Stillness

“Be still, 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 fortress.” - Psalm 46:10-11
Chad Johnson

Chad is the founder of Come&Live!
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Am I the only one who finds resting hard? Or pondering this thought further - is being still in God a command I follow?

One of the more bizarre, unexpected story-threads of my life has been that of working alongside artists and creatives for over 21 years. And there’s nearly always an equally bizarre, unexpected monster of a struggle that I’ve seen artists plagued by.

The easiest term I can find to define the problem is striving.

Most of us don’t treasure or treat stillness for the gold that it is, but that doesn’t diminish its value. Stillness spells the exact opposite of striving.

The spirit of striving has deep-seeded roots in the concept that I (maybe you) am capable of –– even responsible for –– designing the path to my own shiny destiny. Nothing could be further from reality.

The striving spirit tries convincing us to spin Psalm 46:10-11 like this:

“Be anxious, and forget that He is God. He will not be exalted among the nations, nor will He be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts isn’t with us; the God of Jacob is not our fortress.”

Striving is taking the joy of what Jesus has invited us to accomplish and translating it to the curse of carrying what was never meant for our shoulders. Willpower Doesn’t Work (a great book, btw). You can’t force open doors that are better left shut.

The sooner we both surrender to honoring stillness, the more quickly we’ll see dreams/desires/hopes/longings developing into everything God knows they can be.

I recently discovered a prayer of Brennan Manning (by way of my wife) that has helped me so much in the temptation toward striving.

Abba, I am Yours.
You are my beloved.
Your desire is for me.

I have begun applying this short prayer throughout my day, not as a cure-all for my striving woes, but as a reminder of who and whose I am.

If you are anything at all like me, and striving comes so much easier than stillness, I’d like to pray that God would rewire you.

The odds are very high that I just unknowingly wrote this blog for myself. I didn’t intend to, I promise. Here I am, though, trying to find the proper ending statement, only to experience an odd, fluttering encouragement: apply what the Spirit is whispering, my son. I am with you to the end of days.

How about you - did any of this speak to where you’ve been, or even where you are? And, if so, what have you been striving after that will only come by way of trusting stillness?

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