We live in a world of constant uncertainty. As we go through our daily lives, we never know for sure what tomorrow could bring. Forget tomorrow, often, we don’t know what the next 15 minutes will bring.
In addition to uncertainty, we deal with the speed of a fast-paced life. It comes as no surprise then that we continue to struggle with slowing down, relaxing, paying attention to God’s creation, and acknowledging the small pleasures of life.
It’s a challenge sometimes.
God tells us, “be still and know that I am God.” But, what does that really mean? We hear it all the time. We see it in the scripture. But do we really understand what it means and how we can apply it to our lives?
The last thing we can think about is being still. We have jobs, children, homes to care for, family members, pets, neighbors, second jobs, bills, and more. There never seems to be enough time in the day.
Even though we have so much to deal with in our busy lives, God tells us, “be still.”
In this article, we’re peeling back the layers of this piece of scripture to better understand what God is telling us to do in this situation. What is He asking of us? What does He want us to do? And, how can we better do it to serve Him?
What Does It Mean When God Tells You to Be Still?
“Be Still” in Hebrew means, let go and slacken.
Imagine someone who has been holding onto the edge of a cliff for hours. Their hands are cut and bleeding. Their mind has traveled to all ends of the Earth contemplating what move they should make. Their voice is weak and feeble from screaming all day.
As their last moment arrives, a voice reigns down from the heavens saying, “be still and know I am God.”
God is telling us to let go. To let go of circumstances beyond our control. We cannot control everything in this life and if we try it can overwhelm us and become too much to manage.
When God asks us to be still, He’s asking us to surrender to Him. He’s asking us to depend on Him and Him alone. So, “be still” doesn’t mean, do nothing. It means, lean on God, and here are a few ways to do that.
One way to be still is to worship God. When we’re worshipping Him, we are submitting ourselves to God and saying that, even though we’re going through a hard time we’re still standing our Lord.
Romans 8:31 says it well,
“What, then shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Prayer is the next step and think about this for a second. We’re so busy with our lives we often forget to pray. We forget to do one of the most important things in our Christian walk until Sunday rolls around.
Many of us need to make a change in this regard and nurture our relationship with God through prayer. It’s one of the most important aspects of our Christian life, but often one of the most overlooked.
When we’re still, we have that time. We have that peace and quiet we’ve been waiting for and now we can talk to God.
Look for times like that in your schedule and make sure to always make time for the Lord. When we can’t find the time, the best thing we can do is follow in Jesus’s footsteps.
“Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.” (Luke 5:16)
God tells us to take time and observe His creation. He wants us to slow down and pay attention to what is going on around us because this whole world is His creation. Take Joshua 23:14 for example:
“Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.”
As Joshua was leading the Israelites out of Egypt, he was clearly reminded of God’s faithfulness. This tells us how important it is to not forget about God’s plan. Even when we’re busy or we feel that God isn’t paying attention to us, He is always there.
One of the best songs about gratitude is “Praise You in This Storm” by Casting Crowns. We can’t save our gratitude and thankfulness for when great things happen to us. We need to praise God constantly, no matter what we’re facing. That’s what shows our true faith.
“But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
‘I’m with you’
And as Your mercy falls
I’ll raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away”
These lyrics are so powerful. As the thunder rolls, I hear You whisper through the rain, “I’m with you.”
I’ll raise my hands to praise the God who gives and takes away. If this isn’t the exact personification of gratitude and humility, I don’t know what is.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the meaning of Psalm 46?
Psalm 46 discusses the process of “resting in the Lord.” This is essentially the same thing as being still and trusting in Him. The book tells the story of Abraham rising each morning to pray for God to be his source of power and salvation.
How many times in the Bible does it say be still?
While it may vary based on each translation, it’s believed that this phrase appears on average seven times in the Bible. In the English Standard Version, it actually appears eight times.
“Be still and know that I am God” is a powerful phrase that can bless us in our daily lives. When we understand what God is asking of us, it makes it easier for us to serve Him properly.
This phrase from scripture is not only a command from God, it’s also a valuable message to today’s rushed society to slow down, take in God’s creation, and find time each day to talk to Him and praise Him.