As promised, we’re revisiting Psalm 46, verse 10, especially the first line:
“Be still, and know that I am God.”
Last time, we looked at the first word, “Be”.
What do you think of when someone says they are still? Most people associate stillness with absence of movement or motion; to be like a marble statute.
But the word in this verse actually has three components – physical, mental, and verbal. The physical – to let drop, open the hand, relax the grip. The mental – to cease (anger, worry, fretting, anxiety, fear, etc.). The verbal – to be quiet or silent.
This definition is nearly all-encompassing, isn’t it? Kind of like surrendering ourselves to God’s goodness?
King David expressed this well in Psalm 131:2 – “I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.”
Jesus spoke about this in Matthew 6, where He said the world chases after what to eat, what to drink, what clothes to wear. In verse 33, Jesus said, “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
C.S. Lewis called this idea, in a letter he wrote in 1951, called this idea the “principle of first things”:
“Put first things first and we get second things thrown in: put second things first & we lose both first and second things.”
Christian philosopher and theologian Dallas Willard, when asked about a primary key to living out the Christian life, said, “you must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” Dallas recognized the difference between being busy with physical activity on the outside of our life and being hurried with mental activity on the inside of our life. Hurry on the inside (with fear, anger, worry, etc.) crowds out space for God to live in us and through us.
And that is the invitation of Lent as we approach Easter – to let go of the things that we allow to hold us captive, and focus on the “first things” of the “with-God” life.
May you and I find the peace of Christ as we learn to walk more deeply with Him.