How to Be Still Before God: Help for Your Quiet Times

Do you know how to be still before God?

Being still awakens us to God’s surrounding love. It’s easier to be still if you spend time with God in the morning—before turning on any electronics. If I dare turn my phone or computer on first, God ends up getting the dregs of my attention, and I get less of His blessing. It’s not that we have to earn His love; it’s difficult to notice His voice above the buzz of social media notifications.

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10 NIV

Today I’d like to share an example of what happens when I follow my own advice on being still:

(Here’s the podcast version of today’s message.)

I came to the garden of God one morning craving fullness of joy. He met my need. His sacred love embraced my aching heart.

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10 NIV How to Be Still Before God: Help for Your Quiet Times wendylmacdonald.com

God’s whispers remind me of when a hint of floral fragrance wafted over a garden hedge I walked by. I knew there was a flower garden behind the evergreen wall, but I couldn’t see it. God’s like this too.

He’s ever-present but not quite visible in the same way someone’s estate is once we’ve passed through their front gate.
The evidence of God’s Presence is all around us as creation calls attention to its Maker; however, we need to take the time to enter His Presence and linger long enough to enjoy the perfume of His glory.

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10 NIV How to Be Still Before God: Help for Your Quiet Times wendylmacdonald.com

So often we walk by His garden, oblivious to the fragrance of His grace, until adversity shakes us awake. Adversity helps us sit still long enough—be still long enough—that we drink in the love He desires to lavish on us.

That morning, tired from an unsatisfying and restless sleep, I listened to the words of Psalm 125:2 NIV as I read them aloud to myself several times.

As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore.

How to Be Still Before God: Help for Your Quiet Times wendylmacdonald.com

I lingered over the words: surround and forevermore. I allowed them to sink in—to drop like dew over the soil of my sadness. And as I repeated them, I noticed His Spirit surrounding and embracing me with love, peace, and joy. For you see, the verse is true because His Word is Truth.

The Lord surrounds those who trust Him.

It’s an ongoing embrace—a forevermore hug from our Father.

I surrendered to His surrounding love.

I wrote the verse in my journal.

I wrote it on a Post-it note and stuck it on my desk calendar because I wanted it to stick to my heart and help me do the next thing He required of me.

How to Be Still Before God: Help for Your Quiet Times wendylmacdonald.com

Some gifts are a blend of grief and goodness

when a letting go of the old is required

to make room for the new.

I sensed God was asking me to let go of some old things to make room for the new gifts He was ushering in. I needed to toss away my tattered comfort-zone-blanket and embrace a new covering of a future I hadn’t planned on. He wanted to work through me to prosper others, because:

People matter more than pocketbooks.

How to Be Still Before God: Help for Your Quiet Times wendylmacdonald.com

People matter to God more than this planet does. He’s going to toss out this old earth and bring in a new one for the people He’s surrounded with His forevermore love.

This is the plan I need to surrender to—to embrace.

But it’s going to require me to enter His gate each morning with trust and praise in my heart. I may not always enter joyfully, but I need to enter fully so that I leave with fullness of joy because I’ve lingered long enough to see, taste, and savor His goodness.
There is only one entrance to His garden–Jesus, and we must hold Christ’s hand for the whole journey. We may let go momentarily, but He won’t let go of us. He waits for us to be still enough to notice He’s still right beside us.

He waits for us to surrender to His surrounding, forevermore love.

How to Be Still Before God: Help for Your Quiet Times wendylmacdonald.com

God’s love is sweeter
Than the aroma of a rose
For His fragrant grace embraces
All who’ve come to know
And each soul is counted
More precious than pure gold
Because a crown of thorns pierced
His Son who died and rose.

Wendy/2017

Be Still Blessings ~ Wendy

What’s your favorite strategy for facilitating stillness before God? I’m nosy-to-know.

The Lord surrounds his people...forevermore. #verseoftheday #bible #flowers Click To Tweet

The Lord surrounds those who trust Him. #inspiration #GodIsGood #roses Click To Tweet

People matter more than pocketbooks. #Jesus #memoir #devo Click To Tweet

Being still awakens us to God's surrounding love. #faith #love #ThursdayThoughts Click To Tweet

P.S. The Christmas Stories and More anthology I have a short story in is now available on Amazon. All proceeds go to our InScribe Writers group. You can click here to have a peek at the first few pages: Christmas Stories and More

I’ve decided to offer another giveaway of Christmas Stories and More to subscribers of my monthly newsletter. I enjoyed reading the anthology and I appreciated being inspired to embrace the deeper meaning of the season. I’d like to share it one more time with you. Sign up here to be included in the draw: Wendy’s Monthly Newsletter

Happy Thanksgiving to my dear American friends. xo

How to Be Still Before God: Help for Your Quiet Times wendylmacdonald.com

20 thoughts on “How to Be Still Before God: Help for Your Quiet Times

  1. I think what truly works best for me–sitting still before God–is to talk to Him when I place my head on my pillow at night. Because everyone thinks I’m asleep. No one bothers me. Not even the cats. I can stay like that for 30 minutes to an hour, or until I fall asleep talking to Him. No better way. And I try so hard to get in a routine of thinking of Him when I first wake up … before I move … to thank Him for another day, another breath. <3 Thank you for the Thanksgiving wishes, Wendy Mac. You are definitely on the top of the list of those I thank God for. You're always there for me.

    1. Oh, Shelli, those uninterrupted moments are our gold with God. I can’t help but believe they are gold to Him too. He looks over–searches over–the earth for hearts who are tuned to Him. I know I love it when I experience a connect moment with a friend or family member. I feel it right here in your words and in the comments of others–fellowship. Hugs, sweet friend, I cherish the day I met you on Books n’ Such… xo Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. I can’t get over how beautiful, how meaningful….and how timely this post is!

    “What’s your favorite strategy for facilitating stillness before God? I’m nosy-to-know.”

    I used to go outside and commune with the Lord and meditate as I tended to my flowering shrubs. I haven’t been able to do that these past few years. However, I have been given new opportunities to survey His wondrous handiwork in a number of settings.

    My most recent strategy is two-fold.

    The first part is to pray while resting in my bed and soaking in the tub. I pray phrases from passages of scripture that have been hidden in my heart…that always seem to surface in my mind whenever I close my eyes and kneel in my heart. Here is my list:

    1.) “Please forgive me for my sinful thoughts, words, and actions.” “Please forgive me for neglecting to think, speak, and do all that would be pleasing to you.”

    “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

    2.) “Please ‘transform me by the renewing of my mind’, by ‘the washing of the word’, by *your* ‘working in me to be both willing and able to do your good pleasure’.

    “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2

    “…even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

    26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,” Ephesians 5:25-26

    “13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13

    “Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” Psalm 51:12 NIV

    The second part is to “reckon”…to acknowledge that all of those requests (petitions) are according to the Lord’s will as revealed in His Holy word, and are promised to be granted.

    “14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

    15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” 1 John 5:14-15

    God Bless you, Wendy! <3

    1. God bless you right back, dear Theresa. I love the encouraging and affirming Scripture verses you quoted and prayed. Nothing gives me more confidence God heard my requests—heard my heart than when I prayed His own words back to Him.
      This morning I wrote down a verse I believe He gave me. I told Him I know He remembers it. And I circled it and told Him I still believe it no matter what happens between when He gave it to me and when He fulfills it. It’s Isaiah 54:13. I believe this is for our daughters too, dear friend. xo Amen to “whatsoever we ask.”

        1. Yes, that’s a perfect reminder God is not a miser but a giver of eternal life. xo Thank you for blessing me. I’m leaving my Bible open at that spot so I can write this verse down when I get back from an errand.

  3. This is so true Wendy. You make me question my own prayer time, it isn’t always automatic. Making time to engage with God each morning should come as natural as eating breakfast, but it often doesn’t. I think you hit the nail on the head here. Maybe I simply fail to “linger long enough” in His presence. Maybe I stick around just long enough to go through the motions of having a relationship with Him but fail to hang around to “enjoy the perfume of His glory.” If I were truly basking in His glory, prayer would be my first thought of each new day. Thank you Wendy, I needed this on this Thanksgiving morning.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Gene, I know what you mean about “Making time to engage with God” often not coming naturally. It’s a lot like purposely making dates with our spouses; if we don’t, we take them for granted and lose the sweet closeness we normally enjoyed with them. God never fails to bless me when I linger long enough for it. My desire is that I would always be still enough. But often I wait until a trial slows me down enough to be still. Life’s hardness presses us into the softness of His hand. At least God is perfect in unfailing love. Happy Thanksgiving, friend.

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