If you are like me, we often pray to God about our health status, specifically our prostate cancer. It is indeed an amazing privilege to have that personal relationship with God the Father through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ and be able to bring our needs, anxieties, fears and uncertainties, to God Himself and seek His wisdom, healing, love, security, comfort and specific plans for us. But how do we hear His response? If you were seeking advice from a trusted friend, would you simply keep talking without stopping to focus on their response? The answer is found in Psalm 46:10, “be still” or “cease striving” and “know that I am God.” The Hebrew word translated “be still” can also be translated “become helpless”, “collapse”, “cease”, “fall limp” and “relax”. The sense is to stop striving. Personally in my haste to prayerfully communicate my thoughts to God, I have to stop, clear my mind, be silent, shut off external stimulii, and ask God humbly “what would You have me to hear?” The command to “be still” calls us to totally silence ourselves and listen to God often in the face of great turmoil. In Psalm 46:1, we are also reminded that God is “our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” When we learn to practice silence before God, we position ourselves to listen carefully to Him. We purposely quiet ourselves so that we are in a listening mode. We turn away from the constant chatter of our minds and digital world in order to grasp the mysterious ways God speaks to us when we turn our attention fully to Him.
But what of we are not sure if we even have a personal relationship with God? If I wanted to enter the White House, I’d need to know someone. In a way, we need a “pass” to obtain entry into the presence of a holy God. Not one of us is good enough on our own to do so. He is perfectly holy and righteous and perfectly just in all He does. We certainly are not. But when we accept by faith God’s offer to credit us with Christ’s righteousness, we have a “pass” that allows us to “approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). We don’t have to worry about earning that grace; Jesus did it once and for all at the cross. Do you really want to hear from God personally? First you need a “pass” and His name is Jesus. Then express your praise, thanks and needs, and “be still” or otherwise translated “cease striving” and “know that He is God.”
Portions of the above were adapted from two February 16th, 2016 devotionals; “Today in the Word”published by the Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, IL and from “Anchor”, a devotional from Haven Ministries, Riverside, CA. The latter was written by a man currently serving a 6-year Federal prison sentence.