I have a confession: I’m a bit of a busy body.
I like things done when I want them done, how I want them done, and I’m prepared to do it all on my own. This trait has been really useful in this age of digital DIY but let’s be honest, it hasn’t always been the best when God has needed for me to just stand still. I’ve faced it— I am a mover and sometimes standing still and trusting that God will come through in the timeline that I’ve envisioned is just downright hard. It wasn’t until my husband and I went to our pre-marital counseling that I learned the reasoning behind some of my behavior. Beneath all of the planning, the hyper-organization, and the desperate need to take initiative was a very real fear of failure. Even though I didn’t realize it, taking control was my way of trying to prevent all the things that I could never truly control in the first place. Ultimately, I was trying to play God and trying to sway my outcome with my own abilities. I trusted Him but I really trusted me. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” In other words, God is saying, I’m the Jefe, I’m the Head Honcho, I’ve got this so go sit down! Although I’m still a planner and I know how to get things done (I strongly believe that this is a huge part of my God-given makeup and tied to my purpose), I’ve gotten a real handle on my need to try to beat God to the punch. My trust, my identity, my gifts, and talents are all in Him and I’ve given all control to Him. So, if you’re a mover like me and you need a little help learning to ‘be still’, I have a few tips for you.
Let go of your timeline
If I have learned nothing else in my walk with Christ, I’ve learned that his timing is supreme. I like timelines, I like deadlines and I sometimes get uncomfortable when things are off schedule but looking back over my life, the greatest changes in my life happened at the most unexpected times. There are at least 100 scriptures in the Bible on standing still and allowing God to work in your life but in none of those scriptures does God say he’ll handle everything in two weeks or within 30 days, or right before things get tough. Let go of your timeline. When we place timelines and deadlines on God, we put him in a box and we forget that he can bless us with more than we could ever ask or think. Sometimes ‘more than you can ask or think’ can take a little longer than two days. He promised an expected end so lean on that promise and sit tight.
Pray, Speak, Affirm
Half of the battle of being still is getting out of your own head. Just as sure as the sky is blue, the enemy will come and bring thoughts of doubt and disbelief. What’s the best way to get rid of unruly thoughts? Open your mouth and speak the truth. When you’re frustrated, tell God that you’re frustrated and remind him of his promises. When you’re doubting, cast down those thoughts of doubt and declare that God is in control and that you believe in his word. And if you’re really a mover, you’re going to get thoughts (fleshly thoughts) telling you to do this or do that to regain control. Cast them down and stand on the scriptures that remind you to be still because God is already working on your behalf. Speak positive things over yourself and allow your words to shape your mood and your reality. Proverbs 23:7 says that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Guard your thoughts and continue to pray, speak, and affirm.
Find a Distraction
One of the best things that you could do if you’re still learning to ‘be still’ is to find a distraction (a good one of course). Start a new Bible study, attend the weeknight service at your church, spend time with other faith-filled friends. Find something that takes your focus off of your problem and places it in the goodness of God. Have some fun! There’s no better distraction than good, clean fun when you’re in the middle of waiting on God to pull you through.
God is so good, so gracious, so kind that he gave us free will. He allows us to deal with things in the way that we choose but I can promise you that his way is always better. I mean, are you going to trust the God of the entire universe that sees and knows all or are you going to trust only in yourself with your limited ability to see the full picture? If you’re waiting on Him to come through, He’s got this, you need only be still.
Do you have any other tips for staying still while waiting on God?