February 3, 2012

Be Still

I am sure many of you have heard of this verse before. It is like one of those verses you scribble on your notebook or you edit it into a beautiful picture of you lying on the beach while your tan body is glistening in the sun and your toes are in the sand. 

This is actually the verse God gave me for the year. Now if you know me at all, you know I have a VERY difficult time being still. If I am sitting I am shaking my foot, leg or whole body (yeah the person that shakes the whole row at church….that’s me!). If I am standing: I am rocking, twisting, or shaking my legs. I can’t even be still in bed; I am always twitching and rubbing my feet. And then there is my mind….I can analyze something in 206 ways in approximately 2.2 seconds and I can twist and turn something that is no big deal into a massive problem. Can you relate? So when God gave me this as my verse for the year my thought was “no God you have the wrong girl, remember it is impossible for me to be still...EVER!” Well, God didn’t change his mind and that is still my verse for 2012 so I thought I would share with you how I am learning to be still and rest in Him when that really isn’t in my type A personality.

I found a guy in the Bible that found it pretty hard to be still too, Abraham. Abraham was a very faithful servant of Gods for many years, but his deepest desire was to have a child and he is now about 76 and still has no son. 
Genesis 15:1-6

1 After all these things, this word of God came to Abram in a vision: "Don't be afraid, Abram. I'm your shield. Your reward will be grand!"
 2-3 Abram said, "God, Master, what use are your gifts as long as I'm childless and Eliezer (ew Eliezer, who would want to give everything they own to some dude named Eliezar! I picture the witch in Snowhite, the one with the black and icky, long, nasty nails saying his name, Eliezer, in her deep creepy voice)  of Damascus is going to inherit everything?" Abram continued, "See, you've given me no children, and now a mere house servant is going to get it all."
 4 Then God's Message came: "Don't worry, he won't be your heir; a son from your body will be your heir."
 5 Then he took him outside and said, "Look at the sky. Count the stars. Can you do it? Count your descendants! You're going to have a big family, Abram!"
 6 And he believed! Believed God! God declared him "Set-Right-with-God."

Yup, pretty sure Abraham is pumped! He even told his wife Sarah so she could share in his excitement too that they were going to be parents.

But, can you relate? Have you ever felt like God has given you a promise?  Or have you ever had one of those moments of feeling at peace knowing God has everything under control in your situation? After you feel like God has spoken to you or touched you, you are over the moon, at peace, and totally content. You are not questioning what God spoke to you. You take it at face value and believe that he is going to heal the sickness in your body, open the next door of opportunity, heal your relationship, or insert what you are believing for here.

Then like it did for Abraham and Sarah, time passes and you start to question what God “really” meant when He made that promise to you. Or you start to wonder if that peaceful feeling you had wasn’t just a moment. You start trying to take the whole promise into your own hands much like Sarah and Abraham did in Genesis 16. I can just see Sarah talking to Abraham saying: “You know, I bet what God really meant when He promised you a son is that you should sleep with my servant, Hagar, and let her have the baby and we will raise it!” ….and Abraham agreed that was a good idea.  

Well, let’s think about this, 2 girls going after 1 guy ALWAYS = T-R-O-U-B-L-E! Can I get an amen?

Well my point in this story is that we need to learn to be still and rest in God. A promise left in our own hands only means a delayed promise. By trying to take a God promise and achieve it by human means only caused heartache for them both (read on in Genesis 16 to find out more).  How often are we guilty of this? We hear from God then weeks, moths, years down the road when we haven’t seen the promise we try to achieve the promise on our own and show or tell God what He “really” meant. Your thinking might go something like this. God I know that you promised me this amazing man who loves Jesus and supports me and encourages me and treats me like the princess You created me to be, but I don’t really think he exists and Tim Tebow doesn’t even know I am alive. So I am just going to date this guy. He thinks I’m amazing and treats me pretty good and he doesn’t really have a great relationship with you but at least he prays every night. Nope, stop trying to take the situation into your own hands. It didn’t work for Abraham and it won’t work for you. God is a gentleman and He will let you exhaust every means to achieve the promise on your own until you come to him broken and say “I can’t do it anymore.” At that exact moment is the moment I picture God saying “I had hoped you would say that, now whatch what I can do!”

Personally, I would rather work on strengthening my “being still skills”  in God’s waiting room than delay what God has for me.

And if God has promised you something or there is a desire in your heart that has not been fulfilled: don’t settle you are ONE DAY closer to whatever you are believing for. It could be a family member to be healed, a financial breakthrough, a baby you’ve been praying you and your spouse will have, that right person to come into your life, whatever it is know that you never have to go through today again without it. You are one day closer, don’t give in, don’t give up. Hold on to your convictions; our God is a faithful God.
If this is you at all I hope these scriptures help:

Hebrews 10:33 So don't throw it all away now. You were sure of yourselves then. It's still a sure thing! But you need to stick it out, staying with God's plan so you'll be there for the promised completion.

And one of my absolute favorites when being still and waiting on God is hard is

Romans 8:17-18 And we know we are going to get what's coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him! That’s why I don't think there's any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times.

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