Monday, January 18, 2016

Stop Striving

My words to meditate on this year are from Isaiah 46,  "Be still and know".  I shared in an earlier post how God spoke to me about this and the great reminder of God's words that hang above our church pew in the entry way.  "Be still and know".

This past week while we were reading aloud the book "Contact:  The Practical Science of Hearing From God" by Rev. David Stine, pastor of D.C. Metro church, we learned about one of the ways we prepare ourselves for hearing from God ~~by being still before Him.  Pastor Stine went on to say that the Hebrew word for "be still" is raphah,  which means "stop striving".  So Isaiah 46:10 could be translated "Stop striving and know that I am God."  He said it is more a stillness of the soul Isaiah is talking about here, not so much a physical stillness.  When we are still before God, it reminds us that God is God.

Stop striving.  In November we were at a Wednesday night service and I started having heart palpitations. They went on for about an hour, so I made the decision to ask for a word of knowledge from the pastor not telling him what my symptom was.  A lot was going on in my life, so I felt strongly it was related to stress and that God would affirm this through the words spoken over me.  I went up front during prayer time and asked for words of knowledge over symptoms I did not want to share. Within a minute or two the pastor began to tell me he was seeing me sitting on the bank of a river with my feet in the water, all relaxed and enjoying the outdoors.  He then said, "God wants you to stop striving.  He has this covered.  Just relax.  He went on to tell me he felt I had some turmoil going on, some anxiety, and God was saying, "I've got this."

It was just what I was needing to hear.  He and Joel prayed over me and I went home without the palpitations.  They have been 98% gone since, only returning when I am really anxious.

It is not the first time God has spoken these words to me through others or the written word.  Stop striving.  Stop trying to make things happen.  Stop thinking you are not doing enough, or doing it right, or being enough.  Just stop striving and trust God.

Can any of you relate here?   Often we pray and then take over thinking we need to get the answers to our prayers through our own efforts.  Maybe we follow the course of "Do all you can and then let God do the rest."  Yeah.....this striving thing seems to start in school and stays with us throughout our lives.  It is good to have goals, to be successful, to do our best, but if it develops into perfectionism or a performance based life, we are in trouble.  We begin to believe that we are in charge and yet we are never doing enough......  Just some food for thought here.

So, here I am meditating on the words, "Be still and know"  "Stop striving, and know".  And when I need to I'm going into the garden of my heart and sitting by the pond Jesus led me to there, or I'm going back to the visual Pastor Jeff saw of me sitting by the river, with my feet in the water, my body and soul all relaxed, knowing God has this.  He has this moment, this hour, this day. He has me.  He has you.  So, stop striving and know that He is God.


Anita Johnson said...

Well, I can't find the words, so I will be still and know. Thank you, Renee

Gayle said...

Oh yes, I can relate! It is a good word, a wonderful word. May you treasure it!