May your candle burn brightly, flickering less & less…

Be Still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) was one of Jesus’ favorite verses in the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament).

Well, of course I have no idea really, but I think it might have been. And I’ll tell you why.  Jesus often rose early in the morning and went to a quiet, desolate, lonely place to pray. In my imagination, I think of that place as a place called STILL, as in “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

Prayer is about a place we go as much as it is about what we do once we get there. Is prayer a place you go? To my mind, it probably doesn’t even matter what happens when we actually get to Still.

Of course, we go to STILL to pray.  And we do pray, yes.  Or we try to. We contemplate. We meditate. We think. We invite God into our thoughts. We may pray specific prayers — The Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed. We give thanks. We prayer for certain people. We look at the list of people and places we pray for. We lift them up to God. Yes, we do all that and more.

But critically important to all that is getting to STILL. That’s where God usually meets us. It’s where He is, and it’s a good place to be.

But how do we get to STILL? Well, consider Jesus. He went out before daybreak all by himself.  That sounds very intentional, doesn’t it? I think he knew quite well how to get to STILL.

If you’ve been to STILL, then I would guess it’s very possible that you might not even be able to explain to someone what you did, or what you do, while you are at STILL, or even the specific prayers you prayed.  The best you may be able to say is, “It is just a good place to be. I love being there.”

My pastor friend John Doyel loves thinks a lot about the place called STILL. He directs a ministry to men struggling with sexual brokenness, specifically pornography. The ministry is called 180 and is a ministry of Vineyard Columbus in Columbus, OH. Doyel started the ministry a few years back. This vital ministry is gaining traction and helping hundreds of men, which is great.

Doyel writes daily encouragements that are received by more than 1,000 men. Recently, he wrote a great devotion about going to STILL. John is a good theologian and so insightful.  Funny, too.  Read his encouragement about getting still and you’ll know what I mean.

Not surprising, Doyel loves Psalm 46:10 (Be still and know that I am God… .). He believes part of healing is getting quiet enough so God can begin speaking. He told me he likes to think of STILL as an image of a lighted candle he is holding in his hand.  “I know I am still when the flame is stationary and not being blown around by outside issues.”

That’s what I want in my life!  I have to be intentional about wanting to get to STILL. Occasionally I get to STILL without trying or even thinking about going there, but not often, at least that’s true for me. And there even are times when I am quite intentional and still can’t get there.

But I have been there. And I want to go there more!  So I pray for me, and I pray for you, that God will quiet our hearts, day by day, causing the candle we hold in our hands to shine brightly, and not flickering here and there, staying barely lighted, and taking all of our energy.

Friends, be intentional about going to STILL.  Don’t give up!

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