Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
I want to speak up. I want to defend myself. I want to act. Perhaps there is a proper time and place for this, but most of the time I am simply bowing to my flesh. My pride is at stake.
Jesus never defended himself to Pilate, or anyone else for that matter. He didn’t need to. He knew who he was and what his purpose was. His relationship with his Father was so deep and solid that he did not even feel the need to make his case. And because of his single-mindedness toward his mission, he never felt the need to call the multitudes of angels (who were certainly ready) to his aid and defense.
“Be still before the Lord” is counter to my fleshly instincts. It requires the kind of trust that I desire, but am in short supply of. “Wait patiently” for God is also difficult. This is even truer once you realize that God’s plan for you in a particular situation, more than likely, will not be what you had in mind. We want God’s warrior-angels flying to our rescue to deliver us from the wicked. But instead, God often leads us to a cross – that we might die to ourselves – to our desires and demands.
Martin Luther wrote:
“God lives and reigns who saved the three youths from the fiery furnace of the king of Babylon, and if he will not save me, my head is worth nothing compared with Christ. This is no time to think of safety. I must take care that the gospel is not brought into contempt by our fear to confess and seal our teaching with our blood.”
Regardless of God’s plan for me – whether to deliver me or vindicate me or allow me to enter deeply into a trial, I must be still before him and wait patiently for him. He is holy, good, and just and will deal with others according to his will. I need only concern myself with me – and my faithfulness to him. For he is ultimately the only one I will stand before to give an answer. May he give me the grace and strength to do so.