Being Still: From Proper Use to Excuse.
Being still and waiting on the Lord to come through requires the utmost trust in Him in what are often some of our most difficult times, but when does being still stop being a faithful period of waiting and become being lazy?
Truthfully, most of the times that we see the importance of being still, it is when the men or women of the OT needed to receive direction. There is not one instance in the NT in which the word “still” is used in the same context. Why is this? Perhaps because now, upon the arrival of Holy Spirit we have the ability to receive direction and instruction at any time, during any circumstance, whereas in the OT times they did not have the same Spirit as an active force in the hearts of men? Who’s to say? I will certainly study this topic in detail to have a clearer understanding of it myself, and certainly so before I even think about teaching on a topic like that. Maybe someone already has, however, I prefer to seek for myself. So maybe another time I will write on that particular subject.
Nonetheless, the word “still” certainly is not used in the same way even once in the new testament, and scriptures like “Be still and know that I am God” (PSALM 46:10) and like “The Lord will fight for you while you keep still” (EXODUS 14:14) truly hold a more practical use in the OT times when Holy Spirit was not an active force in the hearts of all men and women. Now we have power over the world and the things of the world because of what He did and Who He is!
This was a time in which Christ had not yet come, victory over the world was not yet something that was given to all of mankind, and so God had to act; this required those on the behalf of whom He was acting to be still, either so that they did not interfere or so that they could receive direction.
Now, I don’t want you to misunderstand! I am not by any means saying that is not beneficial for us to sometimes be still! It is! There is however, a difference between a momentary pause in order to clear away our own opinions and thoughts long enough to hear Holy Spirit provide us guidance and stopping altogether expecting Him to alter the outcome for us.
That “work” that is spoken of in JAMES 2:17, saying “faith without works is dead, being alone” is action because we trust that He will produce an outcome.
I’ll refer to Abraham, even as he did in this particular section of the book of James, who because of faith was going to sacrifice his own son on an altar to God. He had faith in the Lord, and that faith produced an action. Abraham did not wait for God to intervene, he simply did what God asked and the Lord intervened! His faith produced action, that action produced a result, that result was that he became the father of a nation and a prime example of the action that is produced by faith!
Had Abraham waited, hoping that the Lord would intervene the circumstances would have been very different. Likewise, when we put ourselves in positions in which we do nothing, hoping that the Lord will come through we are not acting on the trust that He will provide an outcome, rather we are waiting doubtfully. What makes me say this? Faith does not understand the concept of God not coming through, it simply does and does not question.
This could, of course, be said in a lot of ways; adding fanciness and fluff— but that would by no means benefit the people who read this so I will always keep what I write easy to understand— but I will put it simply. Faith is, by nature, action because of trust. Waiting for someone else to take action (God in this case) is, by nature, lack of action because of doubt in the outcome.
There is truthfully more consequence in not doing anything, than there is in doing something and not succeeding. If you do nothing, you will certainly not get anywhere; if you do something, and fail, then you have still made an effort and moved forward. We, however, have a promise that if we have faith, and act according to that faith, we will see a result. For instance, Christ did not say “If you look at this mountain and ask Me to move it, then wait patiently for Me do so the mountain will be moved.” That is lack of action because of the fear that we cannot do it, or doubt that a favorable outcome will be produced, but His words were “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.” (MARK 11:23) That is faith, action because of trust that it will be done!
The moment that we begin using silence (being still does mean to quieten yourself and seek instruction) properly as a means of gaining direction and/or instruction, then following it up with action because of trust in the Lord, we will see a lot more done. If we, however, continue using that gift as a means of not having to perform a faithful work then we should not expect to see an outcome at all.
Beloved, I urge you to seek understanding in this and apply it to your lives! You will see a change, you will see things being produced as opposed to waiting for things that do not come. Our Father love us, and He will certainly answer our prayers, but this does not remove any responsibility from us; we still have to put in effort, take action as opposed to waiting for Him to do it for us. If we continue in that sort of lifestyle we will only see things falls through, certain prayers go unanswered, and things become lost to us because we did not apply the action that was necessary.
Before you light a fire and put me on the pole, understand that I am not saying that in order to have prayers answered we have to do something. Our Father certainly does answer prayers and give us things that we need simply out of love for us, however, there are some things that simply will happen if we do not act; prayers, or the answers to them are included in this as well. For instance, if you’re praying for the Lord to increase your crops but do not tend to the fields your crops will in fact not increase, they will die. This goes for many things!
Beloved, there is certainly a time and place for being still, and a manner in which to approach it that are vital to it being effectual! Using it as an excuse to not take action, whether out of fear or doubt, is not the proper way to approach it and we will not see a favorable outcome. Like that, using it as a reason to not have to make decisions or take action because we don’t want to have to produce action is also going to produce nothing; it is likely an even worse way to approach it.
We should not forget the importance of being still at times, clearing our minds and listening to His guidance, but we should also not abuse it and become lazy in waiting.
I pray that this blesses you in some way! Thank you for taking the time read it, I know that these posts can be lengthy and I apologize for that! Soon I will be able to upload videos to the blog as well and as that time comes I look forward to being able to turn all of the posts on here into a much easier source to sit through; nevertheless I appreciate your perseverance and eagerness to learn! God bless!