BE STILL

BE STILL

Still can mean calm, quiet, unmoving, or at rest.  There are passages in the Bible that instruct us to ‘be still’ or to ‘be silent.’

This instruction may have several purposes:  1) to require our silence, so that we will focus upon God, alone; 2) to instruct us to be tranquil and at peace; and 3) to direct us to subdue every instinct to God’s will.

Be still, and know that I am God:  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.  (Ps 46:10 ASV)

But the Lord is in his holy temple.  Let all the earth be silent before him.  (Hab 2:20 CEB)

Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.  (Zech 2:13 ESV)

Being still, silent, and at peace will bring about a great ability to focus upon the Lord.  It’s a good time for prayer and thanksgiving, as well as for a reverential form of worship.  Obviously, there’s definitely a time for joyful, loud, expressive worship, too.  But when the Holy Spirit leads us into a still and tranquil time of prayer, we should be sensitive and responsive to that leading.

One form of “being still” is to step away from our busy lives in order to connect with God.  This is a time to stay focused on God’s vision for our lives and to listen for His direction and guidance.  The obvious follow-through is our obedience to what we hear the Lord saying to our hearts.

What is the purpose of stillness?  Being still before the Lord brings us clarity.  It draws us into the moment and gives us time to clear the clutter and clamor out of our minds and hearts.  It helps us to hear God’s voice more accurately. Stilling our hearts before the Lord helps us to stop striving and to surrender our circumstances to the Lord.  In whatever situation you find yourself today, take some time alone with the Lord.

God-Ordained Sights & Sounds

God-Ordained Sights & Sounds

Why do some believers hear things and see things that others do not hear and see? 

“And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me. 10 So I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.’  (Ac 22:9-10) 

In the above instance, the people who were traveling with Saul (who later became Paul, the apostle) saw the supernatural light that appeared to Saul but they did not hear God’s voice speaking to him.  God was giving Saul directions to follows. So the only one who needed to hear the Lord was Saul.

And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one.  (Ac 9:7)

In this verse, those who accompanied Saul heard the Lord’s voice speaking to Saul but they didn’t see anything.  In Acts 9:7, Saul was again being told what to do next but we don’t know why God allowed the others to hear God’s voice in this instance.

“While thus occupied, as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13 at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me.”  (Ac 26:12-13)

This account in the Bible is where Paul is telling King Agrippa about the heavenly light, brighter than the sun, which he and his friends saw on the road to Damascus.  This was a genuine physical AND spiritual encounter that Paul had with the Lord.

As we diligently work to serve the Lord, and spend time studying the Word and drawing near to God’s presence, we may experience God-ordained sights and sounds which other people don’t experience.  Such things are out of the ordinary for most believers, but they are clearly controlled by God. 

Ask God to give you His wisdom and insight into understanding such an event if it should happen to you.  Don’t be afraid of it, but diligently seek the Scriptures and God’s wisdom to make sure that it lines up with the teachings of the Lord in the New Testament.  Determine what God’s wants you to do or to change as a result of your experience.  If it does not agree with Biblical teachings, then simply put it out of your mind and heart.

For those of us who do not experience these types of incidents, it doesn’t mean that we are any less of a follower of Jesus Christ than any other believer.  It simply means that every individual person’s relationship with the Lord is unique and special.  Value your relationship with the Lord and draw near to Him through prayer, Bible reading, meditation on the Word, and fellowship with other believers.  You are blessed!

Blessed Are All Who Wait for Him, Part 2

Blessed Are All Who Wait for Him, Part 2

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion . . . Blessed are all who WAIT for Him.  (Isa 30:18 NIV, emphasis added)

What does the verse above mean when it talks about “waiting for the Lord”?  I believe that it can refer to two different concepts.  The first is about waiting for the Lord to answer our prayers and supplications.  The second is about “waiting on God”—spending time in His presence and waiting to hear His voice and His wisdom.

In our previous blog article (Part 1), we covered the concept of waiting for the Lord to answer our prayers and supplications.  Today, we focus upon the second idea of waiting on God.

When we wait on the Lord, we spend time in His presence.  There are numerous ways to do that and most likely, you’re already familiar with some of them.  We spend time in His presence when we:

  • read the Bible,
  • meditate upon His Word,
  • praise and worship Him,
  • attend Bible study and/or worship services,
  • fellowship with other believers, and
  • sit quietly waiting to hear His still, small voice.

Waiting on the Lord is time spent focused upon Him and the wisdom that He will impart to us.  It is concentrated upon communion with our Savior and upon training a listening heart.  In order to have a listening heart, we need a humble heart.  A humble heart desires to please God, and has patience to wait for His direction and instructions.

(Please see the next blog posting for the final meditation on this subject.)

Let’s Talk About Sin!

Let’s Talk About Sin!

How are you today?  Is there any doubt in your mind about the definition of sin?  No, I thought not!

Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.  (James 4:17 NKJV)  The operative word here is knows.  The majority of us know what is the right (or good) thing to do in most situations; and we know whether or not we have done it.

Sin is not only actively committing evil deeds; it is also passively failing to do something good that you KNOW that God wants you to do!  Should you admit to the clerk that she gave you too much change, and return it to her?  If you didn’t do it, then that was sin, because you knew it was the right thing to do.  Did you feel nudged to apologize to your friend for something hurtful that you said to her?  Did you consider giving an offering to a ministry or organization that has blessed and ministered to you?  If you didn’t do it . . . then that was sin.  You get the idea! 

God wants us live a life of faith, led by the Holy Spirit’s promptings and our obedience to Him!  We all need to learn to be more sensitive and obedient to that still, small voice that we recognize as the Lord’s voice!  When we don’t obey God’s voice (His promptings to our hearts and minds), it is sin. 

God bless you today.