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Monday, January 5, 2015

2015 - The Year of Standing Still

Since the New Year started, I have seen everyone well, maybe not everyone, posting their verse for the year or their word for this year. I want to be that spiritual, really, I do. But reality reigns at my house. Truth be told, I hadn't even thought about a verse or a word for the year. I'm not sure I could remember what my verse and word were for last year, so why bother with another one?

We had a lovely time ringing in the New Year with some wonderful friends and maybe the whole evening just had me waxing nostalgic. I looked at these people - some we had done life with for a long time. We have traveled together, laughed together, mourned together, and loved together. I looked at others who are more newcomers to the scene and think about what our future together will bring. It's exciting and a little scary.

On our way home, it was dark and there were still a few fireworks going off in the distance.. my thoughts turned toward the year past and other circumstances we have encountered. (New Years Eve does tend to make one reflective, after all.) I was thinking about all the things I felt needed to happen to clear those circumstances right up. I thought about a few people that I would like to shake some sense into. And then, I believe God spoke to me - shook some sense into me.

Some verses came to mind and kind of set me straight. They made me realize my desire to be in control....to fix things. In short, to play God... OUCH!

Exodus 14:13, 14 " Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD WILL FIGHT FOR YOU; YOU NEED ONLY TO BE STILL." 

The Israelites had left Egypt and the Egyptians decided to purse and bring them back. They were scared. They thought they were going to die. What happened? God parted the Red Sea, the Israelites walked through like nothing and the water closed over the Egyptian army and killed them all. The Israelites didn't have to lift a finger to fight. Hmmmm.....

2 Chronicles 20 is such a beautiful chapter. The Ammonites and Moabites were coming to make war with Judah and the people came from all over to "inquire of the Lord". They were scared. They thought they were going to die. And Jehoshaphat prayed. The best line in his prayer: "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on YOU." God's response: "Do not be afraid or discouraged...For the battle is not yours, but God's...You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; STAND FIRM and see the deliverance the Lord will give you."
What happened? While the people were standing firm and praising God, He set ambushes in place. The next morning, the people of Judah found a bunch of dead bodies. The enemy was defeated and they never lifted a finger to fight.

So what does this have to do with me? I need to stand still and stand firm. Standing still doesn't mean doing nothing. Standing still and standing firm means standing up for what you believe in. This is not a passive act, it takes a lot of effort.

  • Standing still requires trust/faith. If the Israelites hadn't trusted God and crossed the Red Sea, they would have died at the hands of the Egyptians. I must have trust that God has a plan for me and for those I love. I need to let Him part the waters.
  • Standing still requires obedience. In either scripture, disobedience would have spelled disaster. It spells disaster for me too, because I am NOT God. Whew!
  • Standing still can still involve activity. While I am standing still I can pray and praise. I can inquire of the Lord. I can put my eyes on Him.
  • Standing still requires patience. We have to wait on God not knowing how He is going to intervene or when. Sometimes I wish He would give me the 10 year plan, but He doesn't. I have to be patient.
  • Standing still requires that I relinquish control. I cannot control the situations around me and I cannot control the people around me. God can. He is Sovereign and He will fight for me.
  • Standing still means knowing that God has got my back no matter what is going on in my life that I want to change.
I don't want anyone to think it is the people in my life who are my enemies. It is the circumstances. It is THE enemy. And, frankly, it is my desire to be in control. At the risk of bringing up a song everyone is ready to forget these days, I just need to "Let It Go"! 

So this will be my year of learning to stand still.  To trust. To be obedient. To put my eyes on Him. The year of Standing Still.

"Be still and know that I am God;
I WILL BE EXALTED among the nations,
I WILL BE EXALTED among the earth."
The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Psalm 46:10-11