How To Know God: Be Still

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Many of us are searching for ways to know God and yet the Bible gives us the way quite plainly:

Be still and know that I am God.”Psalm 46:10

According to the dictionary, stillness is the absence of motion, a state of being free from noise or turbulence.

This might sound too simple, but think about the world we live in. When was the last time you were still?

We rush to work. We rush through our meals. We rush to pick up our kids from school. When was the last time you weren’t staring at a brightly lit screen trying to catch up with the day’s email, news, tweets, or pictures?

Has there ever been a time in the history of the world when it was more difficult to find stillness?

And yet, the Bible is clear: Be still and know that I am God. Anyone who wants to know God must learn to be still for at least a part of the day.

There are at least two reactions we may have to such a demand.

The first is to get away from civilization and live on a mountaintop. But I don’t believe that is necessary. God can surely be known in the midst of our busy lives, otherwise He would not have placed us here with families and jobs and traffic.

The second reaction is to succumb to a belief that since it is too hard to find stillness in our busy world we must learn to live without it. Life is too fast and too noisy for us to hear the still, quiet voice of our Lord. Instead, we should adapt to the tumult around us and merely hope for a time, someday, when our lives are more peaceful and less busy.

But, despite fluctuating outward conditions, the soul of man does not change fundamentally. A taxi driver in a bustling city has the same needs as a farmer in a quiet field: to be cleansed of his sins, to receive eternal life, and to have regular, even constant, fellowship with God.

In a recent post, we learned that the secret to the Christian life is the indwelling Christ. Genuine Christian experience takes place deep within us, in the human spirit, where we contact Christ—the treasure in our earthen vessel—not on the outward, ever-changing surface of our lives.

Whenever we lose touch with our human spirit—hidden deep inside—we also lose touch with the very God we desire to know. The result is that the outward, noisy, busy world takes over our thinking and directs our steps, and then we wonder why we feel so distant from God and why our life is out of order.

How to be Still to Know God

The verse mentioned above from Psalm 46—Be still and know that I am God— appears in a portion of the Word that is filled with noise and uproar. The earth is changing. The mountains shake and slip into the sea. The waters roar and foam. The nations rage. The sound of war is heard. Then God says, Be still and know that I am God.”

So, in the midst of the commotion around us, how can we be still to know God? The best way is to call on the name of the Lord.

“Then they cried out to Jehovah in their trouble, And He brought them out of their distress. He made the storm be still, And the waves of the sea were calm; And they rejoiced that they were quiet, And He brought them to the haven they desired.”Psalm 107:28-30

The only One who can quiet the storm around us is the Lord Jesus. So we should simply contact Him by crying out to Him, “Oh Lord Jesus.” We need to contact our Lord Jesus who indwells us, the One who told the storm and the sea to, Be silent! Be still! (Mark 4:39) When we call on Him, He stills the storm of every day life. Then He brings us to the haven we desire—our human spirit—where we can be still and know God.

It is possible, in this daily struggle between outward noise and inward stillness, to feel distant from God and lose heart. But we must remember that God is not far off in heaven, drowned out by the din around us.

We must remember that He has become the life-giving Spirit and is now dwelling in our human spirit. He is available to us anytime, anywhere. Whether we are old or young, poor or rich, strong or weak, we are all human, created to contain God and know God.

The Lord Jesus went through a process to become the life-giving Spirit for this very reason. He wants us to know Him. He is not a historical figure. He is the contemporary of every man and woman. He is not distant in the heavens. He is within us, waiting for us to turn to Him and know Him.

Deep calls unto deep (Psa 42:7), and that call is heard by those who are still, who listen to the quiet, inward speaking of God.

“He will not cry out, nor lift up His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the street.” (Isa. 41:2)

Yes, we can know God in our busy, noisy lives, but we won’t hear Him in the commotion on the surface of daily life. We can only know Him in the quiet, still, inner man of the heart—our human spirit.

Here are 5 helpful posts to help us know God:

  1. Calling on the name of the Lord (Discovering the Indwelling Christ as the Spirit by Calling on Him)
  2. Pray to contact the Lord (Practical Points on How to Prayer and Fellowship with the Lord)
  3. Take time to behold the Lord (The Amazing Process of Transformation as Revealed in the Bible)
  4. Spend time reading your Bible (How Bible Reading Can Change your Life)
  5. Contact the Lord in the morning (How to Begin Your Day with God)

Photo Credit: Daniel Paley

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About the Author

Daniel Paley

Daniel is a guest contributor for Holding to Truth.

Comments

  1. Though it sounds impossible to be quiet, especially in the depths of our soul, I got to the end to find out what is the solution!
    What a nice post! Thank You, Lord!

    • Daniel Paley says:

      Thank you, Beatriz. Yes, it does seem impossible at times. But we can’t give up! The Lord rewards those who seek Him. We pray that you will know Him more and more.

  2. Well-written post and well-timed reminder that God is known in stillness. In a sense, this is an indictment or at least a protest against our entire postmodern culture of simultaneity. We try the “tabbed browser” approach and spread our attention out over a number of topics, thinking we are being efficient. However, I’ve found that the quality of our time spent with God is proportional to the quality of His supply. In such a hyper-consumer culture, I’m learning to prioritize consuming God’s word in stillness.

    • Daniel Paley says:

      “The quality of our time spent with God is proportional to the quality of His supply.”
      Great point, Kyle. The Lord is a Person. So, getting to know Him is just like getting to know any person: we must spend time with Him. If we don’t spend time with Him, or if we divide our attention between so many other things, we can’t really know Him or receive much from Him.

  3. I really enjoy thí post of you. And I’ve recently translated it into Vietnamese to post in my personal blog: ‘Sống Christ’, that means ‘to Live Christ’ [http://songchua.blogspot.com/].
    Amen!

  4. amen. hallelujah for the indwelling Christ

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