There are times I feel like sharks and I have at least one thing in common, we both need to keep moving. I always thought that sharks have to move in order to stay alive, but that’s not quite accurate. According to the American Museum of Natural History it is a myth that all species of sharks must constantly swim, or they die. Here is what they say about sharks and this number one myth. “Some sharks must swim constantly in order to keep oxygen-rich water flowing over their gills, but others are able to pass water through their respiratory system by a pumping motion of their pharynx. This allows them to rest on the sea floor and still breath.” Fact, some sharks must be in a constant state of motion or they will die. Yet others have the ability to lay still on the bottom of their water column and still survive. I guess the question is, who do we take our ques from, a shark that is in a constant state of motion or the God who created the shark?
Some of us have a real problem being still. Growing up I cannot tell you how often I heard the phrase, “Be still!”, or “Patrick, sit still and be quiet!” I was in a constant state of motion, always distracted, always making some kind of noise that caused others to struggle with their own concentration. Today the experts in behavioral psychology call it “Attention Deficit Disorder” or just ADD or ADHD “Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder,” which is similar but not quite the same. All I know is that over the years, I had to learn to discipline myself in order to stay on task, especially in the area of my thought life as it concerns God.
So, where am I going with all this? Good question. My point is, as Christians, are we suppose to take the time out of our busy lives in order to be still long enough to think deep thoughts about who God is? I’m not talking about “doing for God,” I’m talking about thinking about Him, having the mind of Christ (1Cor.2:16), having constant God thoughts, “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (2Cor.10:5). It is the ability to move our thinking process from the spiritual fluff that takes up so much of our time, to sit long enough for God to impress on us through the power of the Holy Spirit and His Word; who He is, what He does, and what He will do in the future. To have this happen we will have to be still, think deep!
We are all familiar with Psalm 46:10 where God says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (NIV) But this command is somewhat misleading when applied to the Christian life as an example of being still verses being in a constant state of motion. The NIV Study Bible notes put it this way, “Be still. Here, the Hebrew for this phrase probably means “Enough!” as in 1Sam. 15:16 (“Stop!”). Know ‘Acknowledge.’ I will be exalted in the earth. God’s mighty acts in behalf of his people will bring him universal recognition, a major theme in the Psalter.”
Having made my point for an accurate understanding of this passage, this verse still fits rather nicely within my desire to “Be Still Think Deep.” My first thought here is, that we cannot acknowledge God through deep thinking if we are always distracted by our constant state of motion, our constant state of doing. The truth is, it is very difficult to acknowledge God if I’m not thinking about Him. How many of us, myself included, have run through the motions of a ten minute Bible study only to usher ourselves out the door for some great adventure of doing? It is sad to say that there are days when I substitute a banquet with God for a quick spiritual power bar that I think will take care of my spiritual needs while all the time I’m wondering why God isn’t speaking to me through His Word, why He is feeling so distant? Yet, I know if I listen and focus my attention on Him, God is saying, “Patrick! Sit still, be quiet, and think!… about Me!”
So, why should we take the time to be still and think about God? Dare I say, what’s in it for me? Probably not a good choice of words but many times during the week we might find ourselves thinking that way, at least having a, “what’s in it for me” attitude. But we all know it’s not about us, but about Him. I have an idea that the more we practice a still life, thinking deep thoughts concerning who God is, we become exalters of His greatness to the world around us. I believe life becomes less hurried, a little more predictable, and filled with less worry, anxiety, and stress. But when we are in a constant state of motion, a constant state of doing, we become distracted and like the young boy with attention deficit our world becomes disordered, in a state of flux, exhausting, and worse- joyless.
So, who do you take your ques from, the shark or the Creator? What is it that you may have to change about your routine that might benefit your ability to BE STILL AND THINK DEEP! May God bless you in your pursuit of Him this week.
This is Pastor Pat FROM BEHIND THE PEN wishing you Joy in Jesus!