We are often reminded to "remain" in the presence of God- that we will find peace and comfort there. How would we approach that concept if we knew it was command?
“Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Col 2:7
I recently pondered on the well-known Scripture, “Be still, and know that I am God.” I have thought on it many times, reminding myself to slow down and listen for God’s voice. This particular day I sat down with the Word and read the verses before it to understand it in context. To my surprise, these words were not written in the friendly tone I had long assumed. In fact, it was a command!
“Come see the works of the Lord, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Ps 46:8-10)
I suddenly felt put in my place. How long had it been since I had been quiet before Him? God is basically saying, “I AM the Almighty! If I am in you, you will not fall. But if you do not exalt me, the rest of my creation will.” As hard as it is to hear, God can hand us over to our desires if we are not listening to Him. In other words, He will let us live out the consequences of our choices if we refuse to hear. Hear my heart, sisters! He loves us each deeply but if we know Him, quieting our souls before Him is not a request, it’s a command.
It is so easy to evaluate the “fruit” in our lives by whether or not our day has had an inkling of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. And to be honest, that list sounds exhausting! If your days are like mine, you quickly realize that by dinner time, a few of those have flown out the window and perhaps taken a bit of your attitude with it. And yet we try to muster up that joy, don’t we? Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit- fruit that will last…” (John 15:16) But Wait! Before you walk out the door to spread the joy, listen to what he said before that verse,
“I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.… Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:5,9-11 (Emphasis mine).
We are walking around incomplete each day if we forget to spend time with the Trinity. We forget that the very presence of God is what makes us whole, complete- how he designed us. It is there, that we confess our need for Him, see our shortcomings, allow forgiveness to change us, hear His fatherly wisdom, and give Him the permission to go before us in our day. We are changed there and the result is His illumination that others can see. Approaching our family and the world after that seems effortless because authenticity is by God’s effort, not ours. Fruit “happens” when our humanity is exposed and God’s grace illuminates us. Glory is then His because of the change seen in us. You may not even realize you have more patience until you begin to see God’s work around you.
After reading the context of the Psalms verse, my forehead immediately hit the floor in humility as I quickly knew my place before the throne of the Almighty. I tearfully asked for forgiveness as I realized that any fruit of my life to that point was God’s, not mine. If I don’t exalt Him, and give credit to Him for blessings in my life the pouring out of His love will never end, but His blessings may. Blessings are an outpouring of God’s favor, again, for His glory. You may feel you are in a drought and that His blessing has passed over you. My dear friend, merely a moment with the God of Lights will illuminate your spirit and bless you beyond anything the world could offer. Test Him, He will not let you down.
As I thanked Him for changing me, I heard him sweetly finish the Psalms verse “Now Go! The Lord Almighty is with you; the God of Jacob is your fortress.”
Click here to see the article as seen in Wives in Bloom On-line Magazine