Spiritual Growth and Christian Living Resources

How I Stopped Striving and Started Resting in Him

  • Kay Arthur Precepts for Life
  • Published Dec 21, 2010
How I Stopped Striving and Started Resting in Him

In the midst of a heartbreaking trial, God clearly gave me the verse from Psalm 46: "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). As I meditated on this verse, I saw that "be still" could be translated "cease striving" or "let go, relax."

I had been doing everything I knew to do, everything I could do, in order to fix this painful situation - and then came the Word of God: "Be still, Kay... cease striving... know that I am God."

God's Word was clear. I couldn't fix it, and I needed to stop trying. I had wept. I had prayed. I had tried to make things right. I had searched my heart, rehearsed all my failings, and experienced the grief of them all. Yet nothing had worked. The situation hadn't changed; the incredible pain had not gone away.

Now it was clear. If I were to walk in faith, if I were to live by faith, I had to cease striving. I was to shut my mouth and quit trying to teach, to instruct, to straighten out, and I was to know God. He sits as sovereign on His throne; He hasn't moved. And I hadn't seen "the rest of the story." My part in this situation was simply "to be" rather than "to do."

O my friend, God has taught me so much. I stand in awe as I have seen God do the most incredible things - things I had longed for but couldn't dream of - and I know that He, and He alone, has done them.

He has done them apart from my planning, my orchestrating, my manipulating. My part was simply to allow the unconditional love of God to flow through me.

As I walked in obedience to Psalm 46:10, I began to see God move. It was so unexpected and it came in a way only our Sovereign Father could have designed. When it happened, all I could do was weep. It was the most precious of gifts, and I knew it had come straight from my Father's throne of mercy.

I had ceased striving. I had let go and relaxed. And He had shown Himself to be God! The sweetness of that one incident of divine intervention was a precious salve for my pain - the pain which had become a welcomed friend, for without it I would not have seen how very clearly He is God.

Whatever happens, I do know that I am to continue to rest, to relax and to remember that He is God. I am to walk by faith and remember that I am not God, that I cannot fix the situation. My responsibility is simply to trust and obey and to be what He wants me to be. I am to embrace truth and to live by it. I can't live by my emotions, by dwelling upon my past, by focusing on my inadequacies, my weaknesses, my failures, or my impotence, and I can't trust in anything of my own flesh or strength. I am not to fear whatever the future holds, for the future is God's.

I am to live by every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God whether or not my reasoning or emotions agree. Truth, the truth of God's Word, is to be the plumb line by which I evaluate every situation, every decision, every response, every feeling.

Our Savior is God, and He sits as the Son of Man at the right hand of God - above every power of the evil one, above every name in heaven and on earth. He is God, your Savior and your High Priest, who lives to make intercession for you - you as an individual.

He loves you with an everlasting love. He will never leave you nor forsake you, even when you fail to be and to do what is less than perfect. He is absolutely committed to you and in His time and in His way, He is going to perfect, to complete, everything which concerns you.

So... be still... and know... that He is God.

Jesus is coming...to reign on earth as King of kings, Lord of lords, and that's the rest of the story which the book of Revelation so vividly paints. Ask Him now to reign in your life as King of kings, Lord of lords, as God, and rest, knowing that He will complete the rest of the story. And as Psalm 23 says, when you look back, you will see that goodness and mercy have followed you all the days of your life (Psalms 23:6).

Rest, my friend, rest in Him.

Kay Arthur
Host, Precepts For Life
Co-CEO, Precept Ministries International