When it’s time for our devotions with God and we’re troubled with stress or cares, it’s hard to be at rest so we have one-to-one time with God. We’re impatient as humans and sometimes have trouble being still (quiet and waiting).
Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
We have to remember that God is in control. He is omniscient, knows all things, and omnipotent, all-powerful. He has control of everything that happens in life. We can’t be still if we have cares, frustrations, and worries cluttering our mind. Many people are running around like chickens with their heads cut off. The chicken doesn’t know it’s really dead as it runs around. People are praying but they have no connection to God because of the sin in their lives.
I Peter 5:7 (Amplified Bible) casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].
The enemy tries to distract us. When God says be still, it’s our responsibility to do it. When we have our devotions, our phone should be off so we’re not distracted by it. If we’re not still, we won’t be able to hear the word of God.
I Samuel 9:27 And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on,) but stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God.
Moses told the people to keep the Passover. Some men had touched a dead man but wanted to keep the Passover. Moses told them to stand still while he inquired of God if they could keep the Passover. They had to wait to hear.
Numbers 9:1-8 And the Lord spake unto Moses…after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying, Let the children of Israel also keep the Passover…In the fourteenth day of this month…And there were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body of a man, that they could not keep the passover on that day: and they…said unto him, We are defiled by the dead body of a man: wherefore are we kept back, that we may not offer an offering of the Lord in his appointed season…? And Moses said unto them, Stand still, and I will hear what the Lord will command concerning you.
God said the men who were defiled could keep the Passover at another time. If someone could keep the Passover but didn’t, they would be cut off from the congregation. The Passover was to remember how God delivered them from the bondage of Egypt. The people were still keeping the Passover when Jesus met with his disciples in the upper room.
Numbers 9:9-14 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying…If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto the Lord. The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it…But the man that is clean, and is not in a journey, and forbeareth to keep the passover, even the same soul shall be cut off from among his people…that man shall bear his sin. And if a stranger shall sojourn among you, and will keep the passover unto the Lord; according to the ordinance of the passover, and according to the manner thereof, so shall he do: ye shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger, and for him that was born in the land.
The cloud showed the people whether they were to wait and be still in their tents or if they were to move. God doesn’t want us always running around like a chicken with our head cut off. The devil wants us to always be running around and not spending time being still with our attention on God. We have to be still so we can get the right attitude. The Hebrew boys weren’t stressed and worried about the fiery furnace. They had confidence God was in control and he delivered them.
Numbers 9:19-23 And when the cloud tarried long…Israel kept the charge of the Lord, and journeyed not. And so it was, when the cloud was a few days upon the tabernacle…they abode in their tents, and according to the commandment of the Lord they journeyed. And so it was, when the cloud abode from even unto the morning, and that the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they journeyed: whether…day or by night that the cloud was taken up, they journeyed. Or whether it were two days, or a month, or a year, that the cloud tarried…Israel abode in their tents, and journeyed not: but when it was taken up, they journeyed. At the commandment of the Lord they rested…and at the commandment of the Lord they journeyed: they kept the charge of the Lord, at the commandment of the Lord by the hand of Moses.
God left some of the enemy in Canaan to prove if the people would keep his commandments. God allows distractions to see if we’re going to stress and worry, or be still and know that he has everything under control. The only way we can see God working, is to be still and know he’ll help us whatever we face. We have to give everything to God’s will. While the people followed Othniel and did what God said, they had rest. God wants us to have peace and follow the things of God.
Judges 3:1-11 Now these are the nations which the Lord left, to prove Israel by them…to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof; Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites…And they were to prove Israel…whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the Lord…Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites: And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods…Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgat the Lord…and served Baalim and the groves. Therefore the anger of the Lord was hot…he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia…Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years. And when…Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer…Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel…his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim. And the land had rest forty years…
If we’re worried and fretting, we won’t have peace and quietness. What do we have to offer people if they don’t see calm, peace, and quietness? We need to keep control of our mind and not allow the enemy to keep us upset or distracted.
Isaiah 32:17-18 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;
God wants us to pray and put all our cares-concerns on the altar so they don’t distract us and keep us from hearing God.
Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds…
It’s our responsibility to watch and pray always – casting our care over on God. If we keep holding onto our cares, it will hinder us and keep our prayers from getting through to God.
Luke 21:34-36 And take heed to yourselves, lest…your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may…escape all these things…to stand before the Son of man.
The cares of the world choke God’s word so we can’t hear him. We have to cast our cares, distractions, and worry on the Lord every day so God can talk to us. God promised us grace for every trial – not for what is going to happen tomorrow.
Matthew 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
If the Israelites had not stood still, they wouldn’t have accomplished what God wanted.
Exodus 14:13-14 And Moses said…Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day …Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more…Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
The people were fasting, praying, and still – waiting for God’s direction. God answered to stand still, see the salvation of the Lord, and he will fight for you. They fell down and worshiped. They had no fear and the choir went before them singing. God gave victory! He caused the enemy to fight and kill each other. The Israelites gathered spoil for three days.
II Chronicles 20:15-21 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord…Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. To morrow go ye down against them…at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you. And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah…fell before the Lord, worshipping the Lord. And the Levites…stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice on high. And they rose early…appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)