This is part two in our series called “Breaking Down Your Quiet Time.” This week we are breaking down the daily sections in the Give Me Jesus Journal to help you better understand how to journal the Word and study Scripture. The new Give Me Jesus quiet time journal releases September 16th in the Well-Watered Women Co. We hope this series is edifying and encourages you to open the Word each day! (Note: You can use this daily breakdown in any journal if you are unable to purchase a Give Me Jesus Journal! Our mission is to equip you to study the Word, and we hope this makes that possible.)
To Be Still and Know
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” –Psalm 46:10
It happens without fail every time, the moment I open my Bible to spend time with the Lord. A list of things to do rushes to my mind, and worries that I have been holding on to flood my heart. The enemy knows the time we spend with the Lord is sacred and precious. He wants to do anything he can to take the joy out of this time. Guilt used to be my constant companion when I struggled to focus on the Word. It felt like I was not “good enough” at this Bible study thing. Why couldn’t I just get it together and do things the “right” way?
Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (emphasis mine). God in his kindness does not expect us to come to him with the perfect setup—physically or mentally. We have so many beautiful tools and engaging resources at our fingertips that enable us to dig deeper and know him more. At the end of the day, though, the resources and tools are just that—resources and tools.
A Living Word
The Word of God is living and active (Hebrews 4:12). God is present with us when we open the Word, whether we have a beautiful journal or a basic notebook from the dollar store. He also knows our hearts and minds better than we do, and he knows we are easily distracted and discouraged.
The Lord also knows the tricks of the enemy. Jesus was tempted in all the same ways we are during his time on earth, and he sympathizes with our weaknesses as we approach the Father (Hebrews 4:15).
An Invitation to Cease Striving
When we come to a set of blank pages in our journal, the challenge to “Be Still and Know” seems intimidating. We are much more prone to go and do than to sit and be. But God’s Word emphasizes the importance of simply sitting with him, enjoying his presence, tasting his goodness. The New American Standard Version translates Psalm 46:10 this way: “Cease striving and know that I am God.” Cease striving—lay down your pursuit of perfectionism.
Stop the unhealthy thought process that says you have to do it all.
Let go of the belief that everything and everyone depends on you.
Know that he is God. He is the King of kings.
You are finite, small, and held by the Creator of the universe.
Since I’ve been a Christian for over 20 years, it is easy for me to approach the Word with a task mentality. I think, “Ok, let me get this done so I can move on to the other things I have to do today.” Can you imagine if I approached the other close relationships in my life with such coldness? I don’t think my husband would feel appreciated and loved if I spent time with him because I felt an obligation to do so. The same is true for our relationship with the Lord. He delights in us as we slow down, draw near, and choose to spend time with him.
Delight, Not Duty
God wants to be with us—to abide in us and us in him (John 15:7). When we come to the Word, we are to come with a sense of delight, not duty. There are times when you may come to the Word because you know that it is “the right thing to do.” He can meet you here, too. God loves to reward obedience, and he loves to soften hearts. The power of the Holy Spirit melts the heart of stone and gives us a heart of flesh, ready to be molded into his image (Ezekiel 36:26). Our aim is delight, not obligation.
The Be Still and Know section of the Give Me Jesus Journal is a place for us to recognize and know deeply that God alone is God. It is a place for us to quiet our hearts, cease our striving, and recognize who we are about to spend time with as we open the Word. Use this space to write a verse that has been on your heart, song lyrics that are encouraging you, or a simple prayer of acknowledgment that says, “You are God, and I am not. Help me trust you today and hear from you as I seek your face.” When you allow your heart to Be Still and Know, he is faithful to encourage you. He will grow you in grace to look more like him as the Word transforms your heart, mind, and soul.