The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
The verse jumped out at me from the passage.
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
But still is so hard! Everything about life says “try.” Try hard.
Work hard to have faith.
Believe hard to have peace.
Pray hard to have life.
But here, here in this precious book, it says be still.
Try is not the message in scripture. Easy is not the message either. But rest and be still? Yes, that is all over.
Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.” Zachariah 2:13
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:7
The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14
Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. Psalm 116:7
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
In this place that jumped out to my eyes, I was reading of the Israelite people making their way out of Egypt. They were under attack, hemmed in by Pharaoh, trapped against the barrier of the red sea.
Understandably, they were worried.
What would I be feeling in their place? What would I feel I should do?
I’d want to run, or fight.
Probably more run than fight.
It’s called instinct. You know? The fight or flight instinct?
I would not want to be still.
Being still would be the last thing on my mind.
In the same way when life happens, when disaster strikes or not-so-nice people attack, when medical crisis happens, or problems crop up, or when I’m just having one of those days, the last thing on my mind is to be still.
This last thing, that should be a first thing.
The Bible is full of last and least things that are made into first things.
The Bible is full of wonderful, upside down world truths that, in reality, turn everything right-side up.
Because it is when we are still that we can turn our eyes to Him. It is when we are still that we can let go. It is when we are still that we can quiet our mind and finally listen.
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 King’s 19:11b-12
Lets face it, the world throws a lot of winds, earthquakes and fires at us. It’s easy to be overwhelmed, and if we are not still, if we are not paying attention, we won’t hear His whispers, we won’t see His hand.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
It is in being still that we see His greatness. It is in being still that we know He is God.
When we come to that place at the end of us and we look up and say, “I’m at an end, I have no more, I now realize that I could have never handled this myself. I step aside. My life is Yours. I surrender.”
When we surrender to God, we are not surrendering our strengths, because in Him even our strengths are weakness. When we surrender, we are letting go of our effort, of our very right to try to do it alone.
Life may be overwhelming, enemies may be at our door, but instead of fight or flight, instead of effort and work:
We are still.
And we turn to God and say, “Your call. What now?”
And it is here that the miraculous takes place.
Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh his chariots and his horsemen.” Exodus 14:16-18
If the Israelites had tried to run, Pharaoh would have picked them off, killing most and hauling the rest back to slavery. If the Israelites had tried to fight, Pharaoh would have, again, killed them.
But they were still, and God’s glory was known.