September 16, 2016 • Life for Leaders
[The Lord] says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
“Be still and know that I am God!” There are few verses in the whole Bible that I need to remember more than this one. Unfortunately, I am wired for anything other than stillness in knowing that God is God. When I face challenges or setbacks, even in doing work that I fully believe to be God’s work, my first inclination is to get moving and solve problems. Moreover, my soul isn’t particularly suited for stillness in situations like these. I find worry so much more natural, as if by fretting about something I could make it better. That’s why I need to hear the call of God to stillness in the knowledge that he is God, and I am not.
The verb translated as “be still” (raphah in Hebrew) is a curious one. Literally it means, “to let something drop, to let go, or to abandon something.” In this verse, God is inviting us to let go of our busyness, to give up our empty striving, to abandon our worries. In place of our flurry of activity, both physical and emotional, we’re to rest in the knowledge that God is God, that he is in control, that he is sovereign over our lives, even as he is Lord of heaven and earth.
Do you need to hear this invitation as much as I do today? Maybe this is God’s word for you right now: “Let go, be still, and know that I am God!”
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
When are you tempted to be rushed and worried rather than trusting God?
What helps you to be still and know that God is God?
Can you set aside a few minutes today for stillness with God?
Thank you, gracious God, for this verse from Psalm 46. You know how much I need it. You know my ways, Lord, how easily I can rush about in anything but stillness, trying to solve the problems of my life. And if there’s nothing I can do actively, I’ll worry. I know this is silly, not to mention unfaithful. But I come by frantic activity so naturally. It’s wired into my DNA.
Help me, dear Lord, to let go of my need to control, of my worries, of my fears. Help me to drop my tendency to try and do it all myself, as if I were God. Instead, may I learn to be quiet enough to know that you are God, that you are gracious and good, that you are in charge. May I rest in your strength, and thus be still. Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online Bible commentary: God’s presence in the midst of disaster (Psalm 46)
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.