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Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 46:10’

God is slow and we must be slow. (1)

 

When we hurry, we miss much.

 

I wonder how many times, like the Priest and the Levite on the Road to Jericho, I have sped past God.

 

I always assume God is speeding ahead, thus I move full steam ahead.  

 

It is not until I find myself alone and bereft of His presence that  I realize I passed Him by a long way back.

 

God lives in the present.  He waits for me to draw near to Him.  

 

God waits for me in the present, not in the future.

 

When will I ever learn?

 

Be still and know that I am God ….” (2)

 

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  1. Hannah Whitall Smith and Melvin Easterday Dieter, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life: The Unpublished Personal Writings of Hannah Whitall Smith (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).
  2. Psalm 46:10.
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Loneliness

I have found that the best cure for loneliness is to be alone with God.

When you are still in God’s presence, peace will fill your inmost soul!

Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)

 

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Faith grows during storms (1)

Why is it that some people’s faith only grows during storms and crisis?

Can’t faith grow in quiet daylight?  Grass does!

Rarely does anyone call me and say:

“Pastor, life is good!  Do you have guidance for scripture I should study or books I can read during these good ol’days, so I can grow in faith?” 

When life is good we are convinced we do not need God.  Since there are no pressing afflictions or infections that need supernatural healing, why bother God.  Isn’t He busy with others?

I learned to sail in calm seas, when the wind was gentle and the water waved gracefully below the hull of my boat.  If I had not learned to sail in calm seas, I would have never been able to sail through storms.

Perhaps this is why we panic and are afraid when the storms of life come our way.  We cannot hear God in the storm, if we have not dwelt with Him during the day.

While we draw on our faith during difficulty, we fail to build up our faith during prosperity.  You only have money to withdraw on a rainy day, if you made deposits before.

David’s guidance “be still and know that I am God” (2) is spoken when life is in an upheaval.  Yet his wisdom should be heeded when we are wandering in green pastures and drinking from still waters.

Lois Cheney asks:

Does anyone ever meander with God, sharing fun, thoughts, and silences?  (3)

Our best friendships are built on lazy days, when we simply spend time with others, chatting, talking, listening, and loving each other, letting time pass in the quiet breeze

Friendships built during days of leisure are the friendships which sustain us during seasons of difficulty.

Your fair-weather-friendship with Jesus, will sustain you during a gale.

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  1. Reimann, Jim; Cowman, L. B. E. (2008-09-02). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 269). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
  2. Psalm 46:10.
  3. Cheney, Lois A. (2005-03-01). God is No Fool (pp. 185-186). Midpoint Trade Books – A. Kindle Edition.

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On the 7th Day,

God was finished with the work He had done

and He rested! (1)

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My oldest son was a long distance swimmer in high school and college.  While he was a good sprinter, he had the strength, endurance, and patience to win a long distance race.

Marathoners in any sport start well and pace themselves for the long haul.  They do not fret over losing segments of the race, rather they focus on being strong for the finish.  A good marathoner knows the importance of resting during the race.  

Even in The Kentucky Derby, which is frequently seen as a sprint, the jockey must allow his horse to rest at some point during the race to be strong for the finish.  It is rare for the winner of The Derby to lead from wire-to-wire.  How many times have you seen the leader from the opening bell run out of gas during the last 3 lengths?

We live in a non-stop world.  The pressure is on us to produce, to be active, to succeed, and to be on top of our game 24/7.  

We try to succeed at what God refused to attempt!

God took a rest after 6 days of inspirational speaking.  He rested on the 7th day and commended the same rest to every one of us.  But let’s face it, we are convinced that we are too good, too worthy, too important, too strong to need rest every 7 days.

Without rest we break, we fail, we crash, we hit a wall, and we lose the race.  Our good fight is for naught because we forgot about the 3 minute break between each 3 minute round.

Why do we do this?

I believe we refuse to allow ourselves the grace to rest, to miss a deadline, to not get item number 23 checked off of today’s To Do List because we want to prove ourselves better than God.

David reminded us, “Be still and know I am God!”  (2)

We cannot know God 24/7 if we go 24/7.

Grant yourself gracious rest today.  

I did yesterday and I feel much better today.

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  1. Genesis 2:2.
  2. Psalm 46:10

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We live in a world starved for solitude, silence, and privacy, and 

therefore starved for meditation and true friendship. (1)

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Surprisingly, the quote above does not come for a social scientist analyzing the culture of the 21st century.  The quote is from C. S. Lewis, written in before 1960, when very few people had a private telephone line, much less a television.

In a more sedate, slower paced society, finding a moment and place to reflect and to refuel was a challenge.  

In today’s world of hyper-connectivity and digital social networks most of us long to be left alone.  We never seem to have a genuine quiet moment to ourselves.  Thus we hunger for silence and solitude, both of which are foundational to being able to relate to others and to build community.

We hunger for silence, an opportunity to be alone, but we fear being disconnected.

In our busyness and fear, we separate ourselves from God.  In our frantic hyper-connectivity with the world, we drown out the voice of God and believe He is hard to find.  Thus, we neither find Him nor connect to Him.

My job requires me to be engaged with people on a regular and daily basis.  These individuals dictate the times and terms of our interaction, which is spurned by crisis in their lives.

Yet, in the expectation for me to be present and to respond to the needs of others, I must have fuel in my tank in order to provide spiritual nourishment and substance for them during their crisis.

Thus, I must carve out time in every day to be alone, to be silent, and to be unavailable to no one, except God. 

This professional necessity is also a personal blessing.

Only after I have been alone with God, am I able to truly engage with others and enjoy genuine friendship and find peace and happiness.

Smartphones, text messages, email, Facebook, and digital notifications of the score in the third inning of a Pirates-Cubs baseball game are not the source of our problem.  

We fear being disconnected, missing a piece of the action, not knowing what is going on in this temporal world.  

This fear drives us away from God, from ourselves, and from others.

Be still and know that I am God … I am with you always (2)

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  1. Lewis, C. S. (2009-03-17). A Year with C. S. Lewis (p. 126). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition. 
  2. Psalm 46:10 and Matthew 28:20.

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How often we choose labor when He says “Rest”

There is a blessed resting in lying still, 

in letting His hand mold us. (1)

Selah!

If you read the Psalms regularly, you have seen this word frequently.

Selah!

It is a musical term which means rest, pause, break.

Frequently, either in between sections of a psalm or at the end of a psalm, we are instructed to selah.  It is a time to rest and take a deep breath.

Singers and public speakers know they must take a rest, a deep breath, to refill their lungs, before they can sing or speak further.  The failure to take adequate pauses and a deep breath robs your voice of power and narrows the range of tone.

Selah provides a blessing for the listener as well.

The brief respite from noise, sound, words, or music allows the listener to soak in what they have just heard.  Without pauses the words, notes, and lyrics begin to back-up in the brain like rush hour traffic.  Without pauses, the listener becomes so overwhelmed, he stops listening.

Without pauses we lose our voice and our ears.

In ministry, my life is a marathon from Labor Day to Memorial Day.  However, from Thanksgiving to Easter it is a sprint.  When I get to Noon on Easter Sunday, I am spent.  I need to pause.

If you are a daily reader of my devotionals, you have noticed that I have posted by devotionals later and later each day, instead of them being ready when you rise in the morning.  My internal warning signs have been flashing in front of me Selah, Selah, Selah!

This morning, I finally took the pause I desperately needed.  In fact I plan to Selah the rest of the day, piddling around the house and yard letting my mind and heart wander as I ramble through the day completing inconsequential tasks.

I will be unproductive, while my spirit reproduces.

As I read my morning devotions (I read through 12 each day) over half of them said, SELAH!!  The words were different, but God’s message was clear.

I feel better already.

If the voices and tasks in your life are beginning to look like a train wreck during rush hour, I encourage you to selah!

It’s a “Be still and know I am God day” for me!”

If you need one of these take it, even if you have to play tag-team parenting with your spouse.

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  1. Reimann, Jim; Cowman, Mrs. Charles E. (2008-09-02). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 154). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

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“If God needs you, He will call you.” (1)

Most Christians complain that God has never spoken to them.  This is not true.  God has spoken to you. Furthermore, He speaks to you frequently.

Most Christians rarely listen for God thus, they have never heard Him speaking to them.

Most Christians only listen for God, when they need or want something from Him.

God speaks to you every time you read the Bible.  He speaks to you through His Word.  If you read the Bible daily, you will hear God speaking to you daily.

God frequently speaks to you through the work of the Holy Spirit. In John 16:13, Jesus taught:

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears (from the Father) he will speak to you.”

When the Spirit speaks you can count on two things:

  1. The Spirit’s guidance will never contradict what God has spoken in the Bible
  2. The Spirit will tell another Christian, who listens for God, what He has told you.

I have been amazed the number of times when God has spoken to me, directly through scripture and through the Holy Spirit, that another God listener will tell me what God has told me.  Their testimony confirms what God has spoken to me through His Word and the work of the Holy Spirit.

To hear God calling me, I need to:

  • Listen for Him;
  • Read His Word daily;
  • Surround myself with other Christians who listen for Him and read His Word daily.

Ours is not a silent God.  He speaks to us regularly.  Unfortunately, we frequently do not hear Him because our ears are filled with the noise of the world.

Be still and know that I am God”

Psalm 46:10

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(1) Luther, Martin; Galvin, James C. (2009-05-19). Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional (p. 45). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

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