When we take time to be still, we see the entirety of God and the privilege of knowing He is our God, our guide unto death, eternally faithful and powerful.
For this is God, Our God forever and ever; He will be our guide Even to death. (Psalm 48:14)
It is in the quiet moment of the day that I like to pause and simply soak in the glory of God. Sunrise and sunset paint the sky in an endless variety of palettes. The stillness of a day’s beginning or end is a moment for reflection. It’s a time to catch just a glimpse of His power and majesty emblazoned on His canvas for all to see. For a few moments, we have the chance to be still and know that He is God.
Our world continually reminds us to be still
I’m incredibly blessed to be able to travel and see so much of southern Africa. Our world is an ever-changing testimony to the glory and power of God. Each unique landscape unfolds a beautiful portrait of our creator God. Often, I’m drawn to leave a little early in the morning so that I have a moment to pause out there in the middle of nowhere to drink in the birth of a new day and remind myself of the awe-inspiring grandeur of God. These be still moments establish each day with absolute certainty of who and what He is.
Our busy lives all too often intrude and swallow up our be still opportunities, cheating us of the quiet moments we need to fix our eyes on Him. There’s nothing quite like cresting a rise in the absolute stillness of a breath-stealing morning. As an endless landscape sprawls below, I’m always reminded just how small I am and how vast and immeasurable He is. Wherever we go in the world, it provides us with the reminder to place Him at the centre of all. When we pause to be still, everything else falls into place.
Our be still moments reveal the entirety of God.
As human beings, we like to compartmentalise things. It enables us to maintain control of our lives and provides an ordered coping system. We create lists and goals and steps and priorities. These aren’t necessarily bad and can assist us to make the best use of our time. They can make us productive and organised and efficient. But they can also exclude God by subtly encouraging us to rely on our own capability. It is only when we step back and be still that we gain the right perspective.
Because we like order, we have a tendency to divide God up. He is rightfully the God of all our moments and needs and has given us His different names for His different attributes. But even while we may call on one – our God, our provider, for instance – He should always be seen in His entirety. He is the God of mercy because He is the God of righteous judgment. As a gracious provider, He still exists as a Father who chastises and disciplines His children. When we focus on whichever attribute we prefer, we cheat ourselves of the full and limitless measure of the I AM.
God has commanded us to be still.
Psalm 46:10 tells us: Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Our be still moments are a time of praise, thanksgiving, and worship. They provide a breathing space in which we can adjust our perspective and align it with His. In these moments, we become grounded. We see the true nature of our condition and just how insignificant we are in the ‘bigger picture.’ Our thinking is adjusted as we are brought back to a place of humility and surrender. When we see the works of His hands and glimpse His glory, we can only respond in worship.
God never commands anything that isn’t important. Our be still moments are designed to re-establish a right relationship with Him. It is only when we see Him and ourselves in honesty that we can rediscover and access the incredible grace He bestows on us. It’s both humbling and exhilarating to be reminded that this great, awesome God has elected to ‘be mindful’ of insignificant creatures like ourselves.
Be still and see that this is our God.
You may be wondering what all of this has to do with today’s verse. The truth is that unless we see the vastness of God, His immeasurable glory and limitless power, we cannot fully grasp ‘this is our God.’ The revelation of this only comes in our be still moments. Unless we take time to step of the furious treadmill of life and see God as He really is, we miss the magnitude of who He really is. When we say ‘this is our God’ we refer to perfect completeness of His nature, His power, His majesty, His glory, and His holiness.
Only when we fix our eyes on these truths, can we comprehend the incredible privilege of being able to say ‘this is our God.’ He is so much greater than our problems, issues, struggles, and hardships. God’s power far exceeds our trials and limitations. His grace is sufficient for every need, every fear, and every insecurity. Everything He is combines to fill our lives with everything we ever need in any situation. When we take time to be still, this is the truth revealed. Those incredibly beautiful daily moments when God emblazons Himself on the universe are His way of remind us of who He is.
When we be still, we open ourselves up to His wisdom.
I was struck, when reading this verse, of the incredible privilege He has given us. Not only has He allowed us to call Him our God, but it’s forever. It’s a faithful privilege, an eternal one. There is no separation unless we create one. He is our God today, tomorrow, and in eternity. When we take time to be still, we share for just a moment a glimpse of eternity. God is eternal. When we see Him as He really is, we see eternity. Just as the sun rises and sets and rises again the next day, God is ever present. He’s reminding us of this in every glorious landscape created by His mighty hand.
Even more than this, the eternal God is our guide. It’s not a long-distance relationship. A guide is one who goes with us, who remains beside us, who leads us and teaches us. It’s a one-on-one relationship, intensely personal and intimate. If we travel with someone every day, we cannot help but develop a knowledge of them. We learn to trust and rely on them because we see in the little things that they care, and that they know the way. When we be still and know that He is God, we learn the immeasurable value of having the God of the universe as our guide.
To be still reveals the power of unto death.
‘Even unto death’ is a powerful phrase when taken in the context of the cross. We often have a limited view of death, seeing it only as the ‘end of life on earth.’ The reality is that it’s so much more than this. In a purely physical sense, it’s the end of this body and the beginning of spiritual life in eternity with Him. But it also refers to the death of self in our daily walk. God’s promise – which He reminds us of and enables us to receive in our be still moments – is that He is our guide even unto death. This includes the daily putting to death of self as we walk with Him.
The real joy lies in knowing that Christ has already walked the path before us. God Himself lived a human life to pass through death to eternal life. Our be still moments remind us not just of our resurrection but also of our new life in Him. Self must die so that Christ can live in us. For all of us, it’s a daily struggle. But the beautiful reality is that He is our guide, there with us, and He knows the way. Let’s make time every day to be still and know that He is God – our God, our guide until death.
Be still is for every moment of every day.
It’s my prayer that in those moments of toil and stress, we can all remember to step back and take time to be still. On a train, in traffic, in the pressure of the boardroom…every moment is a be still moment. God is our guide wherever we are.
Lord, how can we not praise and worship You when we stop to see the works of Your hands? We worship You and honour You today, and thank You that You take the time to reveal Yourself daily through the magnificence of all You have created. Grant us a greater revelation of You as our God. Help us to see You as You really are, and grant us the grace to draw near in humility and surrender to a Guide who will never leave us or forsake us. Thank You that You are there, even unto death.