Presence Devotion #13

Be Still

Janet Nyhouse – Adults Pastor

Scripture: Psalm 46

“Be still and know that I am God.”


How do you prepare yourself to spend time in God’s presence?  How do we make the transition from the fast-paced fullness of our lives to the calm and quietness of soaking in him? Our minds can carry so many thoughts at any one time that it’s often difficult to set them aside. Even as we open the bible or read a devotional, our minds dart back and forth from our needs and concerns to our to-do list and demands.

I have a regular pathway that I take to walk around my block.  I choose to walk clockwise from my home, so that I can torture myself up the steep hill of Douthie Road. I pray as I walk, and use the rhythm of my footsteps to honour his name and present my needs before God. On one of my evening walks last Spring, half way up my hill I heard God whisper to me “can you hear me?”  I stopped walking and stood still on the road. I felt the stillness all around me; such peace.  I turned my eyes from the pathway ahead of me; the top of the hill, my goal, the destination, and rested my gaze on God himself. In his presence I took in all that I had been marching past. The most outstanding view of peaceful rolling hills, picturesque vineyards and charming Gum Trees were all around me.  I felt completely surrounded in God’s presence.  A fallen tree framing the auburn sunset over the paddocks reminding me that my burdens were shaping me in God’s beautiful plan; the gentle breeze on my face offering me respite from the heat of the day’s challenges; birds dancing together inviting me to delight in my God.

I remembered Elijah being invited to stand before God on the mountainside, and finding his presence in the gentle whisper. You can’t hear a whisper until you make yourself still. I immediately turned the one-way conversation of my routine and rhythmic walk into an opportunity to hear his voice through my stillness.  As I ambled home slowly that night, I allowed God to do the talking for a change.

In verse 10 from Psalm 46 God is inviting us to stop and acknowledge who he is. He invites us into his presence by us being still before him. Here, being still means to set aside all those things that burden us. Stop striving. Surrender. Quieten those thoughts that don’t serve us.

My intentional time with God, my #15inmychair, always begins with me stopping and being still.  I say out loud the words “Be still and know that I am God”, and repeat them over and over quietening my own voice until the words become my thought. It’s this act of surrender that invites me into his presence.So, the next time you find yourself rushing in thought or full-ness, stop and listen for the whisper of our mighty God. Allow your breath to be taken away.  The King of all kings is seeking you, pursuing you, longing for time with you.   Be still before him and know that he is God.

Reflective Passages

  • Psalm 23
  • Isaiah 40:28-31
  • Matthew 11:28-30
  • Exodus 14:14 09