by Alia Fisher
A couple of months ago, God told me to drop my fast-paced agenda and just go sit by the stream behind my house. To not do anything on my full to-do list for 2 hours. Just soak in His presence. That is hard to do as a mother of 4 kids under the age of 12, and the leader of multiple ministries!!! Not to mention the never-ending tasks and demands of keeping the house in a state that is habitable and not a disaster zone. But I obeyed. While I always have my morning devotion time, setting aside EXTRA time during my errand-running time was not what I wanted to do at first.
But slowly as I simply sat there, my heart-rate dropped to a regular pace. My breathing got deeper and slower. I noticed the shimmering leaves on the giant Cottonwood tree in front of me. As I opened my Bible and read without a goal, God’s Word soaked into my being. I started hearing Him speak to me in that recognizable voice. “You need to be my friend before you do my work. You need to spend time with me where your goal is simply to enjoy being in my company. You need to take time to listen to what I say”.
I recognized the truth in what God said. When we find ourselves constantly moving at a pace that crams one thing in after another, we can forget our love relationship with God. And honestly, He cares much more about our heart-connection than our duties, even those we do for Him! When we forget the nurturing relationship aspect with Christ, our busyness can mute His voice completely. The Greek word for Holy Spirit means “breath”. We are hardly ever aware of our breathing unless we slow down enough to notice it or unless we are having breathing difficulties. Just as we do not notice our breath unless we slow down and take note, we can miss whispers of God’s Holy Spirit. And just as our breath gets shallow when we frantically move from one task to another, our hearing in His presence gets muted as well.
The result is that anything, even the things we love most, like ministry or our families, can become work when we are not being filled by God’s comfort, guidance, and peace. If you are in a place where you are doing things you usually love without feeling any sense of joy, consider that maybe you need to sit in stillness before God and let Him fill you up. He desires you to operate out of a rejuvenated and restful heart, not a frantic and harried one. After I sat by the river that day, I realized how beneficial it would be for me to do this every single week. As a sort of cleansing and reflecting time.
Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”. The truth is that we wither without being connected to the vine, filled by God from the inside. That is how God designed it so we would stay connected to Him. And when we start going through life without reconnecting to our power source, we burn out. We just do not have enough resources to do life without being nourished first. Taking time to be still is one of the most important things we need to do as Christ-followers. Is God calling you to go sit in stillness by His healing stream?
Alia Fisher is the wife of Wyatt Fisher, Psy.D. She's passionate about Jesus and helping others experience His amazing love and grace.Her devotionals can be found at https://www.christiancrush.com/topics/Devotionals
What can you do this week to be still in His presence?