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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Be Still and Know Amidst the Battle: An Introduction to a 7 Week Study {by Julia Rogers}

“Be still and know."

We like this verse don’t we? Just walk into your local Hobby Lobby and you’ll find it painted on many a different decoration. We a people, that glorify the state of busy, need the reminder to be still.  Yet, I wonder, how many of us actually practice the art of being still? 

Did you know that there is more to this popular verse in Psalm 46:10?  Here is the full verse:

Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

And to get the full context of this verse, I think it’s very important to read the whole passage of Psalm 46 (ESV):

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire.  Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Is it just me or does that passage give you chills too?  Here we have the psalmist encouraging us to hope and trust in God, and His power, providence, and gracious presence. He directs us to give God the glory for what He has done for us and what He will do.  More than likely, this psalm was penned upon one of David’s victories over the neighboring nations (2 Samuel 8) and the rest that God gave him from all his enemies around him.  

We are taught many things from this passage but the lesson that I want to hone in on is this:

We can take comfort in God. 

Unlike David, most of us will not be going off to the battlefield tomorrow.  But we do fight our own battles everyday, don’t we?  

Addiction. Loss. Grief. Illness. Financial Crisis. Infertility. Broken relationships. Shattered dreams. Depression. Crippling anxiety. Perfectionism.  Insecurity.  

What title does your own battle take on? Oh, you have more than one? Me too!

It is my prayer that over the next few months, we would learn how to seek God in our rough places….that we would truly learn how to “be still and know”…that we would take comfort in God, knowing that He is Sovereign over all….that our faith would be made stronger and that God’s strength would be revealed through our battles…that we would develop greater endurance to run the race set before us.  

It is my prayer that we learn that the most beautiful things can come out of the hardest times.  We must endure. But we cannot without God.  

Will you endure with me?  

Your Christ-Chasing Friend,

Julia Rogers

Small Group Discussion to this study introduction:

1.     When you read Psalm 46:10, what comes to mind? 

2.     When you read the words “be still”, does this seem like an impossible task?  Do you actually fit margin time into your schedule that allows you to “be still” before God?  Is this something you do well? Or feel inadequate about?  

3.     Does your “be still time” include Netflix binging or facebook/instagram strolling?  That doesn’t count as rest and probably doesn’t do much in the way of reflecting on God.  What are you doing today to seek His face? 

4.     Before this study takes us into the depths of our specific battles, we must learn or re-learn to “be still” before God.  November’s small group material will offer you practical ways to do this.  Until then, I challenge you to reflect on Psalm 46 (especially verse 10), and how it applies to the specific battle(s) that you are facing. If time allows, and anyone feels comfortable, feel free to share with the group a battle that you are currently facing.  What do you hope to take from this study?  How can the group be praying for you?

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