Friday, May 6, 2011

BE STILL AND KNOW

After the Word tells us that it is God who makes wars to cease, this is added: "Be still and know that I am God..." (Psalm 46:10).

The Hebrew word for "still" is raphah, which means to cease; let alone; become weak, feeble. It is from the root rapha, which means to mend and be made thoroughly whole by the hand of a physician.

How thoroughly consistent the Word of God is. He makes wars to cease and until he finishes his work, we are to cease our self-righteous efforts, trust everything into his hands, confess our weaknesses and feebleness, and trust our future and restoration into the hands of Christ, our Great Physician.

Loving believer, is your inner conflict tearing you apart? You may be buffeted by Satan, but he cannot hurt or destroy you. Most likely you are being stripped down in preparation for a deeper revelation of the cross so you can be made ready for greater service for God.

You are like Peter, who was stripped of everything before going to Pentecost. See this great man of God wandering aimlessly over the Judean hills—at rock bottom. Peter once walked on water and helped feed multitudes miraculously. He experienced the actual glory of God and was a blessed, prominent, useful, Christ-loved servant. But he sinned grievously, failing the Lord as few others did, and afterward, he wept and grieved, thinking he had lost his salvation and his ministry.

"What is wrong with me?" he must have asked himself over and again. "Why did I have no power or strength when tempted? Why no moral reserves—no will to resist the enemy? Why did I have to be the one to fall? How could a man of God do such a horrendous thing to his Lord? How could I have preached to others when I have no power in a crisis?"

God did not cause Peter's failure, but great good came out of it. It was a part of the stripping of God's man—permitted to reveal what was rooted deep in the inner man. Only failure could expose the pride and self-sufficiency. Failure broke Peter down and revealed to him his need for absolute dependence on his Lord for everything, including his purity and righteousness.

It is in the shadow of the cross that we endure our greatest temptation and failures and then break through to resurrection!