Recently, I’ve felt a gentle conviction to reexamine my definition of stillness. You see, my current season has quickly become one that has me “letting go” of almost all of the expectations I place on myself, and therefore, all of the anxiety that surrounds me when I strive to meet them. Moment by moment I battle surrender — a battle that for a long time, I took ownership of and did not willingly relinquish.
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14
Three years ago I came across this short but powerful verse during an intense season — the kind of season where the testing of my faith created endurance and a new level of trust in God altogether. Simply put, I believed that the take-away of this verse meant that I would not allow myself to feel anxious, but rather use all of my self control to physically be still and be quiet. However, this past weekend God shed light on this verse in a bold new way.
In this Exodus narrative, we have Moses who fully trusts God to lead the way. He is given direction and is obedient regardless of the Israelites crying out in terror to return to slavery under Pharaoh’s rule. He doesn’t waver and charges towards the sea. God, despite the Israelites abundant grumbling and lack of trust and faith, not only parts the sea on their behalf, but drowns out their enemy. He fights the battle for them because it was his battle to fight.
Moses trusted God’s character. He did as the Lord said and let go of his expectations of the outcome and surrendered them into God’s hand.
The original Hebrew root of “be still” doesn’t mean be quiet, it means let go.The Lord will fight for you; you need only to let go. “Let go and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
When confronted with profoundly challenging circumstances, God calls us to press in deeper than we ever have before. Although we tend to be outwardly resistant, the more we press in to God, his word, and his promises and let go, the more we are actually pressing on because we’re no longer striving out of our power, but wholly out of his. God’s spirit gently moves through us, alleviates the stress of the circumstance and gives us divine peace and rest as he leads us through it. This is divine stillness.
Our God is a good, trustworthy father. There is nothing about us that he is unaware of, yet he invites us into himself and imparts unfathomable kindness and love into us, without us offering any way to earn or deserve it. This is our identity magnified, the quintessential essence of the truest intention of God — to be fully known and broken open, overflowing with God’s love, uninhibited by the world, and transformed into the free children he has called us to be.
Today as you journey through your day, I pray that you remain rooted to the stillness that God has for you and that you let go of your outcome and allow yourself to surrender the battle to the one who can defeat the enemy for good.
Journal / Reflection Question
- As you face your trials or upheavals today, are you rooted in adamant faith that God knows better?
- Can you can let go and allow God to fight your battles for you? Are you relying, maybe even unintentionally, on your own strength?
Esther “Annie” Rhoades is a mom to three, wild and free kids and has been happily married to her best friend, Jon, for over 10 years. Annie values experience over things and loves yoga with worship music, diving into the word, hosting, thrifting, making healthy goodies, and traveling.