In the previous posts in this series, we’ve explored David’s command to “be still” in Psalm 46:10 and each of the specific meanings of that idea. As I have alluded to through out those posts, our relaxing, waiting, and letting go aren’t some sort of mindless exercise. “Being still” has a direction, a target, a goal, and we cannot overlook the point of this pause. The command to stillness finds its source and sustenance in knowing the identity, power, and authority of God. We are to find our way to stillness with one explicit purpose–that we would see God be God.
David identifies characteristics of God’s power and authority that should reverberate loudly in our stillness. He is a refuge, strength (46:1) and a fortress (46:7, 11). He is the God over nature (46:2-4) and the God over wars (46:9). In every line of this worship song he penned, the God we are to know in our stillness is anything but still, silent, or powerless. He urges us to quiet ourselves in the raging and roaring of nature and hear his authoritative voice quell the wind and seas. This Psalm echoes forward to the New Testament as Jesus stood up from his sleep in the boat to still the waves and stop the wind with the calming command, “Peace, be still” (Mark 4:35-41). When we still ourselves, we can know the One who rules nature with a simple whisper.
While the torrents of the skies and the seas submit to his words, we can also take comfort that the actions of humanity must kneel to him as well. In the raging of nations and tottering of kingdoms (46:7), God is the one to stop wars and destroy weapons of warfare with just as much ease as he calmed that storm. Again, we see Jesus taking up this scepter of authority. This time, his throne is not the tossing, titling bottom of a boat. The full assault of Jewish hypocrites and Roman tyrants had focused all their resources to end his life. But in power, the power of life over death, Jesus cried out in victory, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). Three days later, his victory would be finalized as he burst forth from the useless and temporary chains of death in resurrection power (Romans 1:7). And as he did, the spiritual kingdoms of raging tottering nations halted still, crumbling into heaps of dust. When he completes his victory lap at his second coming, all nations and enemies will kneel before him (Philippians 2:10-11) powerless to any longer make war against the one who ceases all wars.
If you would be still, on God’s terms, you will see him work. He will declare himself to be God in spite of your circumstances, challenges, relationships, or trials. Storms stop when he declares himself. Wars cease when he announces his presence. We need only to relax, wait, and let go. We need only to be still.