Learning to stand still may seem like an odd thing to learn. It takes little effort; just do it, right? Wrong! Learning to stand still is difficult for many. Take my second grade class, for instance! I don’t mean a physical posture, but rather a heart posture. One that disavows human effort and stakes it’s hope on the power and ability of God.
In the 14th chapter of Exodus we see the people of God being pursued by Pharoah and his army. They found themselves standing between the Pharaoh’s army and a sea in front of them. At that point, they began to complain. They expressed their regret, they expressed their anger, they expressed their frustration, and they expressed their fears. Then Moses answered,“Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” Exodus 14:13-14
Moses told them first, do not fear. Fear is an overwhelming emotion. Sometimes fear makes you run. You want to retreat or remove yourself from the situation. Other times fear makes you fight. Like a bear backed into a corner, you feel like the only thing to do is come out fighting. Rarely does fear make you stand still.
But that is exactly what Moses told the people to do next, stand still. Standing still involves planting your feet firmly.
God has given us something to stand on—something on which we can plant our feet.
We can stand in faith
We can stand in hope
We can stand in trust
We can stand on the Word
It’s difficult in uncertain circumstances, but we must be still!
Don’t sway! Don’t allow the things that come make you sway back and forth or side to side. Stand firm and trust God. James tells us that a double minded person is unstable in every way. (James 1:8) Don’t allow your circumstances to make you waver.
Don’t lean! Don’t allow impatience or self-reliance cause you to take steps or make decision apart from God’s will. Proverbs 3:5 reminds us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding”.
Moses then tells the people, “The Lord will fight for you, just hold your peace.” It maybe even more difficult to be silent than it is to be still. Oftentimes we don’t know what to do, but if you are anything like me, I always have something to say! It’s usually the wrong thing. Complaints, negativity, and doubt fills my mouth, then my heart, until it filters to my actions. In times of trouble, it is important that we speak God’s Word into the situation or be silent. Your words will fail, but His Words lead to victory.
King Jehoshaphat faced a similar situation (2 Chronicles 20). Nearby enemies had come together in attempts to defeat Judah. Jehoshaphat prayed. He was honest, “I don’t know what to do; but Lord my eyes are fixed on You” (v.12). He admonished the people not to fear or be alarmed, because, “the battle is not yours, but God’s” (v.15). King Jehoshaphat had to give a command to trust, just like Moses did; “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:17.
There’s the command—Stand still! It can be difficult, it can feel counterproductive, but we must learn to stand still. Sometimes we stand between the enemies taunts and what seemed impossible. We want to react, we want to fight, we want to run, but God says stand still. Plant your feet firmly on the Word of God, and watch Him fight for you!