Be Still and Know That I Am God

image by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

At this moment in history, life is probably more complicated than it’s ever been before. Life is a series of checklists, and when one thing is checked off, three more things are added.

We long for a simple, uncomplicated life. Things were so simple “back in the day,” weren’t they? Apparently not.

Four centuries before Jesus was born, Confucius declared, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

In 1849, French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr penned, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”–the  more things change, the more they stay the same.

Author Poul Anderson, one of the most prolific and popular writers in science fiction, wrote, “I’ve yet to see any problem, however complicated, which when you looked at it the right way, didn’t become still more complicated.” You nailed it, Poul. There’s no way to un-complicate our lives.

Or is there? One of my favorite Bible verses is Psalm 46:10. Let’s see what it says about our complicated lives.

“Be still, and know that I am God.”

That sounds simple enough. Let’s take a look at what it means for us today.

BE STILL, and know that I am God.

BE STILL = Stop talking.
  • Exodus 14:14  “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
  • James 1:19  “…let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”

Don’t speak. Don’t comment. Don’t make noise. In simple terms, just hush your mouth. 

BE STILL = Switch off your phone.

  • Mark 4:19  “…but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life….”
  • 1 Corinthians 7:35  “This I say for your own profit…that you may attend to the Lord without distraction.”

I don’t know about you, but in my life, there’s no greater distraction than my phone. Whether I’m actually talking to someone, or looking at texts and emails or funny cat videos, I spend a lot of time on my phone. It’s a relief at the end of the day when I put it on silent mode.

BE STILL = Listen.

  • Proverbs 19:20  “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.”
  • John 8:47  “Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

The Lord gave us two ears and only one mouth. We should listen more than we speak. When Elijah met God at Horeb, God didn’t appear in a great wind or in an earthquake or in a fire. Instead, He came to Elijah “in a still small voice.” If we’re not listening, we might miss that still small voice.

BE STILL = Stop arguing.

  • 2 Timothy 2:23  “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil.”
  • Proverbs 20:3  “It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling.”

There is a time and a place for disagreement, but God has tasked us with showing love to everyone. It’s almost impossible to rudely quarrel with someone if you’re showing love.

BE STILL = Stop complaining.

  • Philippians 2:14-15  “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless….”
  • Numbers 11:1  And the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, and when the Lord heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp.”

Do you like to hear someone who complains all the time? Neither does God. Remember, because of their disbelief and complaining, the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years until they all died. Let that be a lesson.

Be still, AND KNOW that I am God.

KNOW = Have faith.

  • James 1:6 “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.”
  • Proverbs 3:5  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”

Doubt is the opposite of faith. God wants us to trust Him completely, but we’re humans, and we have doubts. In three Bible passages, Jesus healed people because they didn’t doubt–the 10 lepers, the woman with the issue of blood, and a blind man were all healed because they had faith.

KNOW =  Be sure.

  • Philippians 1:6  And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
  • Romans 8:38-39  “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

It’s one thing to know a fact. It’s another thing to be sure of the truth of that fact. The truth is that we can absolutely be sure that God is who He says He is.

Be still, and know that I AM GOD.

I AM GOD = I am your father.

  • 1 John 3:1 “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”
  • Isaiah 63:16  “You, Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name.”

What is a father? In the blog All Pro Dad, author Andrew Linder writes that there are five important roles of a father: motivator, enforcer, encourager, trainer, and counselor. Our father God is all of that and much, much more!

I AM GOD = I am almighty.

  • 1 Chronicles 9:11  “Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.”
  • Revelation 1:8   “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Do you ever hear the adjective “almighty” used to describe anyone but God? For me, it’s a relief to know that the God who I trust is omnipotent!

I AM GOD = I am love.

  • 1 John 4:8 “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
  • Psalm 136:25 “Give thanks to the God of heaven, for His steadfast love endures forever.”

Agapē is the sacrificial, unconditional love of God. Our God loves us unconditionally, and He loves us so much that He let His son die for us!

I AM GOD = I am always there.

  • Deuteronomy 31:6  “Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread…because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not fail you or forsake you.”
  • Matthew 28:20  “And behold, Jesus said to them ‘I am with you always even to the end of age.’”

God was there with you at the beginning. He is with you now. And He will be with you forever. It really is that uncomplicated.

We human beings are masters at taking the simple things and making them complicated. Aviator Charles Lindbergh stated, “…God made life simple. It is man who complicates it.”
Even Dr. Seuss understood that “sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” Both Lindbergh and Dr. Seuss had a grasp of something that many of us find difficult to understand.
Maybe, just maybe, instead of getting bogged down in the complications of life, we can take step back, take a deep breath, and simplify things:
Be still, and know that I am God.

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