The kind of world I live in is always in a rush. I’ve got meetings, endless to-do lists, coaching sessions, Victory Groups, discipleship classes, and hundreds of things just screaming to get my attention. And the thing about is I know I’m not the only one. There’s a very big chance you’re one of the majority of people who are always going at a hundred twenty miles an hour. You maybe wonder where the day has gone and wish you could extend your days just by a little bit (and by a little bit I mean maybe another twenty-four hours a day or more).
I get it. We’re all in a rush and we’re all busy building our dreams, advancing ministry, getting things done, earning our keep, getting exposure and training and so on. But in all the rush and motion, we forget one important spiritual discipline that God wants us to exercise on a regular basis- that’s the discipline of stillness.
What are spiritual disciplines? In a nutshell, they are habits that we build in order to grow spiritually. We know the basic disciplines- Bible reading, prayer, fasting, corporate worship, listening to the Word preached and so on. But you maybe never considered stillness a spiritual discipline.
But if you think about it, being still for long periods across your week really fits in the definition of being a spiritual discipline. For one it takes nothing less than sheer deliberative action and discipline. Nowadays, it’s tough to just sit down to thirty minutes to an hour just being still, quiet and idle in the presence of God. On top of that, stillness also brings the benefit of Spiritual growth. Here are three ways stillness brings growth to our spirits.
1. We will know God more
Psalm 46:10 tells us, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” At the very core of stillness is an opportunity to know God.
It’s in stillness that we can pause to see the beauty of things and thus the beauty of God embedded into the things around us. It’s in stillness that we can reflect upon God’s grace and see just how much of it we experience today amidst all the hustle. It’s in stillness we become aware of God’s love and character as we come to Him with no agenda except to experience Him more.
2. We will hear God’s voice
Remember that story of how Elijah experienced God in a still small voice? “And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” 1 Kings 19:12 says.
Often- not all the time but still often- God appears to us in a still small voice not rumbling or rushing. God can sometimes crack like thunder I know, but on many occasions the gentle peace, joy and comfort of God comes in the smallest whisper that directs our paths and brings affirmation and satisfaction.
3. Jesus will always compensate
The hardest part about being still is abandoning all the moving parts that we feel will fall apart without us. Have you ever felt that way? Chances are you have. You think that your business, studies, family, department, church or office will stop moving without you.
But all things hinge on to Jesus before it does to us, and when we let go sometimes it’s a means of allowing Jesus to move unimpeded by our own shortcomings and limitations. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says it this way: “Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”
Do you take time to practice the spiritual discipline of stillness? I know it’s not easy. I haven’t mastered it completely yet either. I’m still writing this blog post while juggling a conference chat and a few errands. But we should all strive to get to that point of complete stillness so we can know God more, hear His voice and allow Jesus to compensate.
Patrick Mabilog, patrickmabilog.com