We typically find ourselves standing in a “muddy” situation when we make decisions from a spontaneous reaction. A hasty decision doesn’t allow time to think the situation through and the result is rarely positive. In these moments we act out or fear and feelings rather than truth and principles. Our vision becomes foggy during these times. I know that when I act quickly I tend to make poor choices.
When we are still enough to hear God, our vision is much clearer. To “Be Still” does not imply that we should “do nothing”. It does not give us an excuse to be lazy or to sit and worry ourselves into a frenzy and it does not give us an okay to be complacent. Several times in scripture God used the words “Be Still” or stay calm before He gave instructions. To be still in God’s presence is to let go of our thoughts and our desires; to block out what the world says and to rest in the assurance that God will lead us along the way. This keeps us out of the “mud”.
In Psalm 46 David is to be still and trust God. The war and destruction around David was inevitable, but so was God’s final victory. David was to stay calm, honor God and trust God to see him through the trial.
Be Still and Know that I am God
In Exodus 14, Moses told the Israelites to be still and the Lord would fight for them. They had been complaining and had lost faith. What Moses understood was that they would never hear the voice of God in the middle of the complaining. Moses knew that God would speak to them in a still small voice. Moses also understood that they had to trust God in order hear His voice and to move in the right direction. Moses did not give into despair, but had confidence that if they “stood still” God would rescue them. After God tells them to be still, in verse 15, God speaks to Moses and gives him detailed instructions on what to do so that they crossed the Red Sea safely.
The Lord will fight for you, you only have to be still.
In both of these examples God did not ask them to sit down and do nothing. He doesn’t want us to stand and be stagnant. He was asking David and Moses to stay calm, to pray, to ask for guidance and then to trust Him to bring victory. When we act without knowing what God expects of us we will most likely make the wrong decision, but if we will stay calm and listen, our the answer will be much clearer.
A friend once gave the perfect analogy: When we are in the middle of a situation where we do not know what to do it’s like standing in a pond. If we move quickly the mud on the bottom begins to mix with the water. The more that that we move the more murky the water becomes. It will get so dark and muddy that we can no longer see where we are standing. But if we stand very still, eventually the water becomes clear and we can once again see our feet.
Let emotions subside before you decide. Do your best to let things settle down before you make major decisions.
Life works the same way. If we act hastily or if we make decisions out of fear, we will ultimately make the water very muddy. We will lose site of the truth and we will only see confusion in the situation around us. The more we move without direction, the more distorted things become. But if we stay still and if we remain calm, the water will once again become crystal clear. God will speak in that stillness. You will see with clarity. He will tell you what to do and give you the assurance that He is fighting for you.
So when things seem distorted, Be Still and know that God is God and that He is fighting for you. Be still and watch the waters clear.