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Being still

A couple years back I managed to catch up with an older friend of mine. We were riding on a bus filled with teens through a forest in the middle of Norway when he casually said (in his delightful southern American accent), “Jon, I’ve figured out the key to missions.”

The key to missions, eh Ken? You’re figured it all out?

He went on. “We all know Psalm 46 – be still and know that I am God – but have you ever read it in context?”

I’m sure I had… but I guess I’d not been paying much attention.

“The very next verse says ‘I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’ What’s the key to mission? It’s being still and knowing that he is God.”

In my mind, that seems almost too simple. How are we to see this whole mission thing fulfilled where God's name is exalted across the whole earth? By being still before God, knowing his presence, making hanging out with him part of our daily lives. But doesn't that make perfect sense? It’s not people who are great at doing a bunch of stuff for God who will change the world, but people who really know God.

The problem is I'm not all that great at being still! It takes real discipline to sit and quiet myself before God – and to be honest, half the time I'm just waiting until I think I've sat long enough so I can get active again. The further I go in God, the more I realise I need him… and the more I discover I don’t desire him as much as I wish I did – if I really wanted to know God more and live in his presence, wouldn't setting time aside be natural, easy, normal?

Here lies the tension – it’s in that stillness that I really get to know this God who is in the business of transforming the world. If I don’t learn to enjoy that stillness and really focus my heart of him, how can I expect to see his name exalted in all the earth?! I can’t share a God that I don’t really know.



Do you relate? What keeps you from really getting to know God intimately? What can we do about it? Share your thoughts below.


Set aside a decent chunk of time this week to really focus on God – half an hour or an hour one morning or something like that. Put aside any agenda of what that time should look like to find out what being still before God can be like.

4 thoughts on “Being still

  1. Hey Jon, loved the blog 🙂
    reminds me of a book which says “the battlefront for evangelism is in our bedroom, with our door closed and on our knees” – basically the call to know God personally before we try and introduce Him to others. Agree it can be a struggle to actually take that silent time out, so I’ll try take on your challenge for an hour during the week!
    Matthew 7:21-23 and John 15:5 are other reminders… no point trying to change the world if we don’t spend time with Christ and seek His will. Your time in Norway sounds exciting! been to many other places? and hope you’re enjoying Fiji! Vinaka

    1. Totally true eh – how can we share a God we don’t know?!

      Have I been to many other places… Short answer = yes! My favourite place in the world in North-East India and my wife and I hope to live there sometime. Oh, and she’s from Norway, so the Norway trip isn’t quite as random as it sounds!

    1. It’s always hard to be still before God and I think there are several reasons
      1. your mind tends to roam all over the place
      2. you think of all the important jobs that have to be attended to now(if you are an active person)
      3. The devil hates us to be still with God so will put all sorts of distractions in our minds.

      But when you do take that time to “be still and know that I am God” you will be blessed and more likely to be God-centred in your daily/weekly activities.
      Thanks for the challenge Jon


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