‘Stillness’ could be defined as the art and discipline of being with God. It is the act of intentionally listening to what God has to say, receiving His affection, soaking in His presence…and sharing your heart/thoughts back to Him in turn.
If we want to have a more meaningful relationship with God, we need to embrace stillness on a daily basis.
Here are 2 things that you can do to encourage stillness each day:
1.) Expect God to reveal His heart in "atypical" places.
If we keep a constant look-out for the Lord, we’ll soon find that He delights in surprising us by showing His heart and His desire for us in odd and/or unexpected places.
Whether you’re reading a book (or manga), watching tv/movies (or anime), or listening to music, there is an opportunity to experience Who God is. Don’t miss out by failing to be attentive! Expect His presence, and ask Him to reveal Himself and teach you more about Who He is.
I’ve recently been having a hard time with running into darker subjects in my poetry…and I’ve found that many times the darker stuff will surface from pain. Welp, I was riding in the car on the way back from church trying to think about something to write and that nagging feeling of discomfort that would soon give way to pain crept under my skin. Suddenly the Lord said to me, “One day you will write from joy rather than from pain.”
I didn’t really know how to respond to this, but a split-second later I was reminded of Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Throughout the majority of the series, Zuko’s convinced that anger is the driving force behind his ability to firebend…and when he eventually loses that anger, he finds that he can’t firebend anymore. In order to gain it back, he travels with Aang to a sun village, where he finds that firebending’s true expression isn’t rooted in anger at all. It’s rooted in joy, peace, and love. After the trip, Zuko’s firebending is not only back, but it’s better than ever. No more angry Zuko!
The message for me: joy will come, and my poetry will come from the wellspring of God’s joy rather than anger or bitterness or pain, just like for Zuko with his firebending.
God works in mysterious ways ;)
2.) Set up signs/markers as reminders to seek God.
When things get hectic in daily life—which seems like almost always :/—our priorities can become so convoluted we forget what’s really important. The end result is often this: Instead of serving God and following His agenda, we are serving ourselves and following an agenda of our own making, trying to occupy a place in our hearts that isn’t rightfully ours.
Paul mentions in I Corinthians that we “were bought at a price” (6:20, 7:23), and that the life we now live is not our own, but Christ’s, for He lives in us (Galatians 2:20). Everything that we do, think, and say should be for the purpose of glorifying God and allowing Him to glorify Himself in us (I Corinthians 10:31). If we aren’t readily seeking Him out and listening to Him, this isn’t going to happen. :(
One way to listen: set up markers/signs! We can avoid KO status via wrong priorities by setting up markers throughout the day that remind us why we are here and Who we are living for.
If you do a lot of driving, a good marker might look something like this: every 50-100 miles driven is your cue to take a moment or two to thank and praise God for His providence. Or every time you see an IHOP, Wal-mart, or McD’s, spend a moment of quiet with God (read a Psalm, meditate on that verse you’re trying to glean more understanding out of, thank Him for a friend and pray for said friend…).
Be creative! Come up with daily markers to re-orient your focus while at work, school, on the road or at home, etc.
The Lord calls us to be still, and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). Accept His embrace today by taking the time to be with Him and Him only. Drink deeply, and be filled!