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Be Still

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“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God…”
Psalm 46:10 

Be still.  As a noun, “still” means deep silence or calm.  More often, we use it as an adjective meaning not moving or making any sound.  For me, still often means peace, just a moment of peace in a busy day.  When was the last time you were still?  When was the last time you found yourself in the still of any day? 

When I was in high school, I would journal every night.  I wrote all my thoughts and all my feelings (and goodness knows a teenage girl has plenty of both of those). I wrote about what made me happy, what made me upset, and even what made me fearful or anxious.  I was a pretty busy kid.  Youth group, cheer practice, after school clubs, honors chorus, school musicals, making time for friends.  However, that journal was a priority.  It was my “still” for the day. 

Gradually, I began to realize that this journal had an audience.  I wasn’t just writing to keep my memories.  As my relationship with The Lord grew stronger throughout high school, my audience became even more evident.  God was my audience.  He was listening to every bit of joy, every complaint, and every fear that was in the depths of my heart.  In being still and writing those things down, He heard me.  He always hears me.

Throughout most of college, I kept up the same journaling each night.  I guess you could even call it a prayer journal. Sometime though, around junior year, I stopped.  I let what I believe to be Satan’s biggest lie and most powerful trick creep into my mind.  I got busy.  I had classes, clinical teaching hours, the cheerleading team, workouts, and my nannying job to balance. I told myself, “A little prayer at night is sufficient.  God still hears my thoughts even when I don’t write them down.”  True.  He hears every thought that goes through our minds, but He wasn’t getting my “still” anymore.  I believed the lie that I didn’t need to take that time to be still with my God and my thoughts. 

I wasn’t sinning by being busy, but I was allowing Satan to feed me a lie.  It DID matter to God that I wasn’t taking that special time for Him.  It WAS important to Him.  It HONORED God that I wanted to spend those special moments of peace and stillness with Him.  I wasn't still anymore, and I definitely wasn’t listening for His voice like I once did.  I was simply too busy.  Business creeps up slowly and takes over silently.  The only way to overcome it is to consciously be aware and actively make time for your still moments.

Writing might not be your thing.  Your moment of still might be mowing a field and chatting with God while you're up on that tractor.  Maybe you listen to God while you're doing your yoga every morning.  Perhaps your still is sitting in peace listening to instrumental music. Whatever your moment of “still” is, don’t loose it.  Don’t allow Satan’s trick of business to take over that special and valuable time with God.  He values that time, and He values you.  Consciously and diligently make Him a priority.  We all know He deserves it.

Posted by Grace Botkins with

First Love Matters

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Rev. 2:2-5 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and had patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. ’

The first letter written by Jesus and sent through John was addressed to Ephesus. Ephesus was once a thriving church that God had poured His Spirit in and through on many occasions. They were known for their perseverance and patience. They were known to labor for the cause of Christ and walk in great discernment. They were a church that not only walked in pursuit of righteousness but promoted it for all to see. What in the world happened to this once vibrant church?

Simply put, they lost their first love. Undoubtedly, they got sidetracked.

They got sidetracked with life, religion, and shallow pursuits and, in doing so, forgot their very reason for existing. Before we judge them too severely, we might want to check our hearts and pursuits. It’s much easier than one would think to get off course. Most of us have done it a time or two ourselves. We start off running the race with Jesus and lose our way. We, too, can get sidetracked from walking in kingdom purposes. Notice that John did not say that they now hated the Father, he said they had lost their first love. Jesus was no longer first on their list of things to do. That’s the way the enemy often works to destroy us. He doesn’t necessarily try to disavow our love for the Father; he wants us to not let it be our “first love.” The warning of Revelation 2 to Ephesus is clear, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen and repent.” This is a simple solution to a life-altering problem. He wants us to see where we are and get back to our first pursuit, a “first love” pursuit of Jesus Christ.

Posted by Mike Devine with

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