Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. (Psalm 46:10)
There is a key to entering into a deeper place in our relationship with God. It's a key that not only allows us but helps us to hear His voice better. It's a key that makes it easier to sense His presence and His nearness... a key that will keep the noise and distraction of the things of the world at bay. It is stillness.
We can read a scripture like Psalm 46:10 and have an idea of what it might be saying to us. For years I looked at this verse and thought that it meant pretty much that when everything is said and done we should just believe God to fulfill His promises. This is true on one level. There is a deeper meaning that only seemed to become clear to me as I spent more time with a focused desire to get closer to the Lord and live a more Spirit-led life according to Galatians 5:25.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25)
Be Still with expectation....
Being still for me is a time of coming before God and just sitting in His presence. It isn't a time of prayer or worship, it not a time of replaying the day in my mind or focusing on the issues in my life. It is simply sitting in God's presence and being with Him. I don't meditate on the scriptures normally when I am still before God but I do keep an expectation in my heart that as I spend time with Him that He will manifest Himself to me in some way.
When people have asked "What do you think about as you sit in stillness", this is my answer... I keep in my heart an expectation.
You see, we hear a scripture like John 10:27 and sometimes we wonder why we don't hear better.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (John 10:27)
It is so very easy to let the distractions of everyday life to crowd out that still, small voice that God can be speaking to us and even answering the desires of our hearts and we might never know it. Let me give you a practical example... If you were watching television in a room crowded with people taking, and suddenly an important breaking news bulletin came over the TV, you would more than likely ask everyone to be quiet so that you could hear this important message. How much more do we need to hear the important voice of God?
Be Very Still...
What is stillness exactly? The dictionary says that it is the absence of movement and sound. The complete absence? Yes. Just how much do we desire to make this heavenly connection? In complete stillness my focus is upon my proximity to the Lord and my expectation of being with Him. If I am moving about or listening to natural sounds it shifts my focus from the spirit to the natural, even if unintentionally. Many times we have to train ourselves to stop allowing random thoughts to invade this stillness. If you are just learning this discipline, I suggest that you think about a scripture, not to analyze it but rather to allow the Lord to give you an understanding that perhaps you had not considered before. Another thing you might do if various pictures try to invade your thoughts is to picture the Lord's face. (Or what you imagine the Lord might look like)
The Bible says to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. This is something we must actively do.
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Be Still a While...
As I began to put this practice into place in my own life, there was a period of learning that took place. I would constantly have to tell my thoughts to be still or my body would want to move around, or I would even begin to wonder if this had the value I had heard that it had. It was all part of the process of learning to be still. In the early days I would wait upon God in stillness for 10 minutes and sometimes even that was a struggle. I gradually increased the amount of time I spent in stillness, but the real breakthrough happened as I began to encounter the Lord and the things of His Kingdom as I practiced stillness before Him.
Once Heaven began to open around me and my life, the struggle to wait on God and be still was gone. What could have happened that was so powerful to take the struggle away from me? Encounters with God...real and powerful encounters with God.
That's the place where I desire for you to go... that place of encounters with God. Everything changes in His presence!
God bless you
Discernment - Should We be Actually Walking in it?
Many years ago we attended a church that was big and growing by leaps and bounds. They had to build a bigger place because so many were being added every week. In the end the place could hold several thousand people. Every Sunday the worship team got everyone going. Thousands of people lifting their hands and jumping in worship. They had a staff of about ten pastors and the main pastor was highly respected by most. He could preach in a way that could move people.
This church had guest speakers continually over the years we were there and you would know them if I named them. They were the biggest names and the people most respected in the church world as being men and women of God. Everything not only looked just fine but looked great. People would jump and dance and pray in tongues, every kind of class and group you could think of could be found there and all the things we know should be happening seemed to be happening.
In all the years we went there, I always had a bad feeling about the pastor but wrote it off as a personality conflict. I didn’t like him but figured that was just my problem. I just asked the Lord to help me from judging people wrongly. I ignored my “gut” feeling.
In the end, after about 8-10 years we left the church. Not long after that we found out the church was going through a really hard time as the pastor was found out to have been having a long standing affair for almost the whole time he was in ministry.
Several of the assistant pastors computers were audited because of this about the pastor coming to light, and it was then uncovered that several of the assistant pastors had pornography “issues”.
You don’t have to agree with me on this, but as for me and my family I don’t want them to be sitting under the teaching and authority of those living in sin. Period.
How could all those people and all those famous ministers miss it, and for so very long? Was there no one walking in any degree of discernment? I blame myself as well because I was in the same boat. I talked to the Lord about this and when I asked Him “where are those with discernment”, He said “You be the one.” That was not just a statement for me but for all of us. He was telling me that it is each one’s responsibility to hear God’s voice clearly and discern good from evil, truth from lies, and what is of God and what is not.
Having discernment is especially critical for those desiring to be used of the Lord in ministry. It’s critical for deciding in whose care to place your children. It’s critical for choosing who you join to and who you don’t. There is no getting away from this responsibility. (In my opinion)
So… the cat is out of the bag. Feel free to comment in any way you choose. Do we bare any responsibility for walking in discernment or is it all on God or does it even matter? You tell me.
may sound a bit hard here. If so, I’m sorry. I don’t like to see people get hurt.
with love, Mike
A couple of years ago a believing friend at work asked me for a word. He knew God was doing things in my life and wanted that same grace over his life as well. I explained to him that I did not “flow” in the prophetic like he did and that he should ask someone that has that gift. My friend was not dissuaded and continued to ask me…. for TWO years! I had to give him credit for persistence.
Finally I agreed. The reality was that I knew I could get a word from the Lord but at that time I had to spend some serious time in prayer to get one. He really is a gifted prophet who desired to be launched and used of the Lord so I told him I would pray and ask the Lord where his open doors and breakthrough was waiting for him. I spent two days, or rather two days of my evenings / nights asking about his situation and the Lord spoke to me very clearly. I knew exactly where his breakthrough was waiting.
I was excited to relay the good news to him but there was a bit of a hard word attached as well. So I went to him and we sat down and I gave him the good news. The Lord has told me where your breakthrough is waiting. He waited with expectation as I first explained there was a small issue of unforgiveness that he had to deal with. I told him who the other person was because the Lord had shown me a rather large chunk of their relationship. He looked at me in a very detached way and said “That’s none of your business.” but, he continued, “tell me where the breakthrough is. ”
I knew of course that his breakthrough was connected to getting his heart right. That was the blockage he was facing but I told him the rest anyway. I said the Lord told me that you are supposed to write out the way you hear His voice and how this has developed in your life. If you do this, many people will learn from it and be prepared for their own ministry and calling. The Lord said the book you write on this will open the doors for you to go and teach. Or to put it another way, your gift will make room for you.
I really did not expect him to be so disappointed especially since it took me two days to get the word. He told me that if God wants him to write a book, He is going to have to tell him. That was almost two years ago and he still asks me from time to time if I can ask the Lord for him where his breakthrough is. I find this very sad.
The reality is that there are many people whom the Lord has spoken to asking them to share and teach the revelation He has given them. Maybe this is you. One of the biggest hurtles people seem to face in this is the idea that their revelation is not so special or compelling so as to warrant the writing of a book. If the Lord has prompted you to write, He has a good reason for it. Just begin. Believe the Holy Spirit will give you the words He wants you to say. (Luke 12;12)
That breakthrough you have been looking for? Maybe this is it.