As a Christian we can have perpetual novelty even when life seems to be mundane. As a lost man I remember my wife asking me “Just tell me one good thing”, and I couldn’t. You see I was blinded by sin and selfishness. Since being born again I have discovered that one can be content, even in the seemingly hum-drum of the day.
Throughout the scriptures God’s people are told “Be still and know.” This is for those times in life when the frantic busyness becomes too much. You know those times when you bump into yourself in the hallway. We’ve all had those haven’t we? It was never my intention to become so busy and yet it happened. Sometimes we get in a knot trying to figure something out and we talk it over and over and over until we’re physically and emotionally drained. These are the times when we hear God say to us “Be still and know I am God.” I have found that if I simply get still and quiet before the Lord things will get put back in order.
Life has a way of getting us stirred up, but these are the very things God means for us so we will start to live and walk in the Spirit. The Apostle Paul told us we have a treasure in an earthen vessel and the excellency of the power isn’t from us but God. We are troubled yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed… You see in all of life’s troubles we look to the Spirit of God within us to re-calibrate us. We come to see all the trials and pains in life as a way for Jesus Christ to be manifest in our bodies. He wants to shine through us, even through our troubles. Our dying is his way of bringing life to others. Paul said, “So then death works in us, but life in you.”
When the Bible tells us we are a peculiar people the world looks on and says “You’ve got that right!” How do you go through what you go through with such peace? Once a Christian truly embraces what God is doing in their life they can see everything that happens in their life as being for others. We have begun to live our lives from within and are less and less focused on the outer man. In short we are a Spirit person and all of life takes, even the so-called bad stuff, on sort of a perpetual novelty to us. The world can’t understand it but they just might ask us about the hope we have and then we get the opportunity to tell them “Christ in me is the hope of glory”, and he can be in you too if you simply receive him.
God says more than once in the Bible “Be still and know I am God.” Of course being still is sometimes a sign, in itself, that we trust him because we tend to want to be on the move trying to fix stuff. Our first response to trouble or conflict isn’t normally to be still is it? Most of the time we think “what am I going to do?” or “How am I going to fix this?”
Most of the time we have to give fixing things a good try before we finally get still. It is only when it becomes painfully obvious that our way isn’t working. Normally our being still is the result of being worn out. God seems to be very patient with us, and he waits until we tire ourselves out then he will move in and get things done.
We are what the Bible calls an earthen vessel. An earthen vessel, while it may be painted to be colorful and ornate, is still simply a vessel. Even though we may find the vessel to be attractive it is still ultimately the contents we are after isn’t it? I mean you may have the most beautiful coffee mug in the world, but there is only so long you want to sit and look at it; eventually you are going to want a drink. The main thing about a vessel is its contents. When it comes to us, the earthen vessel, it is said that the Excellency of the power of God is within, and let us not forget this power doesn’t originate with the vessel. The contrast between the outside being earthen and what’s on the inside being of God is the point. If we are so busy on the outside we will miss the contents.
This vessel while containing the “Excellency” is never going to be the “Excellency.” In other words the coffee will never be the cup and vice-verse. It is the same here. Although from the outside others may think we are the ones doing for God; we know it is his very own Spirit within that is moving us to do it. If we aren’t careful we will start to think it is us, and we will begin to believe the vessel is the point making ourselves out to be the doer. Sometimes being still is the only remedy for this.
The quote earlier about being still can be read in the opposite way also. We could say it like this, “Be still and know we aren’t God.” I think you will have to agree that sometimes being still is more difficult than doing things. I think if we keep moving and busy we can trick ourselves into thinking we are making headway. When being still we are saying to God; if you don’t do this, or fix this, it isn’t going to get done. Oddly enough I think there are times when in fact this is what God is waiting for us to say. He’s thinking whew! You were wearing me out running around like that it’s about time you give it to me. It’s just about here that we are reminded there is a rest for the people of God.
Written by Louie