Dynamically Standing Still

What do we do when we are at our wits end? One privilege of serving Christians who live under persecution is to see how they stay with the people they love, in their communities wherever possible, and entrust their future to the Lord.

Sandwiched between the Egyptian army and the Red Sea, Moses commanded the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today ... The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.’ (Exodus 14:13 NIVUK)

Being still and waiting on the Lord is not an abdication of responsibility; it is not a meditative technique of emptying our minds, or the sort of 'mindfulness' in which we take centre-stage. Waiting on the Lord is refusing to kickstart anxiety or action which relies on our own understanding, and to trust ourselves to God's sovereign plan and His power to do it.

Isaiah taught about the effect of 'waiting on the Lord': 'He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.' (Isaiah 40:29-31 NKJV)

The time of standing still until the Lord leads forward is vitally important. If we move before He says, then our action will get in the way of His plan. Unless we stop and trust, we will get exhausted keeping up with our own solutions and have no energy or desire to fulfil His.

That is one of the reasons that BeaconLight's ministry is important. People in prison have the time to be with God and to hear from Him. Likewise, ex-pats and seafarers working abroad away from their families often have time alone, and can hear the Lord speaking to them through the Bible, Word@Work and BeaconLight books.

Perhaps the people who need to hear from Him most are the busy pastors and church leaders, the Christians in business or the professions who are often pillars of the church. Despite their spiritual roles, they are often the people who are too active to stop, too occupied to think, too pressurised to pray, too driven by the schedule to rest, and too tired to absorb God's Word.

Every Christian must 'rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him' (Psalm 37:7). Perhaps you are one of those who needs God's instruction to 'be still and know that I am God' (Psalm 46:10). As we stop and look to the Lord alone, He will use that quiet stillness to whisper words of powerful peace and clear instruction which will eclipse the drama of earthquake, wind and fire. As we cooperate with Him, in quietness and confidence, we will see the salvation of our God.

A W Tozer, the 20thC pastor/writer wrote: 'The Christian soon learns that .. to be safe, he puts himself in jeopardy; he loses his life to save it and is in danger of losing it if he attempts to preserve it. He goes down to get up. If he refuses to go down he is already down, but when he starts down he is on his way up. He is strongest when he is weakest and weakest when he is strong ... He sometimes does most by doing nothing and goes furthest by standing still.' (from 'That Incredible Christian')

That is the genuine humility which refuses to get in the way of God's power, refuses to assert our own understanding, and refuses to assume what God cannot do. It expresses the confidence that our human fragility cannot limit God's omnipotence, and that we are daily held in the secure grip of our heavenly Father's love.

As BeaconLight serves many who are trusting the Lord to protect and provide day by day; perhaps we should also learn those same lessons of waiting on Him. As well as praying for BeaconLight, our ministries and partners; let us also accept this daily challenge to stop before the Lord, wait patiently for Him and only move on His command.

'You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you ... Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.' (2 Chronicles 20:17)

© Dr Paul Adams