Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only toevil. – Psalm 37:5-8
We think of the summer time to get away and take breaks from the normal schedules of life, at least those schedules during the year when kids are in school. Vacations are things most people long for because they get a chance to really enjoy their family and get away from responsibilities and relax if possible.
There is a difference between taking a break and resting. Certainly a person can rest when they take a break but one does not have to take a break to rest. But the idea of “being still” before the Lord goes even deeper. It is not just resting but the Hebrew term literally means “to be dumb” or to be “silent”.
The first truth is that being till implies there are times for us to stop talking. This statement is preceded by the exhortation to commit one’s way to the Lord, to trust in him. “Being still,” to stop talking is not so easy. Our culture is not bent this way at all. Certainly there is enough respect that when someone is talking, in most situations, that people will generally listen. However, if you have every been caught in a group setting it is very easy to have several people talking at once, interrupting someone in the middle of what they are saying or competing to be heard over another. There are times that we try to out-talk God. We can talk incessantly trying to convince God of what He needs to do. We can talk so much that we are “interrupting” Him when He is trying to speak back into our life through His Word or through the Spirit but it is hard to listen when we are constantly verbalizing. Sometimes we hear His voice and the Spirit’s prodding but if we keep on talking over Him then we are not responsible for what we have not heard. Being still takes courage and faith that God is one whom is worthy listening to and that we are willing to listen to Him.
Committing our way to the Lord would imply saying something to God as we entrust to Him our journey to Him. But this is different than telling God what He needs to do or what we would like Him to do. Notice the text tells us what God will do – He will act by bringing forth our righteousness and provide justice. He is committed to watching over our path and manifest our right choice to trust Him and He will personally guarantee to validate our trust.
The second truth is that being still implies we are to listen. The normal element of being still in the presence of another has about it the element of humility and an eagerness to listen and wait. God is one whom we ought to be eager to listen to. He is not just another voice in the crowd. He is not simply another self-help source to improve our skills. He is not just a source that we can extract various words of wisdom to improve our relationships. He is our Father who is in the heavens who cares for us as His children. He is our supreme authority that we live under as the one who has pulled us from the enslavement of sin.
These two truths are two faces on either side of the same coin. They seem simple but prove profoundly difficult for most of us. Being intentional about “being still” is a great posture before God but hard for us to maintain because of the frenetic pace of our lives. I encourage you to consider to improve or learn how to be still before Him.