Thursday, January 24, 2008

Panic

Exodus 14:14 (New International Version)
14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."

Psalm 46, in which is found that wonderful verse, "Be still and know that I am God," starts out saying that if things happen, such as the earth giving way, and mountains falling into the sea, then, be still.

That's rather funny, because the last thing I tend to do when I am panicking about something is to be still.

Well, there is another important part to the directive: "Be still--and know that I am God."

I'm starting to get it at last because of reading Watchman. It isn't a "being still" in the sense people intend when they say in a crisis, "I've got to centre myself;" meaning to focus on an inner core of peace. No, this is an entirely different type of stillness.

This stillness is the utter peace of knowing that God the Giver, the Healer, the Provider and the Protector is the "doer," and the "mover." "The work" belongs to God, I have only to be trusting, patient, and obedient. I found writing the word "obedient" hard because it is such an unpopular concept these days, but the obedience here, is a glad obedience born of love.

At work we had a staff retreat yesterday and someone sitting by me said, "I obey him because he is a King and I am a slave. It's all about the fame of his name."

Later on, we all watched Erwin McManus's talk, "The Character Matrix," and a couple of statements challenged and stayed with me. Erwin said, "God can do anything. Are you willing to let him do anything through you?"

He also said, "'Courage is not an absence of fear, but an absence of self." And really this is all connected, because if we die to self, then it no longer matters what happens to us.

We can be still, because although it no longer matters to us (at least not so much, as we are learning this concept) it matters to God what happens to us. He always takes care of what is his.

Psalm 46:10 (New International Version)
10 "Be still, and know that I am God;...

4 comments:

Angcat said...

Yes Belinda. It's all about Him. I find this such a relief after having lived most of my life thinking that it was all about me. Ouch, that's a scary confession, but liberating. When we understand the importance of Him and His will, love and power, we are freed from that flustered self focus that keeps us from being still.
I'm still stuck on that verse in Romans 4 that says "Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness".
There just cannot be self righteousness or self anything in that verse, because Abraham's faith was IN GOD. And I'm overjoyed to find out that when that particular fruit starts to grow, the ego becomes very insignifigant...not to say it doesn't rise up and seek attention, but I'm beginning to realize that in the presence and light of Him, nothing much else really matters.
Gratefully.....Angcat

Dave Hingsburger said...

I've come back and re-read this post a couple of times, not commenting because I didn't want to seem negative. But I realize that I like it, on my blog, when people disagree. I have to say, the 'I obey him because he is a kind and I am a slave' really really really bothers me. I don't think God asks for subserviance or a King / Slave relationship as it exists in this world. I have always believed that Jesus stood up to those in power - as necessary and questioned authority - as was his mission. I worship God as a free man, not as a slave. I give God my love as a free man, not as a peon. I give God my praise as a free man, not as a sycophant. I think asking any person who has ever been enslaved - in this life on this earth - you will not hear words of love about their 'king'. I wonder if this kind of language diminishes the experience of many and serves only to be a boastful kind of self depreciation. You know I love this blog and I'm only writing this because that really really got to me.

Belinda said...

Dear Dave,
You wrote, "I give God my love as a free man,not a peon," and of course you do. If God chose to enslave people, the world would have no drug dealers or atheists or any dissenters to faith.

This is not a cop out, but this is such a good question that I would like to to tackle it in a blog post. Stay tuned, and thanks for the comment.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Hi, I'd love to 'stay tuned' and I appreciate you being open to what I said, even though I don't think I expressed it artfully enough.