. In Hebrew, it is to soothe, serene. The Lord wants us to take a moment to arrest our thoughts and capture them. He wants us to identify them. What is it really? Is it the fear of death, of lack, of the future? As the Bible clearly says to cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. For His yoke is easy and His burden is light (1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”, Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”). We are enjoined to come to Him and He will give us rest. Peace!
He promises His peace. Not peace that the world gives (John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives…) in the form of money, relationships, fame, or whatever it is that rings true to your life. But He gives us His shalom. In Hebrew it means peace, wholeness, and well-being. The peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.) that guards our minds to keep us sane, calm, and collected.
As I was talking to my children, the Lord reminds me that this message was directly aimed toward me. I have been restless and anxious for the past few weeks. I honestly thought I was okay. Little did I know that my body has a very good way of numbing itself to external stresses that it hit me. I wasn’t okay. Have I done enough? Did I prepare enough? Will we be okay? What will happen to us should this situation continue? It was as if the Lord snuck and gave this message to me, through my children, to arrest my thoughts. These same thoughts that numbed me and blocked me from coming to Him. Sure I pray. But not fully in His presence because of my soul that is out of peace. I stumbled upon the journal entries I made last 2016. I randomly read through the prayers I wrote for that season of health crisis ( I was told that I was precancerous). It felt like my past me was praying to the present me – if that makes sense. It made me realize that through the many crises I have been through, God was, and still is my constant. What a profound example of His faithfulness and sovereignty. I am assured that the same God who saw me through all these years, is the same God holding my hand, and your hand right now as we walk through the shadows and valleys.
What are your thoughts lately? Is it fear? Dread? Poverty? Death? Stop! Whatever you’re doing, stop. Give those thoughts to God (2 Corinthians 10:5 … and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ). He is God after all. It is okay to let go.
My encouragement for you today is to be still in God’s presence. In Psalm 55:22, God reminds us to “Cast your cares on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken”. Rest in knowing that God is God. He knows our fears. He knows what is happening and surely, He knows our future. He takes our cares, for He is our loving Father who provides, heals, defends, protects, and gives victory. The Lord did not give us the Spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). So, FEAR not!
Let me share the prayer I wrote in my journal entry dated June 7, 2016, that ministered to me. I pray that it will do the same for you. Peace! Shalom!
I come before you today as I am. Sick, defeated, lost my contact with you. Those few days felt like years of darkness. I felt at a loss and though I know I wouldn’t be able to last a day like that, I still allowed the evil one to have a foothold in my life. Last Sunday, when I was what I thought was in the brink of death, I remembered how gently you reminded me of the battle I was in and I was losing my grip to victory. But today, I come to your presence, I want to make a stand on my inheritance with you. I am your child. I know in my heart I honor and love you. I want to serve you. I am your child and I claim the victory that you already gave the moment I was conceived through your death on the cross. I am special because you have faithfully picked me up during my dark times. I am favored. I am loved. In the name of Jesus, I release the strongholds of the evil one and receive your forgiveness of believing death and doom. As I renew my commitment to serve you, help me Lord to be the person you have designed me to be, to possess the promises of life and eternity. I claim your promises today. I claim your goodness today. Take away the thoughts that are not pleasing to you. Let your will be done. I the name of Jesus, I pray, Amen!