“Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth”.
As Christian leaders it is easy to become overwhelmed with the busyness of life. There’s not enough time in a day to accomplish every task. Not enough space in one lifetime to complete the Great Commission. As a Christian, I often feel overcome by the pressures of trying to reveal Christ’s character to the world on a daily basis. Am I fulfilling my call? And do I balance being truly present in the lives of my family members on a consistent basis? How do I accomplish all of my tasks before the 5pm deadline? These thoughts bombard my mind constantly, increasing my anxiety. Most days, time feels like a commodity that constantly eludes my grasp. Yet in the midst of this calamity, I often hear a still small voice that says, “Be still”. When I am feeling pushed to take more action, join more movements, or pursue more ideals, I hear again the quiet whisper to “Be still”.
Psalm 46 is an inspirational passage of Scripture that speaks of God’s power, protection, and victory. He is the source of our strength in whom we can rely. This self-sufficient and omnipotent God is also big enough to vanquish all of his enemies…and with a calming demeanor calls us to be still. But what does God mean when he says, “Be still”? Is he advocating idleness and a cease from physical work? No, actually in this context stillness is about being relaxed, steady, stable, or quiet. It is more an emotional and spiritual choice to stay levelheaded and focused. Once we reach this place of stillness, it clears our vision so that we can know that God is God. Knowing is an experience that comes through close fellowship. The more I experience God, the more confident I am in his abilities. In essence, God calls us to adopt an attitude of steady confidence in the fact that he is God, and that he is victorious over all things at all times.
I don’t know about you, but I often wrongly equate more activity with increased productivity. I somehow fall into the Messiah complex, where I take the call to ministry solely on my shoulders, leaving God to sit on the sidelines of life. Sometimes we assume that being “agents of change” means that the onus solely weighs on us to make things happen. We must never forget that God has all things in control, and he chooses to partner with humanity to bring heaven on earth.
In such a fast paced world, we must learn to embrace the power that comes from steady confidence. Not misplaced self-assurance in our own ability, but rather a still, settling peace in God’s sovereignty. There is a refreshing feeling in consistently acknowledging the sovereign nature of God, and being resolved in that truth. As leaders, we sometimes forget the fact that we are merely vessels that God will use for his glory! We are vessels ready to be filled and utilized for the Master’s use! Yes, God requires us to work and actively partner with him to live out his Kingdom on earth. However, we are in danger of experiencing fatigue and burnout if we don’t become stable in the fact that he will indeed be exalted in the earth . . . and in our lives. When the pressures of life, ministry, and relationships undermine your faith, learn to adopt a posture of steady confidence in God’s ability to conquer all. Be still and know that he is God.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
How do you manage the pressures of life, ministry, and leadership?
What obstacles are keeping you from abiding in the steady confidence that God is in control?
What are some strategies that you can use to refocus and reflect on God when faced with stressful situations?
Father God, sometimes the stresses of life and ministry block our view of your majesty. The earth belongs to you, and all that we are belongs to you. In the midst of chaos, we ask that you make us more aware of your presence and your power. Sometimes it becomes easier for us to take on your work while rejecting your help. For this we repent, and renew our covenant to partner with you to carry out your vision for our lives. May we draw on your strength and steady confidence to know that you are in control of all things. For thine is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory. Amen.
This post originally published on May 22, 2016.
[showhide type=”links” more_text=”(An Introduction from Mark Roberts included in first publication.)” less_text=”Hide Introduction”]
It is my privilege to introduce Breon Wells as the newest addition to the Life for Leaders writing team. During the last year or so as Executive Director of the De Pree Center, I’ve met hundreds of fascinating, brilliant, and visionary Christians who are seeking to honor God in all they do, including their daily work. Breon is one of these people, as well as someone who has a particular calling to encourage and mentor marketplace and government leaders.
Breon’s resumé is impressive. According to his website, he is a “political consultant, musician, vision management consultant, ordained minister, and motivational speaker.” After six years on Capitol Hill as a congressional staffer, Breon founded The Daniel Initiative. This initiative supports the Daniels, Esthers, and Josephs of this world, that is, disciples of Jesus who are deeply engaged in government and the marketplace as an expression of their faith. You can learn much more about Breon and his work here.
Though Breon’s resumé is impressive, it doesn’t begin to capture the man I have come to appreciate as a friend and colleague. Though we haven’t known each other for very long, I am grateful for Breon’s humility and wisdom as a deeply committed follower of Christ. I have already learned many things from Breon about faith and politics, trusting God in risky ways, and what it’s like to serve the Lord as an African American man in a troubled time of history.
I commend Breon to you with gratitude and enthusiasm. His devotions, beginning with the one you’ll read in a moment, will help you grow in your faith and in the expression of your faith in every part of life.