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One-a-Day...for the Heart: Be Still

It's a ten-minute exercise program that will change your life! Sound impossible? It is not. Our Bible study group has accepted the challenge that Bible teacher and Pastor Bob Mumford suggests, and we're setting our timers for ten minutes to begin exercising. What do we do for ten minutes? Nothing. Absolutely nothing—at least, physically, we do nothing. We allow our spirits and souls to exercise by learning, as Mumford calls it, The Skill of Still. That is, learning to be still before the Lord.

     Be still and know that I am God, Psalm 46:10 states. The Contemporary English Version says, Our God says, 'Calm down, and learn that I am God!'. Our “gym” is a quiet place anywhere—a bedroom, living room, car, the woods, a favorite porch. No equipment is needed, in fact, phones are not permitted except for the timer function. We do not practice the buddy system; it is strictly a solitary exercise with no other people around—only the Lord.

     Many of us know God, but we are uncomfortable spending time with Him. How will that work in Heaven? He encourages us right here, right now, to practice being in His presence. We begin the exercise by dismissing the clutter in our minds. I picture it as helium balloons filled with troubling thoughts or concerns that ascend up and out of the mind as we release all our cares to the Lord. One by one, they disappear, and in the quietness and stillness, the Spirit of God enters, and peace descends within us.

     As Mumford says, many things that have troubled us seem almost silly as they are pushed out of the way. How much worry and fretting we often entertain as soon as our eyes open! During a time of stillness before the Lord, a marvelous connection between the human spirit and God's Spirit occurs, and His presence refreshes us.

     It's what He's always intended! God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth, John 4:24 (KJV) says. It's worth the initial awkwardness of sitting in a room with Someone you cannot see. The Passion Translation reads, For God is a Spirit, and He longs to have sincere worshipers who adore Him in the realm of the Spirit and in truth. When we are still before the Lord, it allows our spirit to commune with God's Holy Spirit, and a supernatural spirit-to-Spirit bonding occurs.

     Often, a God-breathed thought—a plan or suggestion—will pop into your mind, and a solution to a problem you hadn't thought of is presented. God's peace settles in as calmness and strength are restored.

     In doing this non-threatening, non-strenuous exercise, you will soon discover that ten minutes fly by and are not a long enough time with the Lover of your soul! He is eager to have you stay a little longer, so the challenge increases as you set the timer for ten more minutes, and another ten, and another. God's presence is addicting, and before you know it, you're hooked.

     Perhaps you do not have ten minutes to spare, and doing absolutely nothing for ten minutes is an entirely foreign concept. This exercise was birthed from a study of Mary and Martha of Bethany for our Bible study group. In this well-known Bible story, we learn of two very different sisters. Mary, the younger sister, had learned the Skill of Still and was content to sit at Jesus' feet and listen to Him. Her sister Martha was more the practical, get-'er-done sister, always busying herself with duties and household chores. She, too, had a relationship with their dear friend Jesus, but her restless Type A personality kept her in a state of constant motion and activity. It was not bad activity, just filler activity that probably gave her a sense of worth and productivity. That's not always what the Lord wants.

     Should you decide to join us in the stillness challenge, here's a suggestion: don't write your to-do list until you first exercise your spirit and soul for ten minutes of silence: no Bibles, no people, no distractions. Let the Spirit of God be your distraction. He won't disappoint.

Copyright 2024, Chris Custer Werre


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