Every January, we hear the same things said about the new year: It’ll be a year of prosperity and success, bondages broken, long-awaited prayers answered, new relationships, et cetera. And there’s nothing wrong with any of that—I pray for those blessings as well. But here’s one thing we have to keep in mind no matter what happens this year, good or bad:
Our pursuit of God and His presence has to be the priority—or none of the rest of it matters. Nor will any of it work out.
Now I know what you’re thinking: “Been there, heard that.” But have we really heard it?
What If You’re Not Happy?
Have you ever had an experience where you got that thing you’d dreamed about and prayed for and waited on forever—and then it doesn’t bring the fulfillment or happiness or peace you thought it would? There’s still an emptiness deep inside, a longing you can’t explain? Sometimes even disappointment sets in (which, if not dealt with, is a dangerous thing). If so, that means one thing: we’re depending on that new opportunity or new assignment or new relationship to fulfill us. The problem is, it doesn’t work that way. The presence of God is the one thing which will give us that sweet peace and fulfillment and joy we crave. Sure, the new job or heart-throbbing relationship or bigger bank account will certainly give us some satisfaction, but those aren’t the end game. No assignment or amount of money or person can give us peace for the long term—nor are they supposed to. Rather, it’s God’s job to provide us with peace and fulfillment; however, it is our job to spend time in His presence to access it.
Let’s be honest, shall we? It’s easy to get desperate about seeking God when we desperately need something from Him, but what about when we don’t? What about after He gives us that opportunity or prosperity or destiny we’ve been crying out for? After we get it and we’re not quite as desperate, is seeking His presence still really as much of a priority now as seeking His provision was back then?
“But seeking God’s presence is hard!”
Or not. Seeking the presence of God does not have to be complicated—although we think it does. We often think it requires hours of prayer or Bible study or some other work to get God to pay attention to us or to “show up”. But guess what? God is waiting for us to show up; He’s already there.
So where is “there”? It’s any quiet place you can find to go and sit and just be.
That’s what God means when He says, “’Be still, and know that I am God.’” He means be still.
He doesn’t mean we have to write a thesis or read the whole Bible in a week or pray for three hours a day (although you can if you want). It does mean we have sit down and listen. Or go to the park and listen or take a long drive and listen… simply find any place where you’re alone and quiet, and it can be just you and God. That’s all.
And the Point Is…?
So what’s the point of this whole little commentary? It’s simply to ensure that when your prayers are answered and your dreams do come true and you have discovered your destiny—that you’re happy. And you will be if the Lord is at the center of those things. That’s all I want for you. So here’s the Word of the Lord for 2019:
Just. Be. Still.