The 10 Commandments are simple and impossible to keep without a faith in the One who gave them. The same is true about other commands in the Bible, that’s why I like to look at the some 7,500 promises of God more. However, I was looking more closely at two critical commands in the Bible that I stumble on, and perhaps you do too. “Be still” and “Fear not!”
I am taking “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) first because it is hard. We in America are always on the run to or from something. I think we are often doing both and for lots of things and people. If you say, “not me” you are lying. We are a frazzled and un-centered people. Well, perhaps we are centered on ourselves. And that is the problem. God is saying, “Be still” and look at me, away from yourself. I am the One who made you and love you. I am the One who knows the answer to every question. I will not tell you why, but I will tell you how and what to do. I only way you will hear His voice is by being quiet and still and silent in solitude. Yes, that is hard to do in this crazy world. We need to be intentional. I suspect you have heard of the concept of “mindfulness” by now. This is being very aware of the present and what is going on around and within you. God is in the present with you, not in the past or the future. Oh, yes He will be there when you get there. But concentrate on the here and now. Find a place you can go and find Him. A secret place to slow down and find God. I will say that this will be different for each of us, as we are all unique creations of God. Interestingly, I have two places I go to find and hear God. One is a chair in the basement where I do my devotions, pre-dawn every day. I read His word and listen for His response and guidance. I almost always hear clearly. Then I journal the thoughts God gives me. The other place is on the road on my bike, riding in the pre-dawn darkness. All I see is the morning star in the east and shadows from my bike light. I am alone and God is with me. I sing, pray and listen. “Be still before the Lord all mankind because He roused Himself from His holy dwelling” (Zechariah 2:13).
I enjoy reading Intimacy with the Almighty, Encountering Christ in The Secret Place of Your Life, a devotional book dealing with the “deep things spiritual,” the unsearchable and unfathomable. This leads you to know that it takes discipline to find these things. Chuck Swindoll, the writer of this book talks of four special disciplines: simplicity; silence; solitude and surrender. He tells us that we will need to reorder our lives to achieve these. Albert Einstein once said, “All things should be a simple as possible but not moreso.” He was a deep and godly thinker. Our lives are too complex. Get rid of the unimportant. Don’t dwell on getting just a little bit more. Envy and this world will consume you; so don’t consume it. Does this seem like an insurmountable challenge? Perhaps at first, but these are disciplines that take self-control. But I prefer to call it “God control.” I would start by tuning out so you can tune in. Turn off the noise! Relax you need silence for that. You may need some other thoughts to achieve this. The best-selling devotional Jesus Calling Enjoying Peace in His Presence will give you a daily example of what that means. Eventually you will find a place externally and internally that brings serenity. Cultivate this; it is critical to finding peace with God. If you are having trouble, another “s” word to look at would be “self-analysis.” What are you doing or thinking that is keeping you from silence and solitude.
God is saying to come away by yourself, alone and find me. Calm your spirit by surrendering all the stuff that is bothering you. God will supply all you need.
So how are you doing on your intimacy factor? Keep at it, for it is a process of transformation that is taking place. Paul says in Romans 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- This is your spiritual act of worship. Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” It is not easy but it is simple in God’s guidance for He will be with you. I think this is enough for today, next time I will do “fear.”