Here are a few questions to ponder on before you read any further…
Are you still or are you restless? Is your soul pillowed in peace or wallowing in worry? Are you nestled deep in your Father’s embrace or wandering alone?
Is your soul silent? Is your heart quiet? Is your mind peaceful?
When there is quiet within us, there is stillness and rest in all we do. We feel the peace of God inside us and we can almost hear the rest that comes from His peace. We exhale.
But stillness does not magically appear within us. Ironically enough, it requires an active involvement on our part…
To still requires trust in God; we must trust that His Presence follows us, that God is sovereign, and that He loves us. Psalm 46:10 tells us to “Be still and know that I am God” – when your heart is fully convinced of all of this, it settles in quietness.
When your soul is silent, it is devoid of anxiousness and turmoil; God’s peace permeates within you. Rest will follow.
Being still means to release everything in your mind and heart to God. It means to silence the noise of the world to quiet your soul. It means to wait and listen for His whispers.
Being still means coming to a place of rest in His presence so that you experience God in your heart – not just know Him in your head.
Jesus epitomised stillness. He did everything from a place of rest and quiet trust in His Father. He showed us that the one sure way to achieve this stillness is to sit in solitude with God. Jesus enjoyed solitude.
Despite His very public ministry, Jesus often sought solitude – not because He did not want to be with the people but because He wanted to be with His Father more. Jesus knew the importance of rest and being alone – to recharge and renew His strength in quiet prayer with God.
Throughout the gospel, we are shown that Jesus continually withdrew from daily life to be in seclusion and silence to deal with the constant demands of His ministry – “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35).
In Matthew 14:13, “When Jesus heard [that John the Baptist had been beheaded], he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.”
Hours before His death, Jesus again used His quiet communion with God to prepare Himself in prayer (Mark 14:32-42).
Stillness and solitude went hand in hand to play an important role throughout Jesus’ life and ministry here on earth. He often urged His disciples to do the same, especially after spending days ministering to others.
There is power in seclusion when we use it to silence our soul and seek God, free of distraction.
When we choose to continually withdraw to be alone with God, as Jesus did, we allow God to minister to our soul for a deeper intimacy with Him.
It is only from the secret place of stillness with God that we can thrive amidst the noise of our daily lives with the world.
A silent soul may be quiet but it is never passive. Instead, a silent soul produces and leads you to be an instrument of God’s peace. When you are still within, it overflows out of you into all areas of your life.
A silent soul is recognizable because it leads you closer to God and creates more room for Him in your life.
Christ is always revealed through a silent soul – even amidst any turbulence that may invade your life.
You see, when your soul is still in Him you will always remember His promise in Exodus 14:14 that “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
In your stillness, you will allow faith to rise up so you can let your Lord of Hosts take His rightful place at the frontlines of any battle.
A silent soul stays rooted in His stronghold of peace and remains anchored in the ark of His presence. It leads you to sleep on a cushion, just as Jesus did in Mark 4:37-40 when “a furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat” so that you too can command to the storms and waves in your life to “Quiet! Be still!”
So today, think about what you can do to silence your soul. What do you need to trust God with? Perhaps you can start by telling Him tonight, at the end of your day, to take it all. Ask for God’s peace to lull you to sleep through the storm so you awake to the sound of a silent soul. Rest, your heavenly Father is with you.
*also published in Christianity Malaysia