Be Still and Let Go
These two simple phrases are the most valuable lessons I ever learned about the life of faith. The decision to “be still” and “let go” never comes easily, but is an essential step to peace of heart and mind in the midst of a trial. Even when you cannot “decode” God’s plan or discern His hand, He is at work on your behalf. “God is doing ten thousand things you don’t know about.”
Be still—because God is sovereign.
Exodus 14–The Red Sea crossing recounts the best known example of people who had no choice but to “stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” (v.13-14)
- God wanted to order the lives of His people so it would be impossible for them to go back to Egypt. Exodus 13:17
- He wanted them to be completely dependent on Him. Exodus 13:22
- He wanted honor from Pharaoh (the world). Exodus 14:4 (see also Joshua 2:10–when the spies came to Jericho, Rahab said, “We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you.”)
- He wanted His people to learn to wait. Exodus 14:19-21.
- He wanted them to have faith. Hebrews 11:29.
Let go–because God is unfailing.
No matter what human relationship has caused you disappointment or despair, “God is not a man” and He will not fail you. When you “reach the end of your rope,” God does not intend for you to “tie a knot and hang on.” He wants you to let go and commit yourself into His everlasting arms. Deuteronomy 33:27.
Genesis 22–The Offering of Isaac presents a challenging example of a man who had such confidence in God that he was willing to sacrifice his own son, the child of promise, to demonstrate his devotion.
- Abraham did not hesitate to perform his sacrifice. Genesis 22:3
- He did not alter his plan, though he had much time to weigh its cost. Genesis 22:3-4
(The journey to Mount Moriah was about fifty miles.)
- He maintained absolute confidence in God, in spite of what his senses told him. Genesis 22: 5 (see also Hebrews 11:17-19)
- He received the blessing of God for his obedience. Genesis 22: 17-18.
- God honored the place of Abraham’s devotion by having His temple built there.
II Chronicles 3:1 (see also I Chronicles 21–This is also the site of the “threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite,” where David offered sacrifice after he sinned in numbering the people and God sent three days pestilence.)
You can come to know God in a deeply personal way. You can learn to “walk with God” as Enoch did (Genesis 5:22). When faced with a challenge, you, like Nehemiah, can call out to God for courage and guidance and find Him sufficient (Nehemiah 1:8-11). When you are brought to the end of yourself, you, like Job, can reach out to God in the darkest hour of your life and find He was there all along (Job 42:5).
Matthew 11:28-30. Have you ever wondered what Jesus meant when He said “Take my yoke upon you–and ye shall find rest for your souls? How can you rest when you are in a yoke, an instrument which you would wear only if you were working? The key is, of course, that it is Christ’s yoke. If you are yoked to Him, you must go in the direction He is going and move at the speed that He is moving. No guesswork, no wondering, no scheming. You can be still, because He, stronger and wiser than you, is in the yoke with you. You can let go, because He is bearing the load and walking in the right direction and at a pace which you, His frail child, can bear.