Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
This text from Psalm 46 is a favorite of many. It is a reminder to us of so many things. It causes us to recall our place in this world. It is a source of strength for us because it reaffirms for us the truth that God is concerned and God is sovereign. It brings comfort because it prompts us to rely again on God in his unfailing, steadfast love and care. It also convicts us of our tendency to over commit and run ahead of God when we need instead to stop, reflect, and allow God to do the work that he does in this world.
To “be still” is much more than to simply pause. It literally means “to leave alone,” or “to cease striving.” For most of us, these commands to “stop doing” go directly against our nature. We are all about doing something, especially when the going gets tough. All too often, however, when we are striving to accomplish or overcome or emerge from something that has challenged or beset us, we find ourselves leaning in the wrong direction. In other words, we are prone to lean on self rather than on God. For whatever reason, we default to “busy mode” and set aside the promises that God has made to surround us. Thus God reminds us that he is near, he is powerful, he is in tune with our lives, and that he will act to his glory and to the ultimate benefit of the people of God.
Today we draw near to the only God there is—the true Almighty God who works on our behalf, and who comes near to us because he loves us. It is good for us to be here. It is good for us as a community to pause—to be still, to cease striving—and to know that God is God.