Being Still is a Choice
I used to wonder what stillness looked like. I struggled daily with my conversations with God. For some reason I over-complicated it all, so much so that I showed up morning after morning, faithfully reading my Bible, but tragically I had quit communing with the Father.
This is the story of me a few short years back. Outwardly everyone thought I had it all together. I "looked" like a good christian woman, but sadly I was drowning, and I wanted more.
"“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Morning after morning, I awoke early, poured my coffee, opened my Bible, and before I knew it I was off, rushing about to the next task. I may have been still physically, yet inwardly my heart was far from still, it was unsettled and frantic.
As a woman I wear many hats, just like you. Those hats can become our identity so quickly, they can be what we define ourselves by, if we are not careful we stop being still before Christ and we start preforming for the world.
Stillness is the opposite of performance. It is a choice, sometimes a hard move in the game of life, but once practiced you will find it to be necessary to your survival in this chaotic, busy driven world.
"On the front end, it hurts. Leaving my to-do list alone. Trusting the universe will continue it's forward motion without my intervention. Demonstrating that it is GOD who sustains me and not my own efforts. Sabbath is like a scary free fall of faith, in microcosm. And it is good for our hearts to practice. It gets easier." -Marcia Lebhar
What changed? What has to shift? YOU! You must come to the place where you realize until you actually start practicing the Christian life, you are NOT actually living the Christian life.
Stillness, peace, these are hallmark characteristics of the Christian life. Today we seem to run from being still and equate holiness with busyness. We don't pray, and we think we are okay, sadly we are not. We are simply performing, not truly living.
One of the first questions I always ask the gals that work with me is;
"What does your inner life look like?"
The enemy does not want you to be still. He desires for you to live fast paced, out of touch and consumed by your driven pursuits. I know as a wife, mama, friend, coach, daughter, sister, that sometimes my outward life is not still, but that does not mean that my inward life needs to be up in arms as well.
God does NOT yell at us to gain our attention. He whispers in the stillness, He is always communicating with us, I fear the reason we cannot hear is by our own doing. I remember asking God to show me something, I wanted flashy neon lights, or a megaphone announcement. I thought He was not answering, until 14 years later when I learned how to be quiet, and then I heard His answer.
Ladies, your mindset, what you believe, what you think, is what is producing the actions in your life. You are a product of your thoughts. If you think that you will ever find peace without first learning to be still you have lied to yourself. If you believe that you have no choice and can't be still, again you have somewhere believed a lie.
Here's is a simple stillness evaluation I like to give myself when I feel like my world is spinning.
1. Am I being purposeful in my quiet time?
2. Am I doing more listening than I am talking?
3. Am I being intentional with the time God has granted me today?
4. What prayers has Jesus answered lately?
5. How have I been praying for someone else?
6. How much time am I spending meditating on the Word?
7. How much time am I logging into social media?
8. Am I taking the time to look my people in the eyes and truly listen?
9. Who would my highest praise come from at the end of the day, family or outside sources?
10. Am I seeking to make less of me and more of Jesus?
11. Can I just sit and let things go undone?
Some of these might seem strange, but they are a spiritual temperature gauge of sorts. If these areas are out of alignment, I can mark it down, my stillness is pretty much nonexistent.
Stillness is a choice we make. We have to fight for the still! We are in a battle ladies. The flesh is strong, but Christ is stronger. He wants all of us. He wants us to learn of HIM, sit at HIS feet and marvel at HIM. He wants you to see that stillness is holiness, that busyness is the way of the world. He wants your heart not your performance. He wants to speak to you in the recesses of the stillness.
Stillness is a discipline, one that takes practice. It is not a perfect place, it is a place of grace, though at times you may find it to be uncomfortable, push through and rest in the fact that you are making a choice to walk in the ways of your Savior. You have a choice to make... Walk in it.
Be still and know... HE is GOD!