Jeff Schachinger preaches an awesome message entitled “Be Still”. A timely and calming message given the current conditions with the Corona Virus outbreak. This sermon took place on Facebook live due to the call for social distancing and our desire to do our part in slowing this outbreak. You can listen along here if you like.
These are very challenging times, but they don’t have to be overwhelming times. As disciples of Jesus our perspective should be shaped more less by what we see around us, and more by our faith in God almighty. There was no one more challenged than Jesus himself who while in the garden of Gethsemane fell with his face to the ground in anguish over HIS situation. He was able to keep going because of his faith in God. No matter the situation. It gets down to one important question: Do I really believe that God is in control?
Phil 4:4-7 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Paul was in Prison yet still able to rejoice in his life. Why so joyful? He refused to be controlled by his circumstances. Had a diff perspective on life – “an inner vision” – can only get from intimate rel w/ God. Peter had a good perspective on this as well:
1 Pe 5:7 “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”
V6 Anything? We can be anxious about so many things! Our earthly nature to often: worry 1st / fret 2nd / pray 3rd! Paul opposite – prayed 1st – didn’t bother w/ rest. Imagine never being anxious about anything! Paul turned his worries into prayers – “present your requests (and anxieties) to God” the more we pray – less we worry. Great thing will happen when do this: “Peace of God will guard your heart”
For many of us – sometimes it’s that peace of God we’re missing. We get power of God / strength / grace / goodness-kindness/ see love of God / felt wrath of God! When we’re anxious – what we need most – feel peace of God. Paul found it.
Why that important? The unprotected / unguarded heart – open door – Satan’s attack.
- Something hits – can be anything!
- Brain goes numb – start feeling faithless – negative
- All problems (and fears) become much bigger than solutions
- Start getting a bit edgy w/ people
- Start blaming others – eventually blame God…only downhill from there!
Paul says: NO! There IS a better way…give it to God! Made you / gave you life!
Have this attitude:
- If we need learn a lesson…God teach it
- Need to crash…God pick us up
- Need to grow…God strengthen us
- Need to repent…God rebuke us
- Need to be patient…God work w/ us
- Need more of it…God will give it to us
- If needs to go away…God will remove it
Whatever it is…we’re OK – soul at rest because God can handle it! THAT’s peace of God! As read through all of Phil – sense you get – for Paul…he believed it / lived it. Why “transcend all understanding?” because it puts God in driver’s seat – where He belongs. If we get this – God’s got us. That’s point where able to let go – say “God really is in control”
We know Paul’s background was that of a well educated Pharisee – knew word well – no doubt very familiar w/ Psalms.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
that’s where peace comes from – he knew God was God! v10-11 We can say that easy enough – how do we get to point where not just a “catch phrase” – to really believing it / living it?
1st – understand what God is asking of us.
- “Be still” (Hebrew: “Rapha”) means: be weak / let go / release/surrender
- “know” (Hebrew: “yāda”) means: to know by observing or reflecting / thinking-reasoning
Interesting use of this form of “know” – seen w/ Noah. Gen 8:11: 11 When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. How did Noah know water had receded? Saw leaf in dove’s mouth. Even though didn’t actually see land – he knew from evidence of the leaf. Was able to reason / think – must be dry land out there somewhere!
What God saying to us today? Be Still (rapha) Understand who you are / where you are in the grand scheme of things! In all God’s breathing creation – pound for pound – we are weakest!
Ever wonder why we’re not as strong as bear / fast as cheetah / eyesight of owl / endurance of camel? Because – that’s all they have! We have much more! God has given us a soul – sets us apart. Part of us that can have a relationship w/ the creator – part of us – will live for eternity.
God wants that eternity – be w/ him. Won’t get there on own so God made us weak / frail – so we will see our need for him! Don’t be afraid to admit that! Surrender / let go / release…rapha! Be still! Say:“God – this is yours!”
Paul had it right! (2 Co 12) “I’ll boast in my weaknesses” struggled w/ a “thorn in the flesh” – something nagging him. Realized: “nothing I can do about this.” OK w/ that. Said / knew: when I am weak (rapha) THEN I am strong. Jesus said to him: “my grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness” isn’t that just another way of saying “be still and know that I am God?”
Don’t be anxious / worried / doubtful / fearful / bitter / angry / critical / negative / frustrated. Surrender it all – let God pull the strings. Be still and know that God is God.
And what do we know? Yāda? What can we reason w/ these minds God given us? Think back to Noah. God told him – build ark – going to rain for a while! Even though sun was shining – build it! God was right…it rained!
We might have a tough time w/ lives at times…and even tougher time seeing into the future. – but we can trust God w/ all of it! exactly what we see w/ Paul in this prison.
He knew / trusted God. All was good with his soul! Close out w/ one of his most encouraging thoughts:
Phil 4: 12-13 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
We all need to be able to say this! Learn to recognize those times when you simply can’t be in control…and joyfully hand it over and say “God… this is yours – I trust in you fully.”
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