Do you need to learn to be still?

August 12, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
(Exodus 14:14 (NIV))

This goes against everything that we know as sinful, fallen humanity. It is human nature to take matters into our own hands. When things don’t go as we want, we inherently get all puffed up and ready to go to battle to get what we feel we deserve. In essence, it all comes down to ego and pride. To put it simply, we are all too willing to go to battle without waiting for the Lord. We don’t stop to think about if what we want is what is wanted for us by the Lord.

We need to learn to be patient.

We need to learn to listen.

We need to learn to recognize that our desires are not always the right choice!

We need to learn to be still and wait for the Lord no matter what may happen in this world. He has His timing and we can’t rush it, even though we may try.

Be still before the Lord
     and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
     when they carry out their wicked schemes.
(Psalm 37:7 (NIV))

Do you have trouble waiting for the Lord? You are not alone. I am constantly reminded to do just that. In fact, for anyone who knows me, or has followed these devotionals for very long, you will know that everything is predicated on the following passage.

Be still, and know that I am God;
(Psalm 46:10a (NIV))

In order to trust that the Lord will fight for you, you must know Him. In order to wait patiently for Him, you must trust Him. In order to be still in His presence, you must desire what only He can offer.

What is it that you desire?

Do you need to learn to be still?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is it that you do?

August 3, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
(James 1:22 (NIV))

Are you content to hear a twenty minute sermon once a week and then profess to know how God desires for you to live?

If you want to learn how to be a better musician, you practice your instrument often. If you want to be a better tennis player, you practice and play often. If you want to run a marathon, you train and you run often. If you want to be good at your job, you go to school to learn the details about your chosen profession. Why do we think that we can do any different when it comes to living our lives according to God’s Word? Why do we think that we’ve got this “Christianity thing” down pat when we can’t even go one minute without failing miserably at putting our faith into action?

James tells us to do what the Word says, but how many of us actually spend enough time alone in God’s Word to know what it says? How many of us truly understand the concept of taking up our cross daily and following Him daily?

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
(Luke 9:23 (NIV))

If we don’t do what His Word says, if we don’t take up our cross daily, if we don’t follow Him daily, are we doing anything more than giving lip service to something that we truly don’t understand? Are we guilty of simply being a poser?

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV))

I long to hear completely different words when I stand before Jesus!

His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
(Matthew 25:21 (NIV))

We know that only by professing a faith in Jesus will we be saved. Works will not do it. Associating with someone who professes a faith will not do it. Only by professing a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior will bring you the gift of salvation, but we are called to put our faith into action. We are called to live according to God’s Word. We are called to emulate Jesus in all that we do. We are called to walk with Jesus and imitate what we see in Him. If we profess a faith in Jesus, then our heart should desire to do what He calls us to do, but we must do it only as He directs. It is so easy to see things that we think we should be doing and go off and do them without Jesus in our lives. If you consider Jesus in context to the passage from James, it bring clarity. Jesus was God with us, yet, He didn’t do what He wanted to do. He only did what God’s Word instructed.

Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
(John 5:19 (NIV))

What is it that you do?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you desire to be still in His presence?

July 15, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“Be still, and know that I am God;
(Psalms 46:10a (NIV))

This passage begins with two of the hardest words for anyone to do, especially in today’s world.

Be still!

When was the last time that you were able to be still in this hectic world in which we live? When was the last time that you were able to be still in the midst of the chaos that permeates our lives?

The enemy has come up with so many distractions. We walk around with our eyes glued to our mobile phones. We sit in public places and ignore those around us. We live our lives as if we have to be entertained at all times. We don’t leave any time to sit in silence and listen for that still, small voice.

God is still there. He has not abandoned us. It is we who have abandoned Him. We look at our education, our jobs, our homes, and our bank accounts as what matters the most while we ignore the very thing that we truly need.

We need a relationship with God!

We have been given a way for that relationship to come to fruition, even though we are sinners who don’t deserve the love that the Father wants to give us.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

Have you accepted this free gift of grace and mercy?

It’s time to shut off the devices. It’s time to turn off the game. It’s time to stop concentrating on work or finances. We must learn to sit at the feet of Jesus. We must learn to listen to that still, small voice that is lovingly calling to us. We must come to the realization that God is in control and that we are not.

We must learn to be still in His presence! It is something that we must desire!

Do you desire to be still in His presence?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Especially in the midst of chaos, we must BE STILL!

July 11, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
     I will be exalted among the nations,
     I will be exalted in the earth.”
(Psalms 46:10 (NIV))

Most of the time that you see any reference to this passage, it is only the following words – “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Most people read these words and interpret them to mean that we are to slow down and spend time with God. They take these words to mean that by doing so, we will come to a better understanding of who God is, and who we are in His creation. This is true. In fact, most of the time that I reference this passage, it is also the same select words with this very understanding and meaning. I have used these words from this passage as my calling to slow down and spend time with the Lord. As a result of my time being still with God, I have learned much about who He is and I am still learning. In fact, I read this passage again today and a different understanding was given to me that draws heavily on the current situations, the current events transpiring in this world in which we live.

With all the chaos that is going on in this world, He is telling us to be still. We do not need to panic. We do not need to fear. He is God and He is in control. He is allowing the enemy to set the stage in such a way that when God’s timing is perfect, He will be exalted in such a way that all the nations will see Him. He will be exalted in such a way that the whole earth will acknowledge that Jesus is Lord.

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
     and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
     in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
     to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV))

I encourage you to expand you understanding of Psalm 46:10 beyond the few words that most of us can recite from memory. We must take comfort not only in the words that tell us to slow down and spend time with the Lord, for we are given a powerful promise in the rest of the passage that tells us that the Lord our God will prevail. He will be exalted!

When the chaos seems to be so overwhelming, we must be still. When the evil attacks from the enemy seem to come at a greater frequency, we must be still. When the world calls evil good and good evil, we must be still. We are to be still and place our faith wholly and firmly on the promises that we have been given through Jesus! When the chaos is overwhelming from a human perspective, we must remember that we have been given instructions on what to do. We have been given a promise of what will soon transpire.

No matter what the world may send our way, we must continue to sit at the feet of Jesus!

Especially in the midst of chaos, we must BE STILL!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you think you know?

May 16, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

As you do not know the path of the wind,
     or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
     the Maker of all things.
(Ecclesiastes 11:5 (NIV))

Humanity has come a long way since this was written. We think that we may know how to track the path of the wind and we think we know how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, but have we mistaken human knowledge for Godly wisdom? We know enough about these two subjects to be dangerous. The sad and dangerous part of this is that we have taken human knowledge, which is very limited, and used that to say that we no longer need God.

Can we trace the complete path of the winds since the beginning of creation? God can!

Can we bring together two unique strands of DNA and form still another unique individual and nurture and protect that individual as he or she grows? Can we create DNA? God can!

Even with the family genealogy softwares that are available, can we trace the lineage of each unique person who has ever lived? God can!

Human nature is so narcissistic that we think we have all the answers. We can’t even answer the biggest question of all: Why do we still sin?

Regardless of what you may think you know, your knowledge is just a grain of sand in comparison to the eternal wisdom that is our God.

What do you think you know?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you open to the leading of the Lord?

December 8, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
(Matthew 2:12 (NIV))

Do you believe that the Lord speaks to people?

Perhaps I should ask if you believe that the Lord still speaks to people today, for we are told that He either spoke directly, sent angels, or gave people dreams all throughout the Old Testament and even in the account of the birth of Jesus in the New Testament. So, why do so many who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior believe that the Lord doesn’t speak to people today?

Have we become so overwhelmed by the distractions of this world that we don’t allow His still, small voice to penetrate into our lives? Are we afraid to sit in silence because we are afraid of what we will hear? Are we afraid that we will have to change something that we don’t want to change, so we don’t even try to listen.

“Be still, and know that I am God;
(Psalm 46:10a (NIV))

If we want to hear from the Lord, we have to be prepared. We have to sit at His feet and be receptive to what He is saying. If you look at the story of the Magi from this perspective, things start to make sense. They had already been searching to see God. That is how they knew to follow the star. It only makes sense that God would then communicate with them by sending them a dream, after all, they had gone considerably out of their way to find Him. It also fit into His plan to protect Jesus, Joseph and Mary. This touches on another aspect of hearing from the Lord. When you ask God for things that are selfish in nature, you have the wrong focus. When you ask God for things that are according to His Will, you have the right focus and have positioned yourself to be receptive to whatever the Lord may say or do.

Are you open to the leading of the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you taken the time to know God?

September 23, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“Be still, and know that I am God;
(Psalms 46:10a (NIV))

Are you able to be still?

Does the sound of silence become so overwhelming that you get up to do something? Perhaps you turn on the television to distract your mind. What does this say about your ability to sit in silence? Are you afraid of what you will hear? Perhaps you are afraid of who you will hear it from? Something deep inside of us knows that God comes to us in the quiet moments.

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
(1 Kings 19:11-12 (NIV))

Elijah did not ignore the gentle whisper. He had waited through all of the things that the world recognizes as symbols of power and authority, but he knew that is not how God speaks to us. Elijah answered the gentle whisper.

Are you afraid of the gentle whisper that you may hear when all of the world has been turned off and tuned out? Are you afraid to be still and listen for that gentle whisper? Do you try to drown out the gentle whisper with the distractions of the world?

A gentle whisper is the voice of intimacy. It is the voice that is used when someone tells you something that is only meant for you. God has something that He wants to tell you and it is only meant for you. He has other intimate whispers for each of us. He is not going to shout to the world what He wants to tell you and only you. He is going to whisper. You must be willing to be still in His presence so that you can hear and understand the gentle whisper. Are you willing to overcome the fear of the gentle whisper from God?

Turn off the television. Tune out the world. Open up your Bible and dive deeply into the pages of His Word. When you make this a daily habit, you will be able to be still in His presence. You will know Him as your God and Father. You will know Him as your redeemer!

Have you taken the time to know God?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Keep your eyes forever on the Lord!

August 5, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.
(2 Chronicles 20:12 (NIV))

Have you ever found yourself completely at a loss and backed into a proverbial corner with no idea what to do?

If you claim to be human, then I can assure you that everyone who makes that same claim has had times like this in their lives. You are not alone. It is our sinful human nature that makes us think that we can manage our own lives and our own actions. Basically, it is our pride that gets us into these types of situations. We refuse to take advise. We refuse to seek advise, and, just for the men out there, we refuse to stop and ask directions! We look only at our own limited resources and become so convinced that what we are facing is far greater than what we can handle. If you stop to think about that concept, our circumstances actually are greater than what we can handle.

But, God . . .

Two simple words that change everything!

Surrender your life to the Lord and follow His leading. He has a plan for your life. You were created for a purpose for such a time as this. Keep your eyes focused on the Lord and He will lead you. He will guide you back to the straight path that He had planned for you. He will not forsake you. He will give you a peace that passes all understanding and He will prosper you and give you a hope and a future. It all starts with a simple confession. It is as easy as ABC.

A is for admit that you are a sinner in need of a savior.

B is for believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and that God raised Him from the dead.

C is for call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.

No matter what circumstances you may find yourself in, give thanks at all times. When you don’t know what to do, give thanks to the Lord for what He will do, and when things are going great, give thanks to the Lord for His great love and mercy. In all things, give thanks!

“Give thanks to the Lord,
     for his love endures forever.”
(2 Chronicles 20:21b (NIV))

Your faith will mature to the point where you will praise Him and thank Him for what He will do before He does it!

Keep your eyes forever on the Lord!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you willing to be searched?

July 14, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
(Psalms 139:23 (NIV))

What imagery comes to mind when you think of being searched?

Is it invasive? Is it forceful? Is it a scenario where you feel extremely uncomfortable? Is your imagery of being searched something that you would want to be put through? Is this how you envision God searching you?

We have a choice. We can profess a faith in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, and then open up our heart to the searching and guidance of the Holy Spirit, or we can wait until the appointed time when Jesus returns. We can surrender to the gentle searching that will lead to a maturity in Christ, or we can be defiant now and face something that none of us want to face. Those who don’t profess a faith in Jesus now will acknowledge His Lordship too late!

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
     in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
     to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:10-11 (NIV))

Asking God to search your heart means that you surrender to Him and to His plans for you. Asking God to search your heart indicates that you are ready and willing to take a step toward realizing the hope of a future in His presence.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
(Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV))

If you ask the Lord to search your heart, you better be prepared for God to remove some things from your life. You better be prepared to experience some spiritual growing pains as the Lord refines you and makes you into someone that He can use.

Remove the dross from the silver,
     and a silversmith can produce a vessel;
(Proverbs 25:4 (NIV))

Asking the Lord to search your heart is the first step.

Are you willing to be searched?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you know?

June 21, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
(Romans 8:28 (NIV))

This is a difficult thing for many people to grasp, for they see only the immediate results of things as they happen. Humanity does not have the luxury of being able to see the long term consequences of any given event or series of events.

All too often we jump to worldly conclusions and do not see the “God” scheme of things. No matter what we may face in this life, we must remember that God is in control. If we are His through the grace and mercy granted through His Son Jesus Christ, then our ultimate good is heaven. If that is true, then everything that happens in this world can be taken as a temporary situation. This is hard to fathom when a loved one faces death or when a country faces terrorism, but, we must remember that what we see in the physical world is only a small fraction of the battle that goes on in the spiritual world.

If we hold steadfast in our faith in Jesus, then we are assured of our “good.”

What do you know?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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