You and I seek stability. Stable foundations. Stable relationships. Stable employment. Stable finances. Stable health. Most of us work very hard to establish and maintain a reasonable level of predictable outcomes and a future that unfolds according to our plan. We like calm seas, sure footing and world peace.
But in spite our best efforts, we live and learn that life is inherently unstable and this is unsettling. For those who like control, there is simply so much beyond our control. The earth gives way. Things crumble. Mountains quake. Oceans roar. Enemies rise up. Fear grips us.
Yet amid all of life’s uncertainty and turmoil, we are invited to find refuge – a stronghold – a place of safety – in God. Not in some distant, impersonal heavenly being, but the One who is “a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). Near. Aware. Available. Able.
For He is “The Lord of Hosts” – “Jehovah Sabaoth” – “The God of Heaven’s Armies.” Able to change the face of the earth or subdue raging enemies by His Word alone, He is also Supreme Commander-in-Chief over multitudes of angels ready to execute His command. Everything in all creation bows the knee to His divine authority. And from His unshakable and immovable throne in heaven, this Sovereign of the Universe tenderly speaks to our hearts: “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
There’s only one problem with accepting this amazing invitation, we must “be still” – literally “cease striving.” Ha! You know very well that we excel at striving. And striving means we trust in our plan and our ways rather than His. Admit it. We’d rather act than wait. We’d rather worry than rest. We’d rather fear than trust. The crazy thing is that as we seek refuge in Him, a peace that passes all understanding comes even though nothing else may yet have changed.
For the kind of ceasing commanded here is not passive, but calls forth a faith that actively clings to God and His Word just as you would cling to a rock in a storm. It’s the kind of faith that rests in both His Power and His Presence. In the God who is able to deliver and able to protect. In the God who rules nations and melts mountains, but also knows the ever-diminishing number of hairs on my head. The God of unlimited power and unfathomable, intimate love.
Who is this King of Glory? The Lord of Hosts is His Name.
“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord of Hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Psalm 46:10-11
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© 2017 Tim McKenzie
On Every Word Ministries