The Unexpected First Step to Reaching the Nations

Originally Published on March 17, 2016 in a different location. 

I like waking up early. Actually, it’s a love-hate relationship. In the first moments, I hate it. I want to throat-punch the morning. But after I get going, I love it. Why? STILLNESS. That is the one time of the day when I can be almost 100% sure that I can let my mind and heart be still.

Yes, still on Psalm 46 this week, but looking at the bigger picture of why stillness is so crucial to our lives as disciples of Jesus.

Psalm 46:10 says “Be still and know that I am God.” I read that and sometimes I’m like “yeah right.” My mind most of the time is running like a hamster on a wheel, only there is no wheel, and he’s blindfolded… you get the picture right? Pure craziness. And my heart is most of the time just plain messy. So, if we are ever going to be still, we have to fight for it.

Making time for stillness gives an incredible personal benefit. Our greatest need is worship. But what if I told you that making time for stillness has a global benefit?

What if I told you that the first step to making a global impact is for you to be still?

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Heres the full verse of Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth!” So you get that? God says, “Be still, listen to me… Good… now that you’re still… I want to remind you of the big picture.”

The Big Picture of human history is God’s global fame. He created all the universe. He deserves all the worship from every person in the world. And the crazy, seemingly paradoxical thing about this whole deal is that what we need more than anything is to worship God.

What God wants for the world is exactly what we need. He desires our worship, and it is worship that will heal our hearts and make us whole.

As rebellious sinners, we turn away from the only thing that will satisfy our hearts in an attempt to find what our hearts are after in things that can never satisfy.

So God breaks in. God breaks in and he breaks you with his love. He tells you, “While you were my enemy, I still loved you. I loved you so much that I gave everything for you.” And now that we have experienced that love and been made God’s sons and daughters, we are like orphans who get adopted and don’t know how to trust good parents.

That’s the battle we fight when we fight for stillness. Our minds and hearts are still trying to operate in the old way. They try to run down things that promise peace, and they never find it. So they keep on running and running and running, never still, and they run right past the one thing they need.

So be still.

God draws you into stillness so he can shout the gospel into your ears.

He draws you into stillness to remind you just how much he loves you. He draws you into stillness to remind you of the big picture. When he saved you, he handed you a command: The Great Commission. God’s goal in his grand narrative of redemption is that he “will be exalted among the nations.” And he’s invited to you play a key role in this grand narrative.

Viktor Frankl says, “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by a lack of meaning and purpose” (and you should definitely read up on how Frankl came up with this, let’s just say he’s not throwing out random ideas with no basis… the guy survived Auschwitz).

When you fight for stillness, you fight to be reminded of your purpose.

So fight.

Fighting involves discipline. Fighting involves planning. Here’s a few steps to take in your fight for stillness:

  1. Get up early: Jesus rose early in the morning to be still with the Father. If you don’t capture those still moments of the morning, it’s likely you won’t get any still moments for the day.
  2. Be consistent: Jesus uses agricultural illustrations to describe your walk with him (John 15). Plants grow slowly. And they’ll never grow if you keep yanking them out of the ground and sticking them back once a week when they start looking parched. Keep your roots in the ground!

Okay, that’s it for this time. Fight to be still. Fight to find your purpose.

In Christ,

Quentin Self

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