Be Still

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).  Simple right?  It just ain’t easy.  This verse has confounded, perplexed and derailed many a person.  Why?  It comes down to a fundamental misunderstanding about what it means to “Be still”.


The original Hebrew for “Be still” is “relax, let go or stop”.  It’s an act of surrender.  Let’s go back to the Psalm.  How about “Relax, and know that I am God”?  How about “Let go, and know that I am God”?  Or how about “Stop, and know that I am God”?  These, although they may sound strange, are more palatable.  For each of these variations present us with a specific action that we can take – relax, let go or stop.  They communicate what we can do. 


Yet, there-in-lies the rub.  God doesn’t really care about what you do.  God cares a great deal about who you are.  For God knows that once who you are is transformed, what you do will simply fall in line.  Conversely, God also knows that simply changing what you do will never transform who you are. 


Behavior modification isn’t God’s goal in your life.  Total transformation is God’s goal.  And that can only happen through changing who you are.  As opposed to worrying about what you do. 


This is difficult for us to handle because we have learned, through other people, our culture and even our very own sin-stained nature, to act.  To do things, to accomplish goals and to go after what we desire.  This has created a reality where we are always attempting to move onward and upward.  A life of pro-motion. 


Yet, here is God telling us to “Be still”.  That’s not action.  That’s not pro-motion.  In fact, that’s the opposite of action or motion.  That’s doing nothing. 


And that’s the point.  God wants you to do nothing.  So that you can realize all that you can be.  For only in the absence of doing, will you ever be open to the possibility of being.  If you are always running around doing, you will never discover the true gift of being who God has created you to be.


But understanding that the act of doing is so deeply entrenched in all of our lives; God presents us with an interesting challenge.  To understand that to “Be still” is, in fact, doing.  It’s the conscious choice to do nothing.  Which, after all, is still doing something.  Doing nothing is doing something.


The difference is that in doing nothing, you leave yourself open to being something new.  Someone that you weren’t, when all you did was run around doing.  This realization of being someone new is God’s goal for your life. 


Thus, being still is the greatest thing that you can do.  Being still is pro-motion.  For in your stillness, you will discover who God has created you to be.