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Be Still

Introduction

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:17-18).

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10).

Thousands of Christians hold the truth in unrighteousness. To “hold” here speaks of suppressing and stifling. It means that the truth is being hindered. These people, the majority in some churches, do it by talking and talking day-in and day-out. They hinder the flow of God’s life by focusing their conversations on people and situations rather than exalting the Wo rd and all that God has done.

But the Word of God says, “I will be exalted among the heathen, and I will be exalted on earth. And because My Word is true, I want you to be still.” The Hebrew grammar of Psalm 46:10 indicates that this action is continued progressively with a spiritual application.

As you will see in this booklet, God gave doctrine simply so that every mouth would be closed. As you read these pages, my hope is that you will come to understand and know the great importance of being still before Him.

Be Sensitive to the Still, Small Voice

“And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

“And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:

“And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

“And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?

“And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

“And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria:

“And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room.

“And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay.

“Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him” (1Kings 19:9-18).

Elijah came down from Mount Carmel and walked some twenty-eight miles. After he went to sleep, the angels awoke him. The wind came, then the earthquake, then the fire. But God was not in the wind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire. Elijah saw the fire as he approached the caves, and there God revealed Himself to Elijah in a still small voice: “Be still and know that I am God.”

Keep Your Opinions to Yourself

There are certain things God does not want said. Yet, some still talk matters over with their best friends, as ninety percent of us do. But here God is telling us to be still. Do not offer your opinion. God, who is in you, is not interested in what you think about these things.

Some people go on and on about an organization’s finances, and these people have never run a business, yet they talk about how to manage someone else’s accounts. God has one thing to say those people: Be still. Study to be quiet (1 Thessalonians 4:11). Learn to work industriously, and mind your own business.

This is what I do when I trust God with all my heart. I refuse to lean on my own understanding, I acknowledge Him in all my ways, and He directs my path (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Be still, God is saying to us. He did not communicate with Elijah in the wind, in the earthquake, or in the fire. He revealed Himself in the still, small voice.

Find the Resting Place

Many Christians, even pastors and missionaries here and overseas, can serve God in the flesh. It is revealed by the way they refuse to humble themselves in a local assembly. Some even have gifts from God, but they walk in the flesh instead of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16).

These people are not quiet resting places (Isaiah 32:18). They are not still before God. Human nature becomes cultural and not spiritual. They carry on with what they call “the boldness and frankness of human opinion” and use the Scriptures all the time. But they are not still, and they don’t realize that God does not speak in the fire. With Elijah, He spoke after, outside of the fire, with a still, small voice.

I have had amazing times recently, riding for miles and being quiet, being still. I have learned some good things from people who use good words, but I am just still, because the Word of God says, “Be still, and if you are still, I will be exalted among the heathen, and I’ll be exalted upon the earth. So be still.”

The Potter Forms the Clay

“The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,

“Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.

“Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.

“And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it” (Jeremiah 18:1-3).

The Word of God says that He told the prophet to go down to the potter’s place to cause him to hear the Word of God. So He led Jeremiah down to the potter’s place. There, he saw the potter hold the clay, and the vessel that he made was marred, so he decided to make a new vessel.

Now that does not mean what some people say it does about Israel, even though it can be applied. That is not even talking about being remade. This is referring to people living the Christian life who are not quiet before God, doing things in religious obedience to Jesus Christ, but they are not still in their soul.

In quietness and confidence is our strength (Isaiah 30:15). Faithfulness must be the believer’s substance. Loyalty should be his premise and love his correlation. When grace is revealed in his dynamics, Jesus Christ is the One he glorifies. This operation works from the inside out (Colossians 3). It is not based on opinions and observations. It is not stimulated by sight on the outward appearance. That would be holding the truth in unrighteousness.

“Did you know?” this one says.

” Yes, but did you know…” comes the answer.

“Did you know…?”

“Yes, but did you know…?”

“And did you know…?”

What a conversation! They have to transgress all over the nature of God just to keep that garbage bin going with the fires of hell.

But God says, “Be still.”

Eventually, those whose hearts are not one with God’s heart will be revealed. Circumstances change and people’s hearts are revealed. In the meantime, God wants us to just be still.

The Value of Quietness and Longsuffering

“And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire….

“…As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake” (Ezekiel 1:4-28).

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

“Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:21).

In Ezekiel 1:4-5, there is a fire and there is brightness. Out of that fire came four living creatures, and they were looking in four different directions – east, west, north, and south – representing a heart of compassion toward the lost in the world. If we compare spiritual with spiritual, we can see these four living creatures were coming out of the spirit of burning (Isaiah 4:4). The Holy Spirit is the spirit of burning. It is the Holy Spirit’s ministry to burn away the dross and to take away the gross products of the flesh.

Then there is a wheel inside the wheel. The appearance of it (Ezekiel 1:16) is like the color of beryl. This points to Lucifer in his perfection in the Garden of Eden. Lucifer had sardius, topaz, diamond, beryl, onyx, jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle all set in gold. In Ezekiel 28:13, God says that Lucifer was covered with all these precious stones.

Yes, before he fell, Lucifer wore these stones as a covering in the Garden of Eden, and each stone correlated with a fruit of the Spirit. One part of that covering was beryl. Beryl is also referred to in the wheel inside the wheel, and it represents longsuffering that is the fruit of the Spirit. Love is represented by sardius. Joy, by topaz. Peace, by diamonds. Beryl is longsuffering. Martin Luther once said that the most amazing thing he received from God was His patience. Without God’s patience, we would die and be in hell. So you can see that longsuffering is very important.

Longsuffering is so important in considering what we say. Our words should be as beryl. They should be as choice gems that reflect God’s attitude of longsuffering.

I would love to have a wheel inside the wheel that gives the appearance of beryl. Beryl is the patience and longsuffering of Christ. Satan had it (Ezekiel 28:13), and in Galatians 5:22, longsuffering is the fourth fruit of Spirit. Satan had every one of those precious stones as his covering before he fell (Ezekiel 28:13-14) – every single precious stone.

Just as the precious gems covering the priest were rooted in gold, the fruit of the Spirit is rooted in the deity of Jesus Christ and the fire of the Holy Spirit.

If there is anything I want, it is to know when to be quiet and to learn to operate only when I am filled with the Spirit. This is the way to be on top of every subject that I need to know. Be still.

“Elijah, you think I’m going to come in the fire or earthquake or wind? No. When you get at the end of the cave, I will come by a still small voice.” Why a still, small voice? God wants every soul to study to be quiet and to be filled inwardly with the Holy Spirit.

Lot lived by externals of projection, stimulations, and superficial subjectivity. That is interesting to note because he and his family found it very comfortable to live in Sodom and Gomorrah. He did not discern what was going on a round him, and he had to be dragged out of the midst of that sinful city. His wife never did overcome her attachment. She turned back as the city was being destroyed, and she was turned into a pillar of salt.

Just as Lot and his family grew attached to their environment, so many Christians grow attached to wordiness, never realizing what it means to be still.

Think of These Things

” Finally, my brethren, whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, if they have any kindness, any virtue, any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

These words of Paul are very important for our subject. To “think,” in the Greek text, means to go right on – even in your sleep – thinking of those truths in the objectivity of God, in the subjectivity of the Holy Spirit, in the work of Jesus Christ inside of your soul. Think progressively on those things.

I have got to test everything I think and what I plan to say according to all of God’s standards. You can have truth and not grace (John 1:16). My thoughts and my words have to be pure. They need to be just. They need to be kind. They need to be lovely.

“Lovely” means that Jesus Christ makes the Body of Christ His object of love. Every Christian alive is the object of Jesus Christ’s love, and we don’t have to go far for that. According to 1 John 4:17-19, we are the perfection of God in Christ. It is interesting to me that God can fellowship with the people who are the object of His perfect love.

I can test according to truth. I can test people and commitment. I can test a vision. I can test God’s people on the basis of things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely. Does what they are saying to me have virtue? Virtue means that what is being said excels in everything from God’s Holy Spirit and love.

Be still.

Be still.

Be still. Make up your mind right now that you are going to be still, as far as the words that should never be said – words that do not come out of the quietness of divine dynamics, in the vocabulary of the Holy Spirit, in the filling of God-likeness. Whatever you do, do not hold the truth in unrighteousness. That is the most dangerous thing in the world.

Find Rest in the Body

” Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?

“If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds’ tents” (Song of Solomon 1:7-8).

God gives the flock a place to rest, a place where we can be still. We will be judged by how we responded to the opportunity the grace of God and all that He has given us. He has given us His love. He has given us fantastic teachers, and He has given us godly leaders. He has given us the Wo rd of God, which is the premise of creation. As we learn, we will be evaluated at the Bema Seat for how much we used what God sent to us.

The shepherds feed those who are by the kid’s tent, and the people bring the young sheep by the tents of the shepherds. They believe in Christian training and Christian education, even if it means sacrifice. The Body of Christ is the love of God perfected when we realize Who is inside of us.

These verses, in Song of Solomon 1:7-8, refer to the Body of Christ. This is not just about Christianity in general, but it is about the Body of Christ coming together to have fellowship a round the Word of God. It is about resting in your footsteps as you join in that fellowship. It speaks of being hid. People don’t see “you” because you are hid; but they watch your footsteps and the impression you make with what comes out of you, because what goes in has to come out. They recognize and respond to your stillness in God.

Be still. That is the only way to live before God and before people.

Conclusion

If there is anything I hate, it is all this talk, talk, talk – too many words with no redeeming substance. Let’s learn to be still.

It would be interesting to see two or three people go out and say anything they want to say but have fantastic quietness in their exchange. “Quietness and confidence is your strength,” the prophet Isaiah said in the thirtieth chapter.

I believe with all my heart that this is true about every Christian who hears the whispers of God, who reveals the nature of God, who obeys the grace of God, who reflects the love of God, and whose heart rejoices against judgment with mercy (James 2:13). It is my conviction that these believers know how to be still.

Be still.

Be still.

Be still.

Be still.

Be absolutely still, and know that He is God. If we do this, He will be exalted among the heathen, He will be exalted upon the earth.

Carl H. Stevens

Carl H. Stevens

(1929-2008) pastored and established thriving churches and Bible colleges in Maine, Massachusetts, and Maryland. He also helped pioneer Christian talk radio through Telephone Time and the Grace Hour and authored nearly 500 books and booklets. See also the Carl H Stevens Memorial Site
Carl H. Stevens

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Comment(1)

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    David Delaware says

    we are given a messure of faith by God and with that understanding also a capacity to recieve what he whats to say for another and ourselves . He is so gental with us , david greatness was Gods gentalness towords him and in part us as well , [ just keep coming and dont quit O what a work did,done, doing and going to do [perfecting us untill christ coming , this truth sets us free and in jesus chris were free in deed , thank you jesus !!!!! thank you for making these booklets so avaible

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