Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

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25 Savoring the Stillness

Psalms 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Have you ever seen the movie Castaway with Tom Hanks? In the movie, due to a plane crash, Hanks’ character finds himself stranded alone on a deserted island with his only companion being a volleyball he names “Wilson” As we watch him respond to this sudden change of life we see over the hours, days, weeks, and years a change taking place. As his prior life slips away he becomes a very different person. Stripped of his modern conveniences, he discovers that deadlines no longer control his life, that the constant hustle and bustle and endless noise is really pointless. He comes to realize what is really important in life, as he comes to know himself in a much deeper way than he could have with all those things crowding and clouding his reality. What Hanks’ character goes through is, in a sense, what every believer who longs to be a disciple of Christ needs to go through from time to time. To be stranded from society, set apart in the silence of solitude, to soak in the Savior. This is where we discover what is really important in life. Just as Hanks character is stranded, set aside from society, so we too need time to disconnect and disentangle from the constant demands of this world. Yet for may we fight against this idea of solitude, all we can see is being stranded, we miss seeing the redeeming time we could have with the Savior. We have become so tethered to technology, that our lives are now more dependent on data than God. We are more than just attached to technology we are addicted. We can’t wait for the next social hit, that next Facebook like, craving its comments more than Christ. We may fear becoming stripped of our social media and stranded from society just as Hanks did, yet what started out as a disaster for him actually turned into discovery. This call from God to be still comes in the midst of the storm, when everything is crumbling we are called to cling to Christ. Today many of us choose to rely on our own resources, to find comfort in our modern ways of communication, turning to twitter and Facebook more than the Father. May be what we really need is to be marooned with the Messiah, stripped of our self reliant ways. Psalm 46 reminds us that regardless of the chaos, Christ is still in control, Psalm 46: 1-3 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” God is really our only hope, and regardless of our circumstances we can be secure only in the Savior. When our world is turned upside down, when what we thought was stable slips away, and our feeble foundations falters and fall, it is then that we discover the refuge of our Father. One of Satan’s traps is to get us so busy and involved in activity that we become so consumed by the trivial that we miss the truth. Satan loves it when we have no time to be still in the presence of God, when all our activity keeps us from the Almighty. Sometimes God must force us to be still, to shake up our lives to the point that our false foundations falter. God’s gift here is the invitation to sit with Him, to stop focusing on our circumstances and clamoring for results but to simply cling to the relationship. When was the last time you sat still and silent in the presence of the Savior? Silence is seldom desired in our society, which values the voice of noise, choosing to fill every moment with sound. We are drowning in the noise of a society consumed with communication, yet having nothing important to say. We are a society of sound clutter. Silence is choosing to abstaining from sound long enough to open our spiritual ears to the still small voice of God. When was the last time you heard the softness of that voice, from the One that speaks in whispers? What if we strained to listen to God as much as we do our social media? It is in silence that we come to know Him better, that we discover the value of His voice. That we discover the depths of His love and the life-changing words that He speaks. Our hearts are whip lashed from one direction to another by the many voices we listen to, and as a result never find true peace. Our hearts are restless until they rest in Jesus, oh what a reward to rest in our relationship with Him. Solitude doesn’t just aid in drawing us closer to God, it helps keep us there. So why does He call us to be still in His presence? First it provides opportunity for reflection. If our time is spent purely in making requests we are not allowing God to reveal His will to us, it become more about our desires than His direction. Being still allows Him to place other people on our hearts. Sure we might have prayer requests about people or situations but God might want to add something or someone to that list, those we may have never considered. But if we are not listening when He speaks we will miss these opportunities. If we don’t learn to be quiet, we won’t be reflecting on what God wants to reveal to us about ourselves. Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to examine your heart and mind, are you listening to God to hear what He wants to change in your life? Reflection leads to revelation. Second being still before The Lord allows us to release our burdens, fears, anxiety and worry to Him. We often live life bottling up our fears, stuffing the stress, its not until we stop and sit with the Savior that we even realize how big our burden bag is. One of the blessings of being quiet before God is that it gives us the opportunity to shut out the screaming world, to not be bothered with anything else. Sitting with the Savior serves to both shut out the monotonous drone of this world, and to sift my heart, filtering out the fear. All of the continuously negative noise, of this world with its worthless words can be released and removed through our time of stillness with God. As we still our hearts before Him, He reminds us of His word that teaches us not to worry, or be anxious and afraid. He can remind us to trust Him that though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging we can depend on Him. God is our strength and we can take refuge in his promises. It is in these moments of stillness, when God quiets my heart, that the grip Satan may have gotten on me through his lies and deceptions can be released. It is God’s truth that breaks the chains of bondage that bind our hearts, it is the sweet reminder that we are redeemed, that I am His child, loved and priceless. Often we forgo being freed, choosing instead to carry the burden and bondage of lies. Yet a lot can be released when we are willing to release our reluctance to be still before Him. Third being still before the Savior replenishes our restless hearts. It is in this quiet place of reflection and release that our hearts can rest. In this time of rest He replenishes and restores our soul. His healing is found in the quiet silence of His presence. Our abundance, and every need is found at His feet. The answers to life’s questions are found in these moments of face to face reflection when it’s just me and Him. That true and pure love we all crave is only found in Christ. Its in the stillness and security of Christ that we discover that we don’t have to work and strive for His love. Today will you respond to His invitation to be still and know that He is God?