Friday, August 19, 2016

Moving in the Stillness

The other night I was invited to go on a sunset boat ride with some friends. I have to say that the Lord didn't disappoint us in His creation. It was a picture perfect night. As we zipped (my friend has 2 speeds on his and faster) along the very calm Lake Michigan, you could almost feel the Spirit of God there, whispering in your ear, "my child, I made this for you." The air was clear. The water was calm and the sunset painted God's glory throughout the sky. As we were stopped watching God's faithfulness cover the earth in His sunset, I couldn't help but notice the water. All night, my friends and I commented on how still the water was. There were no waves. One person said that for Lake Michigan, the water was "flat." But as I looked at the water, I saw that yes it was clam and yes there were no big waves, but the water itself was still moving. There were still ripples throughout the lake. At that moment, the Lord spoke to my heart. It was like He was right next to me in the boat and said, "In the calmness, I am still moving!"

You cannot walk through Hobby Lobby without reading a perfectly hand lettered sign saying "Be Still." The crisp black letters on the white page stand out. It is like the letters are yelling God's words through the craziness of life, "STOP and be with me." We connect these verses to Psalm 46:10 which says, "Be still and know that I am God." This verse is truth! This verse is hope. But you know what, so many people think the verse stops right there, but it doesn't. The verse concludes with "I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth!" Do you see the movement in the stillness? The Lord calls us to "be still" so that He can move. Last year I blogged about the root of the word "still" in this verse as well as Exodus 14:14 (The Lord will fight for you, you only have to be still.") In both cases, still means to "let go."

When we look at Psalm 46:10, it is just like looking at the water when I was on Lake Michigan. In the still, there is movement. In the calm there are ripples. In the stagnate, God is moving. His faithfulness is evident when we stop and focus on the little. The big waves, yes make a splash and are fun to see and play in, but the little, constant ripple goes on and on and on. Also the cool thing is as a little ripple moves, it creates more ripples.

This morning I was the immense truth found in Isaiah 43.

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored and I love you." (verses 1-4)

"'You are my witnesses,' declares the Lord, 'and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he.'" (verse 10.)

"Thus says the LORD, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, who brings forth chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down and they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick; Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." (verses 16-19)

"I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins." (verse 25)

Go back right now and reread these verses. I mean it! It is easy to skim them because we have heard them before, but take time to soak them in.

The redeeming Lord has called you. He has named you. He is there when life overwhelms you. He is there when things consume you and He makes a way. He has chosen you for the one purpose of knowing Him. The things that used to hold you down are gone. The old things you have tucked into the corners of your life, He wants you to let go of, so that He can make a new thing for you. The wrong choices you have made, are gone. He doesn't understand why you are dwelling on them, because He doesn't see them anymore.

He, the Lord and creator of everything, never stops moving, so that we can be still and just be with Him. He longs for moments when we let go of what is holding us back from Him and cling to Him so that we can ripple out His truth to those around us through our lives. Our lives should be a witness to His great power. The way we live and treat those in our path should be a reflection of His glory. All to often, we let the things that God doesn't even see anymore keep us from serving, because we think that nothing good can come out of our wrongs. We could not be more wrong.

Also in the moments of life when you stagnate. In the moments in life when you feel like you are doing nothing to make your Abba known, look around you. The Lord is moving. He is rippling through your life, like a tiny wave on a calm lake. That tiny wave has a purpose. That little movement is a sign that you have surrendered your desire so that God's can move. You have let go so that His name can be made great. It may seem too quiet and too small, but for God's Kingdom it is a HUGE movement of His plan.

It is my prayer today that we can be still, so that God can be exalted. It is my prayer that we can let our lives be calm so that God's truth can ripple through this world. It is my prayer that we can let go the of old things and be ready and willing to embrace the new that the Lord has for us, so that His name can be made great.

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