There are times in life where God wants you to be extremely proactive, to step out in faith and try hard as you seek to do what he is telling you to do. But life is full of very different seasons, so sometimes God will tell you to stop moving and remain still. As Ecclesiastes 3:6-7 states, “. . . [there is] a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew . . .”
So here are 3 signs God is calling you to enter into a season of just sitting still before the Lord.
1. If You Already Took a Step of Faith and Now You Need to Let Time Go By to See What the Results Will Be, This Is a Signs God Wants You to Just Sit Still
We like to imagine that when God tells us to do something, we will see the results of our step of faith immediately after we take it. But that’s not how life always works. Sometimes that huge step of faith you finally took doesn’t result in immediate change but rather resulted in an important seed being planted that needs time to grow.
In relationships, for example, God often calls us to something proactive that requires us to take a big step of faith with the Lord. Perhaps God called you to express your feelings for someone you really like, or perhaps God directed you to ask someone out on a date, or perhaps God put it on your heart to apologize to someone you know you hurt.
After you take a step like this, oftentimes the ball is now in someone else’s court. It is easy to make the mistake of then putting too much pressure on other people to respond to your step of faith in the way that you expected them to. But after you make a big step of faith, what happens next is oftentimes out of your control. You can’t force someone to like you, to respond well to you, or to forgive you. When you keep pressing and trying to control the results of your actions, you can often end up working against the will of the Lord in your life and making things worse.
These principles can be seen in Exodus 14 when the Israelites took a step of faith and left Egypt with Moses. But then they grew fearful because the Egyptians were coming after them. Exodus 14:12-14 states:
Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.’ And Moses said to the people, ‘Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.’”
Notice that God first directed his people to take a huge step of faith and enter into the wilderness and leave Egypt. But then God told them to stop worrying and watch him take care of what needed to be done. Likewise, God will not tell you to just sit still forever in life and let him do everything. Rather, God will call you to take huge steps of faith, but after you obey, this season of stepping out in faith will often be followed by a season of waiting and trusting God as you sit still.
2. If You Worked Hard to Do What God Told You to Do But Now You Are Getting Frazzled Because You Are Not Sure What Else You Can Do to Get the Results You Want, God Is Probably Telling You to Just Sit Still
As we just discussed in point 1, there are times in life for doing and there are times in life for waiting. But how can you know which season God wants you to be in? Well, one sign God wants you to stop doing and start waiting is when you have done everything you know God has said to do and you don’t have any more directions to follow from God.
Many times in life we get overwhelmed because we focus so much on what we don’t know, we forget to do what we do know we should do. You will never know everything, but you will usually know something. When you don’t know the whole future but you know a few steps God wants you to take, take those steps and be proactive. But once you walk forward in faith and come to a crossroads where you no longer know what to do, now is the time to sit still and refocus your attention onto the Lord.
It’s good to take those steps forward in life we know God is telling us to take, but when we keep trying to walk forward when we no longer have a clear direction on what else God wants us to do, that’s when we start to get frazzled. When you are trying to do something proactive but you don’t have a clear sense of what God actually wants you to do specifically, you will start feeling like you are getting pulled in a million different directions because you won’t know which is the true path forward.
When this happens, just stop and refocus on the Lord. Be patient. Take those steps of faith you know you should take but then slow down and recalibrate your heart to where the Holy Spirit is truly leading you. For as Proverbs 3:5-6 states:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
If you want God to make your path straight, you have to first slow down and trust him with all your heart and acknowledge him first. Only after this season of focusing on God will he then tell you what to do next.
3. If You Are Beginning to Forget Who God Really Is, It’s Time to Just Sit Still and Remember the Eternal Truths Your Heart Desperately Needs
Our seasons of waiting and sitting still are not meant to just be seasons of “me time.” Rest is good, vacations can be needed, and seasons of recuperation are absolutely essential. But these seasons of doing less are wasted if we do not focus our inner being back onto the greatness of God.
Notice what Psalm 46:10 states, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Our seasons of just sitting still are not about just sitting still. Rather, being still is meant to be used for our hearts and minds to refocus on the eternal truths about God himself.
“Be still, and know that I am God.” That’s what we all need. We all need to remember who God really is.