Psalm 46:10-11 (NLT) “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.
During a weekend visit to my parent’s house, we took a day trip to the beach with my parents and my brother’s family. Because there were too many of us to ride in the Jeep, my dad decided to take his truck. The beach allows vehicles to drive on the waterfront, however; the sand is very soft. My brother warned my dad that his truck would probably get stuck in the sand. After a wonderful time of surf, sun and fun with the family, it was time to leave. Sure enough, dad’s truck got stuck. He continued to push the gas to try to get traction until my brother finally yelled, “Stop!” He had made the problem even worse digging deeper into the powdery sand. The two have very similar personalities, so one’s irritation ran headlong into the other’s impatience. My brother packed wet sand under the tire and positioned his son in the front of the truck to push. Careful instructions were given to take it nice and slow and be sure not to hit my nephew. My dad, of course, gunned the engine and dug deeper into the soft sand. So my brother repeated his previous actions and again gave my father solid instructions. This time the truck slowly but surely made its way unto solid ground and off we went.
Are you stuck today? Did it feel like being still but now you are not sure anymore? The longer the wait time the more inclined to change our perspective from stillness to stuckness, if you will. Sometimes the settlement of our life becomes convenient and comfortable so what was once a sense of expectancy waiting on the Lord to move, becomes our inability to move stuck in a spiritual rut. We have waited so long that our anticipation wanes and monotony settles in so now we are stuck in religious mediocrity rather than captivated by hopeful expectation.
Be still and know that I am God. It is important to examine our heart and mind in the waiting seasons of life. Once must be sure to be resting in the peacefulness of hope with anticipatory faith to move when the time is right. To be still in the Lord means to know that He is God. The knowledge of God coupled with the experience of His Spirit recognizes His Voice when He calls us to move from our stillness and spring into action. This will not occur if in our stillness – one gets stuck.
Exodus 4:2-5 (NLT) Then the Lord asked him, “What is that in your hand?” “A shepherd’s staff,” Moses replied. “Throw it down on the ground,” The Lord told him. So Moses threw down the staff, and it turned into a snake! Moses jumped back. Then the Lord told him, “Reach out and grab its tail.” So Moses reached out and grabbed it, and it turned back into a shepherd’s staff in his hand. “Perform this sign,” the Lord told him. “Then they will believe that the Lord, the God of their ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—really has appeared to you.”
Moses had a passion to deliver God’s Children. In the beginning, his placement in the palace seemed to align with destiny. Surely his power and influence would empower him to fulfill His Calling, right? Wrong. He became a fugitive to justice killing the Egyptian. Now on a mountainside, tending sheep for his father-in-law for more than 40 years, God shows up. The burning bush an invitation to step out of stillness into the supernatural realm of the impossible God. Things were different now. Moses stopped waiting and became stuck in his identity. Well, God is a patient and persistent God. I love this encounter. I find myself in this place. The Lord asked Moses, “What is that in your hand?” It was a staff. His staff. The source of income, protection, comfort and guidance for his life. It was a natural representation that summoned up his current position. God told him to throw it down on the ground. Moses did. Now here is the part where everyone should be really glad I am not Moses. It turned into a snake. The staff measured about six feet long. Moses jumped back. Lori would have run away. Then the Lord said, “Reach out and grab its tail.” My heart is beating for the man of God right now even though I know how the story goes. Moses did and the snake became a staff once again. I wonder if this is a message for us all today. We must throw down those weights and things that so easily beset us to engage in the race of faith once again. Those who are stuck must learn to be still so when the time comes they will find the freedom and fulfillment longed for.
Psalm 42:4-6 (NLT) My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration! Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God! Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember you—even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan, from the land of Mount Mizar.
Stuck is when our worship stops, our heart sinks and hopefulness fades. When impatience dictates our attitude and defiance our actions. When we just don’t want to wait anymore now feeling trapped and forgotten by God. The enemy is savvy in his tactics. Lethal in his approach. If he can just change your perception from peace to panic – he thinks he can destroy you. Well, what if the rock and hard place you think you are in is actually the cleft of the rock as God’s Glory prepares to pass by you. What if the darkness is really trembling on the verge of light? You must get your heart ready. Keep your ears locked on His Voice. Tell your thoughts to line up with the Word of God. The psalmist writes…”but I will remember”. What do you need to remember? What did God do last time you got stuck? Needed provision? Cried out for rescue? Were desperate for a miracle? Throw down what is keeping you from holding onto faith and fully embracing hope. God is coming. He is right here.
Psalm 40:1-3 (NLT) I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.
Could it be that feeling stuck is nothing more than soured stillness? When our wait is one day longer than expected? When obedience goes beyond our comfort or convenience? Is it impatience that causes a change of heart and mind? My dad was frustrated when he got stuck in the sand. My brother warned him but graciously helped him get out. Dad didn’t listen the first time and got increasingly irritated waiting to be set free. My brother lovingly and patiently worked with him until we were on our way home. Friend, you may be feeling stuck but really only waiting for the Mighty Hand of God. First God changes us and then He changes the outcome. Our soul must prosper first. Trust the Lord. He knows what He is doing! He has a plan in motion that will fill your life infinitely more than you can think, ask or imagine. Have faith. Hold on to hope. Decide to believe. Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks now for what is going to come! You are not stuck only waiting. Stillness is the fortress of love, joy and peace that keeps us company along the way! Thank you Lord for stillness today.
Isaiah 40:31 (NLT) But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
Isaiah 26:3 (NLT) You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!