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Calm in the midst of Chaos

Calm in the midst of Chaos  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Be still, know, I am God

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Calm in the midst of Chaos

Text: Mark 4:35-41; Psalm 46:10
Psalm 46:10 NIV
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Mark 4:35–41 NIV
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
These are two passages of scripture that you may not hear paired together but this morning I felt that these two would be the best way to identify what has been on my heart. These past number of months the passage of scripture “Be still and know that I am God” has been my personal lifeline. Don’t you love it when God gives you a word, phrase, passage that you can stand firmly upon especially in the most trying times? Well that is how it has been for me. This morning we are going to closely examine three things:
Be still
Know
I am God
Simple truths jammed full of life changing power.
So how have you been? It has been a few weeks since we last were together and in that time how many of you have had busy times, trying times, storms, or even experienced some type of chaos?
For those who are parents are you eager for Wednesday to get here? For routine to begin? There may be some that don’t have kids but long for the routine of Fall to begin because that coincides with school opening.
Summer is lovely, holidays are great but it is nice for the normal routine to begin and the flow of daily life to resume. Is it really flow or frustration though? How many of us take the time to look at what makes us overwhelmed or flustered?
We live in a day where everyone is in a rush, too much on their plate, then overwhelmed with life in general. Our text today will help us get things into perspective and drive home the fact that we need to put these plans in place for our own health both emotionally and spiritually.
Prayer: God open up our hearts and minds to receive what you have for us this morning that we will see the need to guard our relationship with you and allow it to grow in a healthy way.

1. Be still

Be still and know that I am God. Such a short verse full of so much powerful punch.
If I were to ask you to define being still this morning who would be able to help me do justice with that?
Look for a wiggly child or chatty teen.
Be still - is defined as not moving and being quiet.
It can also mean two things Biblically that is why we have two different passage of scripture to examine.
In the Old Testament:
Psalm 46:10 NIV
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
God is defending the city and people
The Hebrew definition is to stop striving, to let go, to surrender.
The chapter begins with God is our refuge… we can take comfort in letting go and resting in God to provide help, strength and safety.
Here is a prayer to let go:
Dear God:
In this moment I get go of all thoughts and concerns.
When I let go, I am able to receive.
When my hands are formed into tight fists, I cannot open my hands to receive anything.
When I hang onto tight control,
When I close off my heart and my spirit,
I cannot receive your blessings.
Letting go in this moment, I receive your loving presence around me and within me.
Help me to let go when I feel overwhelmed, so that I may receive your peace.
Help me to let go when I feel fear so that in fear’s place I may receive love and courage.
I let go of problems and challenges in order to receive your guidance and clarity.
I let go and trust you.
You will catch me.
I let go and trust in the still, small voice inside of me.
Help me not to struggle but to surrender my struggle to you.
I gladly receive this gift of letting go and letting you lead and guide me.
Amen.
2. New Testament
Mark 4:39 NIV
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
Peace! Be Still! - exclamation point is there for a reason
In the Mark 4 account we read earlier Jesus uses the words “Peace, Be Still!
Matthew and Luke portrays this instance as well but talk about an extremely busy time where Jesus healed people, cast our demons and had a lot of speaking engagements.
Scripture does not say this but the picture is painted that Jesus was exhausted and overwhelmed. You see He is still God but He is also man, fully man, meaning he got tired, and exhausted it was a part of him taking on the form of man.
Jesus requested a boat to escape the crowds and the chaos to recharge. He illustrates the need to be still, to recharge, rest, be clam.
Then a storm came and the people (the disciples) panicked. They looked to Jesus to help them and found him asleep due to exhaustion. They were terrified of the storm and woke Jesus up.
According to Mark’s account Jesus was not happy and yelled in his frustration “Peace, Be still!”
The literal translation of Be still in the Greek is hush! and in modern terms - Be quiet!
The storm that was huge stopped immediately!
illustration: Ever go on a road trip with children? Ever hear are we there yet? Are we there yet? How much longer? I need to use the bathroom? I am so bored?
What is our answer? Be still! Be quiet! Hush!
How often do we ask God for everything but we don’t stop to listen, examine, or be still!
The act of being still, getting quiet is quite the challenge in the chaos of our world today. Ever try it? The phone rings, your mind wanders, you have an appointment, the dog needs to go out, the baby cries… the list of distractions goes on.
We are busy, the world asks us to be busy. God asks us to BE STILL!
Be still so that we can receive love, peace, guidance.
Along with the busy comes anxious thoughts and fear that we hold onto. These things have crippled our society and has become an epidemic in our youth and children alike. These thoughts do a number on us:
I can’t believe I messed up
I’m not good enough
I can’t do it
It’s too hard
I’m a failure
I’m too old
I’m too young
We must learn to quiet or shut up our negative thoughts. Bind up every thought.
2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Remember what Jesus asked the disciples after He calmed the storm? He asked His disciples “Why are you so afraid? Have you so little faith?”
Quieting the mind, shutting up the mind is a process and requires practice.
Practice meditation:
Philippians 4:8 NLT
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Psalm 119:27 NLT
Help me understand the meaning of your commandments, and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds.
Isaiah 30:15 NIV
This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.
2. Prayer & Contemplative prayer - conversations with God
Jeremiah 33:3 NLT
Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.
Proverbs 4:23 NLT
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
Matthew 6:6 NLT
But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
3. Bible Reading - Food for the mind and soul
Romans 10:17 NASB95
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
2 Timothy 3:16–17 NIV
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
4. Bible memory - hiding God’s word in our heart so that it is ready for use when challenges arise
Psalm 119:11 NKJV
Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.
Hebrews 4:12 NLT
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
5. Journal - get your thoughts out, helps see growth, keeps focus and hear God’s voice and note it
Deuteronomy 31:19 NLT
“So write down the words of this song, and teach it to the people of Israel. Help them learn it, so it may serve as a witness for me against them.
Habakkuk 2:2 NIV
Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.
Jeremiah 30:2 NIV
“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you.
These are disciplines we need to have active in our life. We are called to be different and these are things that make that so. We have spiritual disciplines that will aid us in our walk and be effective in our relationship with Christ and to be used by Him when these things are active.
Romans 12:2 NIV
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
The second point we will look at is knowing.

2. Know - knowledge that you are confident in

I call it Grandma faith. This is something I am proud to entitle because my grandma knew that she knew that she knew Her God is able. No matter the situation, circumstance, God would supply her of her need and deliver the answer in the perfect time.
This is something that I know that God is teaching me in my life. I will be quite transparent with you this morning. I have always been a person who has faith but I felt that I needed to take things into my own hands, as if I could do it better than God can. But that’s the manner I would operate. God has kept showing me my need to be still and surrender it to Him and that means standing in the knowledge of knowing that He will see it through. Hands off!!!
illustration: Cosby show when he was trying to teach His son in laws how to stop trying to fight against their wives. He would tell them hands off! Like the wedding joke yes dear.
Well the same is true in this case stand in knowing that He is able and get your hands off of it!
We know what we need and want but do we KNOW and have peaceful assurance in whom we serve and surrender to?
Do we know and trust the one we serve?
Are we crippled by fear or calmed with assurance?
2 Timothy 1:12 NKJV
For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
Being calm during a storm does not mean the storm is no longer around you it means that it is not within you!
In the roof God placed a window so that I might clearly see
Though the storms around me rages, He still watches over me
The storms may rage but we are free from the effects of them. They no longer trouble us because we know in whom we have trusted. We are in a place where we no longer fear and that is the goal of our text!
Recognizing and knowing the truth of His word!
Psalm 46:1–2 NIV
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
Know that I am God - KNOW- in this instance means “to properly ascertain by seeing” and “to acknowledge and be aware”.

3. I am God

How does acknowledging God impact our stillness?
God is:
Omniscient – all knowing
Omnipresent – universal presence at the same time
Omnipotent – all powerful
Holy, Faithful, and Sovereign
Infinite – without measure, forever
Acknowledging God implies that we can trust Him and surrender to His plan because we understand who He is.
We know God by having a relationship with Him. This doesn’t come from knowing about Him but getting to know Him personally. Recognizing the things He does in our lives, and by way of His Holy Spirit who guides us and comforts us.
John 14:26 NKJV
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
Church we are to be people who know that He is God. Not wonder, or doubt or believe part time. We need to know that we know that we know He is God and He is able to take care of our needs and us.
This morning if you are here and you do not have that kind of faith in the God then we need you to come and receive it.
This morning we are going into a time of communion. A time to reflect and examine ourselves before Christ. A time where we need to be still and know that He is God!
The Words used I am God send chills down my spine because we hear His voice speaking and He is identifying Himself to us. This is a divine moment where He longs to be intimate with us. The creator longs to know us intimately!
Then He also says I am God. He defines His authority and our need to recognize it. We need to realize that He is not messing around He wants us to recognize His power and authority.

Conclusion:

Being still - meditating helps renew the mind. To be still - let go - surrender - shut up the thoughts that do not serve us well.
Do not be intimidated by silence! Silence helps us address issues we might be running from.
Silence those anxious thoughts that rage in us like a violent storm and fill it with the assurance that He is God and we know Him!
Who is someone famous that we know? We wouldn’t be long saying yeah I know Him. Well we need to approach knowing God in the same manner and eagerly state that we know Him and align ourselves with him.
We need to silence our fearful thoughts by arresting them, speaking peace to them as Jesus did the storm. Standing in the authority of His Father. We need to stand in the authority and power of God, our refuge and strength an ever present help!
Be still and know that He is God!
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