Don’t Just Do Something- Stand There

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall in to the heart of the sea, though it’s waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.    Selah (Peace) Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.   Selah (Peace) “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us, the God of Jacob is our fortress” Selah (Peace) Psalm 46:1-3, 6-7, 10-11)

I am a self starter in many ways. If I don’t understand something I usually just need someone to point me in the right direction and I’ve got it from there. I love figuring things out- from changing the oil in my car to changing out the radio. I’ve become quite a DIY’er since we became home owners learning to switch out light switches, wire lighting and lay laminate flooring. I take pride in doing things on my own and enjoy the admiration I receive (mostly from my wife) for doing it.

However, the spiritual life is not something that you can just be pointed in the right direction and then do on your own. It is a constant struggle against our human nature to depend on someone or something else. We like mapping out the direction of our life and kind of see God as someone who gets us going then we take over. Sometimes God can help us out of a bind but for the most part we think “I’ve got this.”  How foolish we are when we take things into our own hands!

I think there are two top things that I struggle with in my life that I will constantly have to fight against- pride and needing applause. When we started this website my only ambition was to minister to and encourage people. But, with the huge response we’ve had I’ve already found myself thinking that I’ve done something great. That God gave me the idea but then I took it from there.

I have been wrestling with ideas for blogs and posts that would be meaningful to people- as though I know what people need to read. I moved away from the very simple principle of just being with and listening to God to taking things into my own hands- in a very short period of time. I wanted to lean on my own “creativity” and ask God to bless that or to help me out when I got writer’s block.  Rather than being in God’s presence, seeing where He was at work and joining Him. Writing quickly went from a natural overflow of my relationship with God to feeling forced and phony. I used to feel that way a lot as a youth pastor and I hated it as much then as I do now- saying what was safe rather than speaking out of the overflow of a heart that had been in God’s presence.

I’ve shared with some people who have emailed me that I don’t want them to share their stories on here just to share them. I want them to do it if they feel this is where God would lead them to share it. I have not shared anything on this website out of my own life that I haven’t felt called to share. But, there have also been times when I’ve tried to take things into my own hands (adding certain humor, titles, etc) that I thought people would really connect with and it completely backfired.

This is where doing something like this website as a ministry is different from doing it for entertainment or information. I don’t want people to walk away thinking about me but rather I want people to go away contemplating God and their relationship with Him, themselves and others. I just have such a strong desire to prove to myself that I can be an innovative leader and, again, get that applause that it’s sometimes hard to not get caught up in wanting to drive readers to the website by over-marketing. I told Karin that it’s like in sales when a salesman gets “commission breath” and drives people away.

I stayed up last night wondering what words I could share and I kept coming back to “be still, listen”. I went to that passage and read the entire Psalm (the entire 11 verses). I knew this was a word for all of us- for different reasons but we all need to learn to “be still and listen”- to quit doing activities for activity’s sake and just sit, bow and kneel in God’s presence.

But, we like doing. It puts us in control. Waiting is not very glamorous. Doing things gives us instant results. Waiting is boring. Doing things gives us a sense of accomplishment. Waiting makes us feel like we are wasting time. Doing things impresses people. No one has ever gotten applause for praying.

Like most things in the Christian faith this is counterintuitive. Here are some of the principles Jesus taught that go against our way of thinking- we live by dying. We love our enemies and pray for them (as opposed to just loving people that love us back). The last shall be first. Serve others don’t look to be served. Deny yourself- wait on the Lord. We do not naturally want to do these things. However, we lose the blessing and power of God when we start conforming to the world around us and living by their principle of “me first” and “just do it”.

In the Psalm above the writer is describing situations we find ourselves in today- a world in turmoil and things crashing down around us. We live in a world that is filled with fear and anxiety. It would be easy to say “Don’t just stand there- do something”. That’s our natural response. We are fixers and we want to fix this thing we find ourselves in. But, God tells us to take a deep breath, remember that He is above all of this and that we need to “be still and know that He is still in control”. That is counterintuitive in our day and it was thousands of years ago as well. Like it says in Ecclesiastes “There is nothing new under the sun”.

Don’t get me wrong- I’m all for being responsible and not being stupid in handling our responsibilities and commitments. But, sometimes just slowing down, stepping “out of” the situation for a minute gives a different perspective. Our tiny view of the world in general is really insiginificant compared to God’s view of it. How many times have you found yourself stressed about a situation that you just could not think of a solution? If you’re like me- probably a lot. But, then what happens when you get some time to yourself and pray and think? The answer seems as clear as day doesn’t it?

I know that we don’t always have time to slow down throughout our days to ask for guidance. That’s why having some time set apart where you can be still and know God is so important. It changes your outlook and perspective throughout the day. Your words and actions become an overflow of God’s Spirit and grace due to your time with him.

Sadly though there are many times when I try to spend that time with God when my motivation becomes about “seeking God’s presents rather than His presence”. I want God to give me “stuff” rather than to transform me into the image of Christ. Even my time with God becomes corrupted if I’m not careful and it becomes all about me!

What have you taken into your own hands that you need to trust God with? Do you believe that His solutions are better than yours? I want to encourage you to not just do something to be doing something but to be still and know God this week. He loves us and longs for us to be in relationship with Him! He is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

How He Loves- David Crowder Band

He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us so
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us so

He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

We are His portion and He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking
So Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way

And oh, how He loves us oh
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us so

Yeah, He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

Advertisements

About freedomunearthed

This is a forum for everyone to come clean-to be who they really are without fear of shame or judgement. This is a safe place for a community of people to share their real life struggles, fears, pain or questions. This is a mix of people's stories, addressing real issue in real ways and some inspirational writings. This is a Christian based blog that welcomes everyone to join and share in the conversation.
Gallery | This entry was posted in Devotional Thoughts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Don’t Just Do Something- Stand There

  1. I really love this post, Brian…not to give you pride or applause, but since you know me, you know that it really speaks to me. I think its one of your best yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s