As an individual who is constantly busy and involved in countless projects and activities, Psalm 46 has been a reminder of focus in my life. And while these short eleven verses are full of golden nuggets, let me uncover just a couple…
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling.
You see, it doesn’t matter what is going on around us. The earth may be removed, the mountains themselves lifted off into the sea. Maybe the waters roar and are troubled or all the land is quaking with such swelling. Perhaps the economy is in crisis or the political system is sketchy. Jobs may be lost, money squandered, families torn apart, and the Church may be anemic. In the midst of whatever is going on in your or my life, verse one declares: God is our refuge and our strength. He, and He alone, is the place we come to for peace, safety, freedom, strength. But not only that; He is our very present help in trouble. Another way to understand this statement is that God is abundantly available. This is not to say that He gives us things in order for us “to do the job.” Rather, He Himself, through the infilling of the Holy Spirit, produces and sources our lives and handles everything we come up against. No wonder He is our refuge and strength!
But the statement that I continually come back to is found in verse ten:
Be still and know that I am God.
Such a simple declaration but with profound depth. The Hebrew word for “be still” is the word raphah, which literally means to sink, relax, sink down, let drop, abandon, and be quiet. And its an imperative, meaning its a command. God is not calling us to inactivity or even to kick our feet up for an hour to rest and be still … this is an attitude and lifestyle. We are to continually, moment by moment, live in a posture where we sink, relax, sink deep down within, letting ourselves drop and be abandoned in Jesus Himself. This is the lifestyle of a Christian. A Christian does not “do” Christian activities or live a certain way; rather, a Christian is one filled with Jesus where the individual is relaxed, sunk deep within, abandoned in Jesus in order that Jesus may live and produce His life through the individual. If you are attempting to live the Christian life on your own, its not the Christian life. Jesus is calling, nay commanding, you to stop and allow Him to live His life (Christianity) through you. Will you raphah in Him?