A couple years back I managed to catch up with an older friend of mine. We were riding on a bus filled with teens through a forest in the middle of Norway when he casually said (in his delightful southern American accent), “Jon, I’ve figured out the key to missions.”
The key to missions, eh Ken? You’re figured it all out?
He went on. “We all know Psalm 46 – be still and know that I am God – but have you ever read it in context?”
I’m sure I had… but I guess I’d not been paying much attention.
“The very next verse says ‘I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’ What’s the key to mission? It’s being still and knowing that he is God.”
In my mind, that seems almost too simple. How are we to see this whole mission thing fulfilled where God’s name is exalted across the whole earth? By being still before God, knowing his presence, making hanging out with him part of our daily lives. But doesn’t that make perfect sense? It’s not people who are great at doing a bunch of stuff for God who will change the world, but people who really know God.
The problem is I’m not all that great at being still! It takes real discipline to sit and quiet myself before God – and to be honest, half the time I’m just waiting until I think I’ve sat long enough so I can get active again. The further I go in God, the more I realise I need him… and the more I discover I don’t desire him as much as I wish I did – if I really wanted to know God more and live in his presence, wouldn’t setting time aside be natural, easy, normal?
Here lies the tension – it’s in that stillness that I really get to know this God who is in the business of transforming the world. If I don’t learn to enjoy that stillness and really focus my heart of him, how can I expect to see his name exalted in all the earth?! I can’t share a God that I don’t really know.
Do you relate? What keeps you from really getting to know God intimately? What can we do about it? Share your thoughts below.
Set aside a decent chunk of time this week to really focus on God – half an hour or an hour one morning or something like that. Put aside any agenda of what that time should look like to find out what being still before God can be like.