AWAKE MY SOUL (7): STILLNESS

Sunday, August 12, 2012

AWAKE MY SOUL:  STILLNESS

Psalm 4:4   In your anger do not sin;  when you are on our beds, search your hearts & be silent.

Psalm 37:7   Be still before the Lord & wait patiently for him;  do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Psalm 37:34  Wait for the Lord & keep his way.  He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.

Psalm 46:10  “Be still & know that I am God;  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 116:7  Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

We Americans don’t STILLNESS very well.

Why aren’t we good at being still?  We think stillness is boring and/or unproductive and/or scary.  I believe mostly we are scared of being still.  When I remove the TV, computer, phone, friends, and family, all I’m left with is me – and “me” is the very person I’m trying to avoid.  If I get still I may get confronted with all my issues.  Further, God may speak to me about my issues.  That scares me.

Dallas Willard says “Silence is frightening because it strips us as nothing else does, throwing us upon the stark realities of our life.  It reminds us of death, which will cut us off from this world & leave only us & God.   And in that quiet, what if there turns out to be very little to “us & God”?

Stillness requires me to relinquish the  control of my relationship to God.  For most of us, God is, indeed, our co-pilot.  We’re sitting in the pilot’s seat.  That’s why we make the decisions about church, finances, giving, service, Bible-reading, prayer, that we make – we’re in control of our spirituality – not God.

Jesus is a great example of exercising stillness.  Although hounded by the crowds, Jesus had a remarkable way of detaching himself from the crowds and getting still.  Often, he went up to a mountain, across a lake, into a garden, out to the desert – to be still.

Two facts:  1.  There are some things God will say to you in the stillness that he will not say to you any other time.  This is why many Christians never hear God’s voice.  2.  You will not be transformed to the image of Christ without observing stillness in your life regularly.   This is why many Christians look, act, respond, give the same way they did five, ten or forty years ago.

The souls of many Christians are dying because they choose to live in the barren wasteland of busyness.

1.  WHAT IS STILLNESS?

It is not prayer, problem-solving, or planning.   There’s a place and time for those things, but your stillness time isn’t one of them.

Stillness is:  doing nothing, calming your mind, just “being”, knowing God.  God is never found in the noise.  God is the friend of silence.

2.  WHY DO YOU NEED STILLNESS?

a.  To maintain perspective.  Many of us live in reactive mode.  We’re constantly bombarded by 1000 different influences.  Stillness gives  us an opportunity to pull away from all those things and just “be”.

b.  To stay connected to my true self.  By this, I don’t mean some kind of New-Age, metaphysical, mumbo-jumbo.  We need to allow God time in our stillness to remind us of who we really are in him.  God longs to remind us that we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

c.  To develop more internal margin in my life.  The affairs of this life have a way of encroaching upon our interior life.  We need times of stillness to allow God to “take the pressure off” and make more room in our lives for what really matters.

3.  HOW DO I PRACTICE STILLNESS?

a.  Schedule a time.

b.  Find a place.

c.  Set a timer.

d.  Relax you body.

e.  Quiet your mind.

f.   Be present in that moment.

g.  Keep a journal. (again God will say things in still won’t otherwise…)

Developing the discipline of stillness requires intention and determination as does all the Christian disciplines – but it is well worth the effort.

Remember, the exercise of stillness is not a luxury – it is a necessity.

Allow God to  awake your soul through the exercise of stillness.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: