Be still, and know that I am God.
This verse comes towards the end of a psalm that proclaims that God is a refuge for His people. The psalm begins saying God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; Though its waters roar and foam. Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.
God’s people are singing, what I imagine to be, joyful adoration of who He is. The proclamation of His strength and power continue with lines like The God of Jacob is our stronghold, and He burns the chariots with fire.
But then God speaks. Be still, and know that I am God. One of the most popular Bible verses ever quoted. It is a nice verse that you put on pillows, and wall decor of your home. You probably quote it to your friends when they need to take time to pray, and spend time in the Word.
What does it really mean to “be still”?
First off, please keep reading your Bible, keep praying. Those are all good things, and I am not saying those things are not important, because they are vital! I am going to say it again, VITAL! So, please keep reading your Bible, keep praying, keep finding those quiet times with God. These are ways that lead us to “being still”.
I just want to take this a step further, because lots of people read their Bible, pray, and don’t really know God.
We all know a lot of people. Maybe I should say know of a lot of people. Because I could say that I know a lot of people, but when it comes down to it, I don’t really know them. I just know about them. And at the end of the day, Jesus will say to many “I never knew you.”
But let us get to the heart of this verse.
Be still. It’s a command. Coming from the Hebrew word raphah. To let go. To let it drop. Become weak.
I don’t like that last one.
Know. yada. It is relational here, and holds certainty. To know in the most intimate way. To know with unwavering certainty that He is a good Father. To know with unshakeable trust that He is God.
To know that He is God. Not to hope, or even believe. But to know. In the deepest possible way. You know who He is. You know His character. You know without a shadow of a doubt that He is faithful. And you know that when you face any uncertainty you can respond to it knowing who your God is.
“for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
When you know He is, when you really know who He is, you don’t have to wonder if what He says is true. You won’t be shaken by the lies of the enemy telling you that you made a mistake, and that you need to turn back and run to safety. You won’t be swayed by the “what if’s” of life.
You don’t have to worry if His promise holds any weight. Because you see, His promise did hold weight. The weight that hung on a cross. And His promise held the freedom in His resurrection.
Dear friends, you were bought with a price. The precious blood of Jesus that was shed for our sin. He sent His only son, because His undying love for you is stronger than your sin. You can confidently face fears, doubts, insecurities, and uncertainties because you can say with full certainty I know who my good Father is.
I, more than I want to admit, forget who my God is. I forget His promises. I forget that what He says is true.
But He never forgets who He is. He remembers His promises. It’s who He is. And He wants us to know who He is too. (And one way I can remember who He is, is by spending time in His word. It is filled with the truth of His faithfulness.)
So how do we know that He is God?
We do that by dropping the things that we are carrying. Because to me it seems like the things that we carry (whether it be fears, doubts, uncertainties) prevent us from knowing that He is God. There is no room for His faithfulness, if we are carrying our fears. We can’t fully believe if we are burdened with unbelief. We can’t carry His peace, if we are weighed down by our doubts. His strength will never be made perfect in our weakness, if we are never willing to let go of our own strength in order to become weak.
He wants us to abandon what we think to be true, our circumstances, disbelief, fears, doubts, insecurities… so that we can KNOW who He is. Not someone we know of…. but KNOW like the friend knows the most intimate details of our lives.
It’s like He is shouting I am God! I am good! I am faithful! I will defend those who love me and work together for their good. and He wants us to know that we know that we know that.
This is not about anything else but full, complete surrender. Letting everything go of everything that you want to carry, because you can confidently say I know my God, and I know He will never let me down.
What are you carrying?
What is in your hands, what is weighing you down, and keeping you from knowing He is God?
Drop it. Just let it go. Become weak. Then watch Him be strong. Watch Him be God. Watch the mountains quake, and arrows be broken. Watch as your enemies flee, and your old fears become distant memories. Watch as your insecurites become confidence in Him. And as your disbelief, is changed into unshakeable faith.
Know He is God. Because He is, and He is good.