Be Still.

Being still is either at the top or near the top of the list of things that are incredibly difficult for us to do.  When I enlisted in the Marine Corps I was immediately sent to Recruit Training at San Diego, CA for 12 weeks and was introduced to “being still.”  There I was forced to “be still.”  Combat veterans made sure that there was no doubt when they gave the command “ATTENTION!” all activity would cease and all attention would focus on them, what they had to say and what they had to demonstrate.  They were deadly serious about us being still.  They knew the benefits of stillness when engaging an enemy on the battlefield. 

The Psalmist, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells us to “be still” and know God is God.  Our heavenly Father knows the joy and the anguish we have experienced, are now experiencing and will experience.  Our Lord knows our thoughts before they take form in our hearts and minds.  The Spirit knows our sinful inclination to act on our own reason and strength without first coming to God in prayer.  Our Creator knows the good He has prepared for us this day and that we are inclined to seek a “good” thing of our choosing.  Our Redeemer knows that when we are actively doing what we want to do we will not see the good He is doing for us, those we love and those we know.  Our King knows if we will not “be still” we will never know He is God because we are too busy trying to be god.  My brothers and sisters in Christ, what joy we often forfeit and what needless pain we bear because we will not “be still.”  

Rather, by the power of His Holy Spirit may we “be still,” listen, remember and believe.  Let us from now on begin our days by awaking from a night where He has kept us from all harm and danger and “be still.”

Even before we move a hand to throw off the bedding let us lie quietly and listen – listen to the still small voice of our God.  He speaks to us through His means of grace, promising us each and every good thing for our mind, body, and spirit anew this morning.  He has prepared all things for our good this day, just as He had yesterday and as He will tomorrow.

His Spirit helps us to “be still,” reminding us how God has delivered us from our enemies by the innocent suffering and death of the Crucified One.  He reminds us that we draw the breath of eternal life because the Lamb who was slain on the cross breathed His last breath before giving up His Spirit in death as the full payment for our sins.  The Spirit of Truth comforts and reassures us that though the nations rage and kingdoms totter we have nothing to fear for God is our refuge and strength.  God bids us to “be still” – behold and remember the works of the Lord in our lives, the lives of those we love and those we know.  He does marvelous things with which He gives us joy and peace amidst the trails and struggles of this present life.

God tells us to be still yet a moment longer before we arise.  He calls us to believe that He is God and has done all these things for His glory and our good.  God has made us a new creature in Christ through our baptism.  He gives us His strength so we would drown the Old Adam who is desperately trying to get us up to do his works.  His Spirit calls us, the new creature in Christ, to arise anew from our beds.  He sustains, strengthens and safeguards us for the work that our heavenly Father has prepared for us to do in His kingdom this very day.

Our heavenly Father bids us to arise and follow His Son onto the spiritual battlefield of this fallen world.  The Son leads us forward amidst the noise and din of battle against our defeated enemy and his arrayed forces.  The Holy Spirit calls us to be brave and courageous for He has clothed us in the whole armor of God.  God knows the fight will soon be over, our adversaries forever silenced and He will welcome us into our eternal and perfect joy and peace. 
Pastor Bob