Be Still Know
Psalm 40:6 NLT
‘Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand – you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings.’
If there’s one battle that has dogged me from childhood, it is my inner need to be affirmed for what I do which I mixed with who I am. I was a person-pleaser, mistaking serving the instructions of others diligently as the realisation of God’s purpose in my life. Now in my seventh decade, and having lost the longest continuous relationship I served in this way, I have eventually woken up to a new reality.
Now I see clearly that any sacrifice and service I may offer to anyone is in itself of no merit. It is offered as something that may be attributed to my personal self-realisation and observed as credit notes to my obedience. I am invited to love and to give myself, to follow and yield to God’s will. Naturally I argue and wrestle as I encounter disappointments, yet such reactions are never disputed by God. They are the thrashings of my human independence, my inner demand for significance and protection in conflict with the simple truth that God has made the ultimate sacrifice once for all, and I am a beneficiary, and nothing I do or say can alter the substantive reality of history.
Those who have motivated me to pursue God the most have been those who apparently have little reason to live. One lovely saint I visited in the hospice as she walked her final furlong on the earth was so captivated by God that I couldn’t help but feel that I entered within touching distance of the Divine as I sat with her. She had served as a missionary, had countless stories to tell, yet she was closer to God bedridden, waiting and gazing upon the unseen yet ever-present face of God. There appears more of God in inaction than any action I’ve ever engaged in.
QUESTION: Do you find your worth and identity in pleasing people?
PRAYER: Lord, my life is in hidden in Christ, and for that security and privilege I am so grateful.