By Cynthia Heald
The marvel of our relationship with God is that He desires to be with us. King David wrote of
this desire: “My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me.’ And my heart responds,
‘Lord, I am coming.’” (Psalm 27:8) It is His invitation to come and talk with Him that draws us
into an ever-deepening relationship with Him. The Lord longs to speak to our hearts, to teach
us, encourage, and guide us. In the form of a loving command, God tells us, “Be still, and know
that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) We can rephrase “be still” by saying “cease striving” or as one
interpreter wrote, “step out of the traffic!” Part of being still is being unhurried, calm, quiet,
undistracted in order to know our Lord.
In the Upper Room Jesus gave a beautiful illustration of this special time of being still: “I am
the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart
from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) For me, to abide in the Lord’s presence means taking
the time, daily, to nurture my relationship with Him by reading and studying His word and
spending time in prayer.
This relationship meets our hearts’ need for the Lord’s love, peace, and rest. In his teaching,
Jesus extended an invitation to be still: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble of
heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Rest?
Learning from One who is gentle and humble? How can we refuse?
This consistent abiding produces the fruit of Christlikeness for we are staying attached to the
vine. The opportunity to abide in His presence should humble us and stir our hearts to answer
the Lord’s invitation at any cost. This intimacy was all that the psalmist David desired:
“One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord
And to meditate in His temple.”
Not only did David answer the Lord by saying, “I am coming,” he also chose to make
abiding—dwelling—with the Lord the “one thing” that really mattered. God’s offer to abide with us and talk with us is ongoing and renewed day by day. It is our choice, though, whether we will respond to His gracious call and be still before him.
Andrew Murray reminds us: “Dear child of God, let us never say, ‘I have no time for God.’ Let
the Holy Spirit teach us that the most important, the most blessed, the most profitable time of
the whole day is the time we spend alone with God…Whatever else is left undone, God has the
first and chief right to my time.”
My prayer is that as we respond to God’s call and choose to be still—abide, stay, linger, and
meditate in His presence—we will “reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the
Spirit—will make us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” (2
About the Author
Cynthia Heald is a native Texan who now lives in Tucson, AZ. She is the author of the “Becoming a Woman of…” series of bible studies and devotionals. Her website is cynthiaheald.com and her books can be found on Amazon and from Tyndale Publishing Company.