Being Still in Worship

Be still, and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10

Over the past few months and especially the past several weeks I have been limited in the use of my right arm due to an injury and surgical repair of the rotator cuff in my shoulder. What was more of a nuisance as far as pain and limitations, at times became more intense, to say the least, after my surgery. I was told that the injury would not heal on its own but would have to be repaired surgically and then heal. The physical therapy is the most important part of reaching the goal of regaining the strength and use of my arm. The down side is that it is very painful! I have to willfully submit and be still and relaxed as the therapist manipulates my arm and shoulder instructing me in how to do certain routines of exercise. I now understand the cliche ‘No Pain No Gain’.

Pain can be a great motivator. The easy thing to do would be to not participate and stay wounded. I believe God’s ways are most often opposite of our own. In Psalm 46:10 the Lord says “Be still and know that I am God.” (KJV) In the NAS it reads, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” ‘Relax now and let me show you My ways… incline your ear to Me even though the painful resistance of your flesh screams in protest.’

I remember times when we would be worshiping corporately and the Holy Spirit would begin to settle in a quiet, holy atmosphere around and within us. It is a very beautiful and intense time. But at times I noticed that something would begin to happen. There would be an uncomfortable stirring. It wasn’t something that could be seen, but rather felt or discerned, and that was an inclination to say something or do something rather than just stand or sit quietly before the Lord. It was as if the quietness needed our own words or actions. The first few seconds or a minute was about as long as the comfortable feeling of being still would last and then the fidgeting would start. I always felt it and honestly I also struggled at times. But I long for that time when we can just get lost in the quietness of God’s presence. I believe that is when we will really begin to ‘know’ Him.

God says, “Be still and know that I am God.” The meaning of the word still is translated from the Hebrew word Raphah (pronounced raw-faw) meaning to sink down, relax, to abandon everything. How many times can you remember worshipping God and your mind is thinking about something else?

Through this ‘all things work together for good’ time that I am having to be still in a sense of the mobility of my arm and shoulder, I am beginning to understand what being still before God means in a deeper way. When we worship Him it is often spontaneous to physically react to Him or toward Him, e.g. we lift our arms and hands to Him, we clap our hands, or those of us who play an instrument play them to worship God and even at times inspire prophetic words. This would be an example of what we ‘define’ worship to be at times; activity in an outward display. As a worship leader I do encourage people to demonstrate their worship through physical actions. They are clearly laid out in scripture and it is wonderful to do so as we feel the joy and love rise from within our spirit toward our beloved God. It is not so much as being still in a physical sense but rather that our spirit heart is quieted and that He alone is our focus and our goal of all that we desire.

Psalm 46:10 goes on to say that ‘He will be exalted in the earth.’ Oh that He would be exalted in my heart and the heart of all who call Him Lord. Eventually He will be exalted in the earth and every knee will bow to Him and acknowledge Him as Lord, even our arch enemy, Satan. How glorious though to know His exaltation now, even in part, as Lord and behold the greatness of His Glory and Power! I encourage myself and you dear reader, to learn to be still and know that He is God…to stand quietly before Him… for He is the Lord! Whatever winds of adversity or distractions that blow against us are buffeted and dispelled as we behold Him in His exaltation!

In the stillness of our heart where He is high and lifted up and nothing but Who He is and the great things He has done and is yet to do permeate our heart.