This week, I sat on my mom’s porch with her. We enjoyed sweet fellowship and lively conversation while countless vehicles breezed by her front yard. Our lively chat was continuously interrupted by loud motorcycles and cars with revving engines! I’m used to the sounds associated with a busy thoroughfare, but I was particularly jarred by all the excess noise that day. So much racket!
Indeed, the world around us is noisy and distracting. Yet, believers are invited, even beckoned, to be still and at peace. Why would God expect calmness from us when we live in such a blaring and chaotic world? He leads us into the quiet to hear His still, small voice (1 Kings 19:12).
A Still, Small Voice
Imagine that! The Creator of worlds, universes, and galaxies chooses to speak in a still, small voice. Let’s look at a King who stilled and quieted himself to hear God’s voice.
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is of King Jehoshaphat, King of Judah. A great army came against King Jehoshaphat, and he cried out to God: “We have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (2 Chron. 20:12).
When the King humbled himself and sought divine help, God told the King through a prophet not to be dismayed, for the battle was God’s. He also told the Israelites to take their positions, stand still, and see God’s victory (2 Chron. 20:17). In that verse, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to see that the Israelites had to position themselves to be still. Yes, it takes effort to be still. A person must settle himself into a place where he is quiet and can hear the voice of God speak. And yes, God wants us to experience quietness and peace within.
Why is peace important? One reason is that our bodies function better that way. The human body cannot endure excessive amounts of stress. High blood pressure is rampant in our nation, and one major cause is stress. Positioning ourselves to hear from God not only brings peace to the soul and spirit but also to the body. Therefore, Psalm 46:10 reminds us: “Be still and know that I am God.”
Spiritually-Minded: Life and Peace
Peace is not of this world; it is spiritual. And spiritual things are accessed through hearts that are open in faith toward God and minds that are spiritually-minded. Romans 8:6 tells us that “to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” We become spiritually minded by filling our minds, hearts, and lives with God’s Word, which is spirit and life (John 6:63). So, applying God’s Word to our lives helps us walk spiritually. And along our way, we become more acutely aware of His voice, the voice of the Word, a still, small voice.
Examine yourself. Are you consumed with care? Do you consider anxiety and fear to be “just the way I am?” Do you have the feeling of being lost and adrift? If your answers are yes, you must find (or return to) an anchoring hope and rest in God.
Isaiah 30:15a says, “The Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, says, ‘If you come back to me you will be saved. Only by remaining calm and trusting in me can you be strong.’”
Psalm 37:7a says, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.”
And Psalm 131:2 says, “But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.”
How do you find this stillness within? First, acknowledge where you are, particularly if you are not where you want to be. Next, have a conversation with God and ask for His help. Remember, King Jehoshaphat did the same. Then, release every care you have to Him. And every time trying situations present themselves, continue turning to God first. That way, you learn to access the One who lives within you. He says He will always supply wisdom when you ask (James 1:5). So, if you continually run to God in this way, you will find yourself a “well-watered garden,” even in dry and difficult seasons. God will resource you as your strength and sustenance are in Him.
I’ll share from my life: When I go to bed with a problem on my mind, I acknowledge God as Lord over it, asking Him for His help and perspective before dropping off to sleep. I drift off thinking on Him and handing the care to Him. Often when I awake, an answer or an insight is on my heart. It’s amazing! God deals with my spirit during sleep and unfolds a way forward for me. God does not show partiality – what He has done for me, He will do for you (Acts 10:34). Position yourself to be still and trust Him. Know that He is God!