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  • Rochelle Walton

Be Still and Know God Can Be Trusted

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23‬:‭1‬-‭2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Let’s start off with some quick definitions here before getting into the message of this blog post. Even though I may know what a word means, I still like to look up its definition to get a deeper understanding of what’s being said in the Text. It helps set a good foundation. (Keep these definitions in mind as we journey through this post.)

Shepherd - a person who tends and rears sheep

Shepherds carefully manage and give guidance

Make - compel or force

Lie down - to place oneself or be in a prostrate position in order to rest or sleep

(Being made to get in a position to rest lets us know rest requires a certain posture.)

Green pastures -  a place of rest and security, rare in the wilderness

Wilderness: Desolate - (of a place) deserted of people and in a state of bleak and dismalemptiness.

- dismal: depressing, dreary

Lead - cause (a person or animal) to go with one by holding them by the hand

“…go with one” lets us know we aren’t going alone wherever He leads.

“For I, Yahweh your God, hold your right hand and say to you: Do not fear, I will help you.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41‬:‭13‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

Still waters - Restful waters

The Lord carefully manages and guides us. He tends to us as His sheep, taking care of our every need so that we want for nothing. And when we find ourselves astray in a wilderness, ridden with dreariness and emptiness, He leads us to a place of stillness and security, and forces us to a position of rest.

But why do we have to be forced to rest?

Why are we insistent on being busy? Why do we find pride in forgoing rest? Busyness and burnout aren’t badges of honor! Why are we adamant about doing for ourselves and being "self-made" when the Creator is willing to give us the cheat code? He has our life planned out and path prepared if we would just trust Him and rest in His will. He’s already ordered our steps and made every crooked path straight. All we have to do is humble ourselves, seek Him and follow after Him.

Refusing to rest in God is an act of pride and leads to a restless soul. Be still…

What does being forced to rest look like?

There's a myth that when sheep stray, shepherds break their legs, mend them and then carry the sheep to teach it how to be dependent on the shepherd and not go astray again. Sounds painful. But sometimes God has to do the same for us. (Notice I said FOR us and not TO us. There’s a difference.)

Maybe God has to break us and let us grow weary so we will finally come to Him and rest. Often when all is well and we feel like we are functioning just fine, we forget just how much we need Him, so God steps back and allows things to get shaken up in our lives. Since we feel we have everything handled on our own, He takes His hands off and lets things play out. He allows for the stressors, the losses and the heartbreaks to bring us to the end of ourselves and the beginning of Him. He allows the consequences of our stubbornness to teach us a lesson. Lesson: As long as we feel self-reliant, we are in danger. Better to be broken at the feet of the Father than full of ourselves heading blindly for destruction.

Think about where you’ve been experiencing to most turbulence in life lately? Has that area of life been a distraction from God, been taking God's place in your life, pulling you away from God and/or is an area of life where you’ve excluded God?

What is rest?

“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28 HCSB

Rest - cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength

Rest is not a suggestion or a reward for finishing our never-ending todo list. Rest is also not just a nap on Sunday afternoons. Rest is a requirement, a mandate from God for man to follow. Rest forces us to relinquish control and trust God to take care of us and all things concerning us.

He makes us lie down for a reason. Laying down shows trust. It shows surrender. It’s when we have all guards down. Resting reminds us that we are finite. That in our humanity, we have limitations. It forces us to be still, shift our focus and KNOW Who is God - and not just know, but recognize and respect that He is God and we are not.

Know and fully recognize with gratitude that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His]. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭100‬:‭3‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Rest allows us to be replenished and restored. It is in the place of rest that we are able to recover. When we are constantly moving, busy and distracted, we can’t be refilled, we can't heal, we can't be restored.

All cars must stop in order to be filled up.

Cups must be still in order to be poured into.

What makes us any different?

Don't just slow down. Stop. Lie down and rest in God.

“Cause when I trust in You
I do the thing that I was made to do
To live a life that fully rests in You
And all Your promises for me”

“Trust in You” x Antoine Bradford

“In peace [and with a tranquil heart] I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety and confident trust.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭4‬:‭8‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Why are we stubborn when it comes to laying down and letting God be God?

Rest requires trust, confidence, assurance and security. It’s hard to let all guards down when we don’t feel safe or protected. And it’s hard to “let go and let God” when we feel we know best and are safest when “in control.”

Well let me tell you what my friend, Christian Prather, told me years ago, “any control you think you have is merely an illusion.”

Sometimes in our stubbornness, we become stupid like sheep. We wonder off from green pastures where everything is prepared and provided for us, and look up one day to find ourselves in our own wilderness - lost, lonely and feeling empty. We suddenly realize our way really wasn’t the best way after all.

“Let the wicked leave (behind) his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the Lord, And He will have compassion (mercy) on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts higher than your thoughts.’”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55‬:‭7‬-‭9‬ ‭AMP‬‬

“What do I gotta do to make you understand that I want what’s best for you and I always have?
But maybe you’re confused about Who I really Am
Stand still and know I’m God”

“Be Still” x MaryMary

“Be still, and know that I am God...”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭46‬:‭10‬ ‭KJV‬‬

We recite this verse, and we sing the songs but how often are we still? Do we know Who God is? And do we believe Him to be that for us? Maybe some of us are confused about Who He really is or we doubt if He will be for us what He’s proven Himself to be for others, and that’s why we have trouble resting in Him. We don’t have full confidence or total trust in Him.

Lack of trust in God reveals a lack of intimacy and awareness of Who He Is.

Some of us trust God to provide but not to heal. Some of us trust God to heal the sick but not to reconcile broken relationships.

The areas in which we lack trust in God point us to the character of God we need to become more acquainted with.

You can’t trust someone you don’t know.

Know - to be aware of through observation, inquiry, or information.

We come to know God by…

Observation: seeing for ourselves by witnessing Who God has been for others around us or experiencing Him ourselves

Inquiry: asking others Who He has been and is to them

Information: reading God’s Word to see Who He says He is.

Know also means to

  • have developed a relationship with (someone) through meeting and spending time with them; be familiar or friendly with.

Meet AND spend time with. It’s not enough to meet God one day at an altar when we give our life to Him, we must spend time becoming familiar with Him every day.

  • recognize

  • be familiar or acquainted with

  • have personal experience of

  • regard or perceive as having a specified characteristic.

You KNOW OF God, but how much time have you spent actually getting to KNOW Him? To become acquainted with His character?

Just as we become acquainted with people’s character and grow to trust them because we are familiar with who they have shown and proven themselves to be, we do the same with God.

The more we read His Word, commune with Him and spend time in His Presence, the more we are able to see Him in new ways and strengthen our confidence in Who He is.

Who is He?

God is many things. There are a plethora of Names of God speaking to His numerous characteristics, but for the purpose of this post, let’s visit a select few. Study them. Learn them. Use them to call on Him when you need Him to show up in a specific way for your situation.

Jehovah Magen - The Lord my Shield, my Protector

Jehovah Jireh - The Lord my Provider

Jehovah Gibbor - The Lord Who fights for me

Jehovah Tsaba - The Lord my Warrior

Jehovah Nissi - The Lord my Banner, Who reigns in victory

God is willing and fully able to be Whoever and whatever you need Him to be in the storm you find yourself in.

“For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭84‬:‭11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Yahweh your God is among you, a Warrior Who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will bring you quietness with His love. He will delight in you with shouts of joy.”
‭‭Zephaniah‬ ‭3‬:‭17‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

The world can be loud.

Divorce can be so loud.

Loneliness can be so loud.

Disappointment can be so loud.

Family problems can be so loud.

Unrealized dreams can be so loud.

Friendship breakups can be so loud.

Relationship problems can be so loud.

Anxiety and depression can be so loud.

Bills and financial stress can be so loud.

The many voices of ill-intended and even well-meaning friends and family can also be so loud.

And when we sit still, sometimes that silence can seem even louder. Maybe that’s why we avoid stillness and choose to stay busy and distracted, when what we really need is rest - rest in God and the realization that we aren’t in control and never were.

My dear, life has proven to you time and time again that trying to control it is far too much pressure and way outside of your capabilities. It’s time to hand over the reins.

Trying to play the position of God in your life is only causing you to play yourself. It’s creating more confusion and chaos than anything. Let go. Rest. Let God be God.

Prayer for rest by Chandler Moore

Father, in the name of Jesus

I pray for those discouraged

I pray for those confused

I pray for those who have no more hope

Who are angry

Who are frustrated, who are tired

Who are enraged

Who are asking questions

Who are looking for You

Father, I pray just by Your power, by Your Spirit

That You settle their souls, Father

Settle our souls

Before You can do anything outward

Work on us inward, settle our souls, Father

To be able to manage what You're gonna do

Settle our souls

To be able to be enlarged and stretched

And have the capacity for what You're gonna do

Settle us, Father

Settle us

Settle the nation

Settle the angry

Settle the tired, settle the frustrated

You said, ‘Come unto Me, all of you who are tired, who are weary

Who are tired of fighting, who are tired of yelling

Who are tired of being unheard

Come, come to Me

And I will give you rest’

Father, I thank You for Your rest

I thank You for Your rest over our culture

I thank You for Your rest over our generation

I thank You for Your rest over our spirits

Over our bodies, over our minds

Over our emotions

Father, let the rest of the Holy Spirit be released

Let the rest of the Holy Spirit

The rest of the Holy Spirit that allows us to fight and still sleep

The rest of the Holy Spirit that allows us to still speak out, but still not have anger

The rest of the Holy Spirit that allows us to be angry, but sin not

The rest of the Holy Spirit that doesn't allow what people may do to us

How people may hate us

To affect what You're doing in us

Let the rest of the Holy Spirit

And Father, we release Your power

We release Your Word

We release Your Spirit…”

From “Hymn Medley” by Maverick City Music

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