“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:9).
I am currently reading a book by John Ortberg, Senior Pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, titled, Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You. The first part of the book tells of a meeting between John Ortberg and Dallas Willard many years ago. This was a time just after Willard had retired from the faculty of the University of Southern California, Ortberg’s career was just beginning. As John Ortberg was seeking council from this wise old sage, he was not expecting the first words of counsel that he received. Willard told him, “Hurry is the greatest enemy of spiritual life in our day. You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”
When you go to visit a wise spiritual sage, you go expecting him to speak forth something so profound that you can easily fail to hear the profound in the simplest of statements.
When someone comes into my office for counsel, I often ask a series of questions that are akin to a physician measuring ones temperature, pulse, heartbeat, and respirations. The questions include, “How’s your prayer life? How much time are you spending in the Word? Do you have a daily devotional time set aside, where it’s just you and God, together?” I’m sure that you won’t be surprised when I tell you that the vast majority of those coming for counsel tell me that they just don’t have time for those things in their schedule.
Now, understand this, these are professing Christians, telling me that they don’t have time for their Creator and Savior because their schedule is too filled with other things.
It was Jesus that said, “Don’t worry then, saying, ‘What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What will we wear for clothing?’ For unbelievers eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things (the necessities of life) will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
Be honest now, what are the things that rob you, that keep you from daily seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness? Is hurry the enemy of your soul today? I also find it amazing that of those who tell me that they don’t have enough time to spend with their Creator and Savior, most of them have more than enough time to do the things that they really want to do. Bringing to mind Jesus’ words, “…for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).
“Be still and know that I am God” was the reminder of the Psalmist, but it seems that Israel had a hard time appropriating that truth, for in his day, Jeremiah said, “Here is rest, give rest to the weary. Here is repose, but they would not listen” (Jeremiah 28:12). Like all of God’s good gifts, they are held out to us as the benefits of salvation. But like all gifts, we must reach out and take them unto ourselves. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:16).