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CHRISTIANITY

ACTIVE STILLNESS

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

I love the song STILL by Hillsong, especially the chorus where it says “When the oceans rise and thunders roar, I will soar with You above the storm. Father, you are king over the flood. I will be still and know you are God.” My wife and I found a Tagalog version of this song. It’s not translated word for word, but the thought of the song is expressed more accurately, in my personal opinion. The Tagalog version of the chorus goes like this “Suliranin man ay dumating (Even if predicaments come our way) Ikaw lamang O Diyos ang sasambahin (I will praise you alone O God) Panginoon ko sayo lamang, mananatili kalian pa man (Forever I will remain still in You o Lord).” I know, it’s not a very accurate translation, but the song is not the point.

Whenever I am confronted by verses that command me to BE STILL and get a grip on my anxious soul, I always think of just giving up. Most people would even say LET GO AND LET GOD and it always feels like a last resort. It’s like driving your car until it runs out of gas and then letting the momentum take you wherever. Subconsciously, I have equated being STILL to passively quitting. Que sera sera – whatever happens, happens. This was my mentality before I was confronted by a sermon preached in church just recently about INTENTIONAL GROWTH.

We Christians are saved by God’s grace alone. Our faith and understanding of God is also a gift that is made possible by the ministry of the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truths (John 16:13). We are privileged to understand spiritual things because we were permitted to understand spiritual things. When it comes to our spiritual growth, we are commanded to endure and show character in the light of hardship and persecution (Heb 12:7). Even Jesus said to love those who persecute us (Mat 5:44). So where does being STILL fit in this scenario of INTENTIONAL GROWTH?

I believe that being still is not passive in nature. Remember Jesus telling the storm to BE STILL? It required great power. The power that Jesus initially veiled as He lived His life as a human being (Phil 2:6-7). He had the power, He was just not flaunting it. In our case, we have that same power in Christ and we should recognize it. Being STILL requires an active understanding of God’s character and how He directly affects our lives. Being STILL is not giving up but pressing on and moving towards the goal that was set before us. Being STILL is a calling to pursue holiness in the midst of pain and corruption. Being STILL is our best option during times of uncertainty.

When we start to choose to be still, change is never guaranteed. Peace, on the other hand, can be attained in our STILLNESS. I love how the Apostle Paul told the believers in Philippi that God’s peace is beyond their comprehension and is able to guard our hearts and minds as we live in Christ (Phil 4:7).

As my wife and I go through rivers of doubts during her pregnancy, I pray for God’s sustaining grace as we attempt to intentionally grow in Him and actively pursue being STILL.

Photo by Sunyu on Unsplash

Categories
CHRISTIANITY

MORE THAN A WORD

Grace is just a common word for the common person. Nothing special. Nothing spectacular. Nothing breathtaking. Grace is just a word. But when you have nothing to show forth, grace becomes your everything.

My first personal and face-to-face encounter with grace came when I was a little over 11 years of age. A Pastor and dear family friend of ours made me realize that unlimited grace was just a positive decision away. The moment I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, grace became amazing in my eyes. The fact that a sinner like me, with nothing worthwhile to show forth and righteousness as filthy rags, became acceptable in the sight of a perfectly just and righteous God. It made grace more than amazing and wonderful for me. The awesome fact that Jesus who knew no sin became sin for me so that I, the filthy sinner, can become worthwhile in the eyes of God. That was something I have truly appreciated in my early years as a Christian…til everything became complicated.

Years have passed and God blessed me and my family with so much. We were living a very comfortable life and our convenience became a breeding ground for leniency in our spiritual lives. Soon, our prosperity quickly turned from being a blessing to a heartbreaking test. We forgot what was important. Detailing our struggles here will be unfair for my family, but let me tell you this, we were left with nothing except for God’s grace.

Up until now, we are still recovering from what had happened. Hard times became harder and tensions within the family rose…but still, God’s grace overflowed from the heavens. We may never be as comfortable or financially stable as we used to be, but we are much more secured now as we were before. Now, we understand that security comes from the absolute source of grace. As long as God is in the business of flaunting grace, there is nothing to worry about.

I’m not promoting the abuse of grace but the idea that without grace, we are nobody with nothing going nowhere. Our lives are pointless and senseless without grace.

It’s no accident that you are reading my post. Maybe God is speaking to you and telling you that it’s time you allow grace to be more than a word.