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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 05/10/17

Slow Me Down, Lord

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STORY: Busy!

One thing that has helped me lose over sixty pounds is to adopt a new motto: “Why sit when you can stand, and why stand when you can move?” Recently I told my Facebook friends it was “Get Fit, Don’t Sit” Day. I asked what non-exercise habits they’ve developed to move more during the day. I found it interesting that some confessed they have the opposite problem—they have a hard time slowing down to rest. One of the biggest First World problems we deal with today is fighting the Busy Syndrome. We almost see it as a status symbol. When people ask us how we’re doing, we answer with, “Oh, I’m staying busy!” Perhaps we need to quit asking about the doing part and ask how they are being. We are human beings after all!

It reminds me of a quote from Corrie ten Boom: “If the devil cannot make us bad, he will make us busy.” 

How will we truly rest in the Lord if we don’t slow down enough to focus on Him? It’s like whirling on a merry-go-round and trying to have a conversation with someone who is standing on the ground next to the ride.

I didn’t like it when I fidgeted as a child and Mom told me to “be still,” and I still don’t like having to slowing down. But I understand why Father chooses to nurture us during those times we willingly rest. God isn’t scolding us when He says, “be still.” He wants to refresh us!

STUDY: Be Still

Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. (Psalm 37:7 NLT)

  • What does it mean for you to “be still”?
  • It sounds relaxing to be still in a spa setting or as a couch potato (and those are fine), but God has something else in mind. He wants to be still in His presence. How do you go about doing that?
  • Break it down further. How can you be still with your body, soul, and spirit?
  • It’s hard to be busy and be still at the same time. Maybe that’s why the next part of the verse says, “wait patiently for him to act.” Is there something in your life that needs a little less busy and a little more be still?
  • “Don’t worry” in the above verse gives us good advice on how to be still for both soul and spirit. When you trust God by waiting, you gain peace and lose fear. Psalm 37 mentions a specific worry about those who are evil, but we can expand that to any worry. What is worrying you right now? Do you tend to busy yourself as a way to distract your mind from worry? What will it take for you to be still in God’s presence and wait for Him to act?

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  (Psalm 23:1-6 ESV)

  • Psalm 23 starts by assuring us the Lord takes care of our needs. Right after that it shows how He makes us rest. Sort of like when Mom took care of me as a child by insisting I nap even when I didn’t want to be still. Where does this psalm say God sends us? Green pastures and still waters—exactly what a sheep needs.
  • What happens to our souls when we lie down and follow His lead?
  • What does it mean to be restored? Could it be we have restoration only when we rest?
  • The remainder of the psalm shows other ways God puts our hearts and minds at ease. List some.

It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones. (Psalm 127:2 NLT)

  • When you are in need of rest, how productive is working?
  • Can you rest when you are anxious? When you are worried about provisions?
  • How does it help to know God gives rest to those He loves? And does God love you? Of course, He does. Rest in that!

STEPS: Slow Down

  1. Before you write your to-do list, take time to rest in the Lord. How can you allow Him to restore and refresh you? If you fuss about how busy your day will be, your mind can’t have a singular focus on Him.
  2. Ask the Lord to order your steps. This way you won’t be spinning your wheels. Each step will have purpose. “Establish my footsteps in [the way of] Your word; Do not let any human weakness have power over me [causing me to be separated from You].” (Psalm 119:133 AMP)
  3. Practice the presence of the Lord. Imagine God right by your side, as if you’re both sitting on a park bench, visiting. With God by your side, you will have the best balance of energy to do what needs done and rest. The energy He gives supplies what you need, not just physically, but mentally. And His rest is good for body, soul, and spirit. 

Copyright 2017 Kathy Carlton Willis. Used by permission.

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