Get Still!

Get Still!

Carl Honore wrote a book with an intriguing title, In Praise of Slowness. It’s not a Christian book, but it’s offers many insightful sociological observations that affirm the wisdom of God’s command that we “be still” (Psalm 46:10a).

Honore says that the western world today is stuck in fast forward and obsessed with speed. That every moment of the day feels like a race against the clock. He observes that we used to dial, now we speed dial; we used to read, now we speed read; we used to walk, now we speed walk; and we used to date, now we speed date.

He says, very astutely, I think, “In the headlong dash of daily life we often lose sight of the damage that this roadrunner form of living does to us. We’re so marinated in the culture of speed that we almost fail to notice the toll it takes on every aspect of our lives: on our health, our diet, our work, our relationships … and it often takes a wakeup call to alert us that we’re hurrying through our lives instead of actually living them. That were living the fast life instead of the good life.”

Now none of this, of course, is new to God! The One who made us for Himself and who loves us, has always known that its unhealthy for us to travel through life too fast. In the very beginning, in the first few chapters of Genesis, He wrote a 6-to-1 ratio of work-to-rest into the very fabric of the creation. Furthermore, He absolutely DEMANDED that we observe it! It’s one of the big Ten Commandments, #4.

While some might argue that the Fourth Commandment (to observe the Sabbath) has been theologically superseded in the New Testament era by a moment-by-moment “resting” in Jesus by faith, it is indisputable that the work/rest motif is prominent throughout the Bible.

While the Sabbath is the Lord’s, Jesus reminded us that “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). Some Christians observe a special day; others observe a moment-by-moment resting in the Lord; both views should be respected. “Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind,” Paul wrote, “The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord.”

I have no problem with those who observe a special day of Sabbath-rest. Nor with those who observe a moment-by-moment faith-rest. What bothers me is believers who NEVER rest! If that’s you, friend, you’re missing out on a big part of the Father’s desire for your life.

And failing to rest is dangerous business, physically and spiritually. In Psalm 46:10a, God says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” You know why? Because if we don’t get still, we’ll forget that He is God! We’ll forget who’s in control. We’ll forget from whom our blessings flow.

We’ll … well, we’ll just forget.

Carl Honore is right: “We often lose sight of the damage that this roadrunner form of living does to us … on our health, our diet, our work, our relationships …”

God not only made these fragile bodies of earth in which we move through space and time, but He’s also left us with an Owner’s Manual to show us how to use it. And, first and foremost, right there at the top of the page in bold print, He says, “Be still, and know that I am God!”

OK, so let’s get still.

Let’s Rest. Think. Pray.

Flying through life at blinding speeds was never the way God intended for His children to live. Up against the fast-paced spirit of the age, Peter says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

The problem with doing that is that it takes time.

 

To consider:

  • Honore argues that the “dash of life” takes a toll on “every aspect of our lives: on our health, our diet, our work, our relationships.” How is your fast-paced life hurting you? What is it stealing from you that God wants you to have?
  • Do you have a quiet time in which to practice the Lord’s instruction to “be still”? Is it time for you to change that?
  • Do you purpose to keep a Sabbath-rest in some way? How? What did Jesus mean when He said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”?
  • We call ourselves followers of Jesus, right? Then let’s follow Him! I mean, really follow Him. And where does He lead? He often leads us away from the crowds. He regularly removed Himself to quiet places in order to get alone with the Father. Luke 5:16 tells us that Jesus “often withdrew to deserted places and prayed” (HCSB). Should His followers do any less?
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Comments

  1. We live at such a clip here in the Western world that we no longer know how to do “slow” and are uncomfortable when we aren’t moving at a frenetic pace. It takes effort, a real pushing against the tide, to carve out time with Him and for rest.

    I loved a quote shared during our group this week. I’m going to try to keep it in mind next time I’m struggling with time management. It went something like this — “Make time for God, and He will make you more time.”

  2. One of the things I’ve always struggled with in life is guilt that I haven’t achieved as much as others, that I need to be a better “multi-tasker”. I’ve often been criticized by well meaning folks that I’m not competitive enough and I take too long to make decisions. In other words, speed things up honey if you want to be successful in life. Trying to be the fast-paced go-getter has never worked very well for me. Yet I have discovered through the years that my “fault” some folks have criticized in me is the very trait they value most about me; that I’m willing to stop what I’m doing to spend time talking or listening to them. This “aha” moment has been an encouragement to me as I’ve thought about the things that have been said in this blog and in the discipleship groups. Time takes on a different meaning when we give it all to God.

    • I LOVE that comment from your group, Brenda! “Time takes on a different meaning when we give it all to God.”

    • Brenda, I like what you said here. In the Thursday men’s group we discussed the mistaken notion that productivity and performance often assume the role as the source of our value, self-worth or how we are measured in this world. In reality, the gifts that God has given to each of us are meant to bless others and contribute to the completeness of the body of Christ. It is in that function we find joy and purpose. It is here that the enemy exploits our gifts and our willingness to help others luring us away from what we are meant to do. Like you mentioned those traits can become what people “value most” in us rather than the Christ that is being formed through the sharing of our gifts – as He wills us to do so. This is where I get botched up at times because my natural instinct is to jump right in an find a solution to every little problem.

    • I’m just like you, Brenda. Lindsay and I fight over folding the laundry because we can indulge in our preference for sitting quietly, doing a quiet task and being able to think our own thoughts. That’s the only time that happens in our house unless you wake up in the middle of the night!

    • Brenda, we, as you have learned, were never meant to “fit in” and I have also learned how truly liberating and freeing it is to march to His drum and seemingly “out of the box or cookie cutter” paths for me. I do at times get all caught up in the stress of appearing a certain, acceptable way; at the same time knowing at the core of my being that something isn’t right about those anxious feelings….it is at that very instant that my Abba Daddy reminds me “you have a choice dear Karen-Ann”, and then as that thought from His heart to mine takes hold…my spirit soars in freedom once again of just how much HE adores me…and that’s all that matters 😊 God blessed me this morning with your words, dear Friend…we have so many treasures in darkness to discover as He lovingly reveals them each day, true joy!!

  3. I have been sneaking off to a quiet place by the water when I feel that I need to “brake” from the fast pace of life. Sometimes, I just sit, dwell on Him being near, and don’t “say” a word. Just to be in His presence, away from everyone and everything else, provides “rest for my soul”.

    The comments from the blog this week have shown me that none of us are immune from running, and/or feeling drained, beat-up, tired, overwhelmed. (At least I’m in good company!) Thank you all, for sharing and opening up about your lives. It has been an unbelievably encouraging week for me, because of all of you! Here’s to living more in passing the Phil. 4 test and resting more in, and on, HIM!!

  4. I concur with Karen M. that being privy to the work of the Spirit in all those responding to the blog has tremendously nourished my own inner life. By its very design this blog cannot be truly mined for all its worth if it’s accessed in a hurried manner. I’ve looked forward to an additional quiet time to ensure that I could soak it all in.

    • Kathryn Boisvert : October 27, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      I like ur last line Kerin. I too am looking at this as some quiet time to stop look listen and really pay attention to my church – Brothers and sisters. Thank you all for taking the time (aha!) sharing your heart so openly on this forum. I’m very thankful for all of you because all of u make up the body of Christ and r “home” to me and Dan! Each one is very important to God’s plan! As we really stop and listen to the Holy Spirit He WILL use us and how exciting is that ?!!

  5. Honore was correct in the fact that a life in the fast lane has the potential of medical issues. Statistics are bearing out that never slowing down produces tension and stress which has lead to heart problems, depression and even stroke. Certainly the devil’s bargain to prevent us from receiving God’s best. I believe Paul was spot on in Eph. 5: 15-20, not going to write all of that but would suggest checking that text out. I will write vss.15, 16 though, “look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16. making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” I think all of us realize the battle we will have from the world, the devil and especially our flesh to keep us from applying those truths.

  6. Kathryn Boisvert : October 27, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Thank u Pastor Dave. I’m especially grateful that you spelled out that scripture verse. The Lord showed me that same one this week and now this is the second time. Just got a witness in my spirit. We really do have to take seriously the time thats given to us. It is not ours anyway as our lives were bought at a price! If that’s not humbling I don’t know what is.

  7. In this face paced world I agree it takes a toll on everything. Be still and pray.

  8. Yes I do agree that the dash of life has taken a toll on me in so many ways. Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement this week.

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