Throughout the Old Testament God says, “Stand still and know that I am God!” At the Red Sea Moses said, “Fear not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will show to you today” (Exodus 14:13). On another occasion a couple men came to Moses and inquired whether or not they could observe Passover or not because they had become defiled because of a dead man. Moses’ response was “Stand still, and I will hear what the Lord will command concerning you” (Numbers 9:6-8). Yet another time, as recorded in 2 Chronicles 20, we read of King Jehoshaphat facing a great multitude and inquiring of God as to what he should do. Jehoshaphat said, “O our God, will you not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that comes against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon you” (2 Chronicles 20:12). God’s responded saying, “Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God'” (v.15). Then He told them “You shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand you still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you…” (v. 17).
It seems one thing most of us have in common is we think when we’re faced with something we must act! There are plenty of people who have the attitude, well, we have to do something, even if it’s wrong. According to these scriptures our temptation to “do something” just may be from the enemy. We have to learn how to wait for God’s direction.
The Bible tells us immediately after Jesus was baptized He was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. There are many, many different teachings on these three temptations but they have one thing in common. Everyone of them was a temptation for Jesus to act for His own sake. Turn stones into bread…you are hungry, right? Jump off the pinnacle of the temple…God won’t allow anything to happen if you’re the Son of God. In other words take matters into your own hands here. Then finally worship me and I’ll give you all the kingdoms of the world. Satan essentially was trying to get Jesus to act as if He was independent from the Father or take matters into His own hands.
One of the enemy’s tricks is to get us to act on “our own.” If he can get us to move without consulting God chances are he’s got us. Even right up to Jesus’ death on the cross the enemy was attempting to get Him to act independently. The crowd yelled “You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him” (Matthew 27:40 & 42).
After Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection He appeared to His disciples and told them to stay in Jerusalem and “wait for the promise of the Father…(Acts 1:4). This of course was the promise of the Holy Spirit who Jesus would lead them into all truth, comfort them and remind them of things He had told them. So we can trust God to direct us but it just may be at times He doesn’t appear to be in as big a hurry as we are. Do you remember how Martha and Mary responded when their brother Lazarus died? Martha said, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. Then Mary said the same thing. To them in that moment it seemed as if Jesus really didn’t care about Lazarus. I mean if He did wouldn’t He have done something?
While the watching world may look at Christians sometimes and think we should do something. Could it be that standing still is doing something? Could it be that God is wanting us to wait and trust Him? Maybe He’s going to show us the answer with less energy spent rather than more. Think of it like this; did you ever see Jesus in a panic? While there were times when others misunderstood and it may have even appeared as if He was uninterested in the end He always came through. I am believing this Jesus who is “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8) won’t let us down either.