It's amazing to look back and see how the Lord has worked all things together for His good. After we finished deputation we applied for our visa (we couldn't apply for the visa until we were at 100% support). Three years later our visas were approved. Let me tell you, those were a loooooong three years. But the Lord taught me so much during that time, and for that I am grateful. One of the things He taught me was what it means to be still and know that He is God.
During that long wait, I claimed these verses:
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts."
It is so easy for us to plan out our life, even sincerely thinking that what we are planning is God's will. I did that, but God showed me that His ways aren't always my ways. When we finished deputation I thought we had to immediately go to the field. I mean, we learned so much during deputation, right? What more is there to learn? Ha! God's ways are far higher than our ways.
Here are a few things the Lord taught me on "Being Still"
Learning to be still…
Here are a few people from Scripture who were told to be still...
~ Ruth 3:18 – Sit still and wait for God to work. Ruth had left all she had and followed her mother-in-law to an unknown (to her) land. And the Lord blessed her greatly.
“Sometimes when a believer has done all he knows to do according to God’s Word,
he must be content simply to “sit still” and wait for God to work.”
~ Exodus 14:13 – Stand still and let God work. I love this. Here we find the Israelites in the midst of a dilemma. Behind them they see the Egyptians, from whom they just escaped from years of slavery, and in front of them they see a great body of water. In their eyes they were stuck, there was nothing they could do. Moses tells the people, "Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord..." And God preforms one of many miracles for the Israelites, He folds back the waters of the sea and allows them to walk across on dry land. Once they are all safely over, Moses stretches out his arms and the waters flow back to normal and the entire Egyptian army drowned in those waters. What an amazing God we serve!
“There are times when believers have done,
to the best of their understanding,
all they know how to obey the will of God,
and the challenge confronting them still seems impossible to meet.
Rather than becoming fearful and depressed,
however, they should simply “stand still” and let God work.”
~ Isaiah 30:7 – Sit still and let God be his strength. The third mention of being still is found here, and again this deals with the Israelites and the Egyptians. God tell the Israelites to sit still and let Him be their strength, warning them not to depend on the Egyptians.
“There are times when God’s people have done all they know how to do
to solve a desperate situation, to no avail.
They are then tempted to turn to unbelievers to help them,
but this is a dangerous compromise.
These are the very situations in which God delights to honor true faith.
“Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.”
In such circumstances the believer is best advised to
“sit still” and let God be his strength.”
Learning to be still brings peace…
When I am walking closely with my Lord His desires will become my desires. He knows us better then we know ourselves. When you don’t trust God you’re saying you know better than God. I want His best for my life, I don’t care to settle for anything less. I want His desires to be my desires.
We Must Wait on Him – Isaiah 30:7 – sit still
Waiting…no one likes to wait. (Drive-thru, pregnancy, trips, etc.) Psalm 62:1 – tells us to wait silently. When we are still and silent that is when God has the opportunity to speak to us. We live in a fast-pace, must-have-it-now society, we need to just learn to wait and be still.
We Must Walk With Him – Numbers 9:15-23
The Israelites “walked” with the Lord when He told them to walk, and they stayed put when the Lord told them to stay put. Exodus 13:21 – God went before His people and they followed Him. Don’t allow yourself to lag behind Him, but also don’t get ahead of Him, walk with Him. Lord, help me to step aside and allow you to do what you want to do. Don’t get in God’s way.
Then We Can Exalt the Land! – Psalm 37:34
Personal encouragement for me! In His perfect timing we exalted the land (or to personalize it for us, move to Australia!). In the same way, when you wait on the Lord you will exalt the land. What are you waiting on the Lord for? A sick family member to be healed, the salvation of a loved one? Whatever it is, are you for are you waiting with patience? Are you waiting with peace? Are you standing still? Are you waiting on the Lord? Isaiah 64:4
Trust brings peace.
I once heard a story about a famous 19th century trapeze artist who walked a tightrope hundreds of feet over the Niagara River, near the rushing waters of the falls. After accomplishing the feat several times, he began to show off a bit.
“How many of you believe I can roll a wheelbarrow clear across this tightrope?” he asked the on-looking crowd of spectators and reporters that had assembled to watch him.
“Yes, I believe you can!” shouted one man, anxious to see him try.
“Good,” the trapeze artist replied as he rolled the wheelbarrow up to the tightrope. “Then get in.”
Isn’t this just like us? We say that we believe that God can, but we are not willing to trust Him with our own life (or get into the wheelbarrow).
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly
above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”
Like a river glorious is God's perfect peace
Over all victorious in its bright increase
Perfect yet it floweth, fuller everyday
Perfect yet it growth, deeper all the way
Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blessed
Finding as He promised, perfect peace and rest
By the way, we have been living in Australia for nearly 18 months. Looking back those three years went fast. I am thankful that He has taught me to "Be Still". Although there are times where He needs to remind me, I've learned that His ways are far better than any I could have planned for myself. God is good, all the time!
I also write at Be Thou Exalted. Please stop by and say hello!