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Faith Imagined: Do Nothing

Faith Imagined

Alisa Hope Wagner: Christian Writer

June 27, 2010

Do Nothing

Today, I began reading the story of Jesus sleeping through the storm. The storm was bad enough to scare seasoned fishermen. These men have probably seen pretty bad storms, yet this one could have killed them. Though the situation was dire, Jesus did nothing to save their lives. The disciples had to wake Jesus and beg Him to intervene, and Jesus was none to happy about it: "He said to his disciples, 'Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?'" (Mark 4.40 NIV).

I also read about the first Easter, and realized the two stories are very similar. Jesus allowed the world to kill him, yet He did nothing stop them. There was a spiritual storm going on, but Jesus would not intervene. Jesus knew that His Crucifixion was a part of God's purpose. He had to have faith and relent to God's will.

After I read both stories, I felt the Holy Spirit tell me, "Sometimes I want you to do nothing."

I've experienced storms in my life in which I fought, begged and struggled. I realize in retrospect that I should have done nothing. I fought against situations, I begged God to help me and I struggled with people; but I should have just taken a cat-nap and let God deal with it. I needed to be still and meditate on God's greatness (Psalm 46.10).

God has battles He has anointed us to fight, and He promises us that He will go before us and claim our victory (Deuteronomy 20:4). However, there are battles that He will fight for us. There are situations, people and storms that God will take care of on our behalf, and He doesn't want us to lift a finger (Psalm 35.1). But we need to trust Him.

Sitting on our hands and trusting God is sometimes more painful than battling against everyone who persecutes us. We need to follow Jesus' example: Sometimes He confronted and other times He relented. Jesus trusted God's divine will.

All we have to do is stay in tuned with the Holy Spirit's leading. Is He telling us to prepare for battle or to prepare for bed? If we can pick and choose our battles based on God's ultimate design, we will not become wearing with defending ourselves all the time. God promises us that He will redeem us; we just need to have faith in His Word (Psalm 31.5).

Jesus did so many amazing things, and He was busy much of the time. However, He knew when He needed to work and when He needed to rest. If we could find that balance, we would reserve energy for the times God calls us to action. God does us a favor when He tells us to rest during the conflicts He knows we can do nothing about.

God allows certain storms to arise because they are a part of His master plan. If we fight against everything that attacks us, we might be accidentally resisting God: "But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God" (Acts 5.39 NIV).

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Blogger WriterMarie said...

This is such a good reminder. I know that there are times that I get stressed and have to rememeber "Be still, and know that I am God". Recently I had to make a big decision, and when I felt myself start to go crazy thinking about it, I prayed about it for a couple of days. God led me to the right decision...and ever since then I can see why that decision had to be made and why things happened the way they did. Very quickly afterward I found out some things that showed me, without a doubt, that God was looking out for me and leading me away from one thing toward something even better for me. Sometimes nothing is the best thing you can do...nothing except pray! :o)

11:02 PM  
Blogger Family, Money and Stuff said...

Interesting. I just finished watching Joan of Arc about 15 minutes ago, and was considering this lack of resistance too!

I just walked through something that, in retrospect, I think I should have done nothing and said nothing about. I'm sad that it didn't work out like it could have, had I been 'in tune with the Holy Spirit's leading', but I'm also thankful that God 'will redeem us', and will give me many chances to keep my mouth shut when all I want to do is open it... He will continue to train me.

Interesting that we may find ourselves 'fighting against God'. Wow. There's food for thought! Definatly crucial to be tuned into the Holy Spirit.

Thanks for your continued sharing and guidance :)

12:42 AM  
Blogger Lynda Young said...

God has all the power; we need to trust that more than we do :)

2:31 AM  
Blogger Just Be Real said...

"All we have to do is stay in tuned with the Holy Spirit's leading.

That is all that it takes. Being in tuned. Great post. Thank you for sharing! Blessings!!

3:57 AM  
Blogger Leah @ Point Ministries said...

For so many of us, doing nothing is the hardest thing in the world. I am a do-er and to not be doing is a challenge. However, I sense that in this season of my life that may very well be what He is telling me. Be still and know that I am God.


4:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I needed to read this today..Thank you

9:21 AM  
Blogger Braley Mama said...

Amen! He knows what we need and He is much better at handling the tough situations:O)

10:13 AM  
Blogger MTJ said...

Hi Alisa,

There have been times in my life when I should have done nothing but trust in the Lord but fear, stress and discouragement have derailed me.

It's easy to trust when things go smoothly but it's when you feel the heat from the flames that trust becomes integral. Over time, I've learned that God is unchangeable and that He won't forsake me when trouble comes my way.

Still, I have to remind myself to trust Him in all aspects of my life.

This post serves as a good reminder.


11:26 AM  
Blogger May said...

In time of storms, I know that God is the only one that can bring me through. Thanks you Lord for bringing me this far.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

This was a great post!! I think God knew I needed to read it. Thanks for letting Him speak through your words!!

Have a blessed day!

12:59 PM  
Blogger ~*Michelle*~ said...

Great post! Amen!

As a control freak, I struggle with
"being still" ALOT......

.....looking back at all the exhaustion from trying to do it "my way" reminds me of how these words you speak are so true.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Traci Michele said...

Wonderful post! Thank you.

7:03 PM  
Blogger Missie said...

doing nothing...oh boy! That is something I am going to have to practice!

9:27 PM  
Blogger Amy Sullivan said...

Permission to do nothing? Instead of flitting around we just sit in peace and enjoy where we are, who we are with, and the blessing we have. It's tough, but I will try!

9:47 PM  
Blogger Tammi said...

Alisa...this was exactly what I needed to read tonight! Since Thursday a "Sudden, totally unexpected storm" has blown up, and the conditions are scary! Yet, it seems I've been running around, 'on the vessel,' trying to keep things "afloat," whilst trusting in my Captain. I think I've just been given a command to go off duty and REST...completely! Thank you!

10:06 PM  
Blogger Little M said...

Awesome insights! I just got back from a mini-break and it was wonderful to lounge and journal and pray and just BE.

7:09 AM  
Blogger petrii said...

WOW I am here in this season RIGHT NOW!!! God is calling me to do nothing and wow do I want to help!!

This has been a very difficult season, but God is faithful. Thank you so much for this word of Truth. It was confirmation on the very thing God is calling me to "stillness". I wrote about it on my blog today as well.

Love and Blessings to you,

7:57 AM  
Blogger Debbie said...

A very timely post for me. After struggling with everything I know to do, I'm so exhausted. Maybe I just need to stay sill and ...see how God works.


6:48 AM  
Blogger Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

yep, sometimes we just have to be still and let GOd be God! Love this!

3:38 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Hi Alisa! I got my first blog award and you were at the top of my list to want to share with!

I know someone already awarded you with this one, but you can just add me to your list of those who gave it to you!

Have a blessed Independence Day!

6:10 PM  
Blogger ********Shelly******** said...

Such a great post and a good reminder. I think God is trying to speak something to me :) My mom posted this morning on facebook something very similar, but regarding Martha and Mary....I'm not sure if I can share it this way, but I'll try! I'm also going to send her to your blog!!/notes/martha-smith/strategic-delays/402025422827

6:11 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

Thank you so much for posting this today! I have been really meditating on this subject lately. I know that I need to trust the Lord more. He knows my heart, my desires...and He knows what is best for me. And when those things comes to fruition someday, I will just stand back and say "Wow God, you knew all along!"

7:36 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Sometimes its so hard to wait on God.

8:44 PM  
Blogger Dean Spencer said...

This is a great reminder of our dependency upon God. Somehow, I think "doing nothing" ties into the Sabbath. We don't think about it much, but I believe if we took His commands seriously and allowed ourselves a Sabbath every week, we would be much more energized. We always want to do, do, do. And what you're saying about doing nothing in specific circumstances holds true too. We seem to resist God in these areas. A great post! Thank you for getting us to think more about what God wants us to do (or not do!) :)

10:36 PM  
Blogger Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Great glad that I stopped by tonight...needed to read this....Blessings.

12:57 AM  
Blogger Melinda said...

Once again, you are so right, Alisa! I am in a situation right now where I feel God has clearly been giving me that message. He led me to the passage where Moses is at the edge of the Red Sea. There's no where for them to go. They can't go into the sea, they can't go back because the Egyptians are right behind them. So God told them to "Stand still!" Then, in His timing, he parted the sea.

Being still is so much harder than doing, though! Definitely takes supernatural help.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Bernadine said...

Do nothing... I find this so hard to do at times. I need the constant reminder that God is in control and sometimes he simply wants us to stand still.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Jeanette Levellie said...

Wow. What wisdom. Why do we think we have to always fix everything, when we have capable Jesus to help us? Silly, aren't we!

Bless you, sis,

7:34 PM  
Blogger Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Alisa -

Whenever I find myself striving, worrying, and anxious, I have to step back. I'm no longer depending on Him, but my own resources. My peace only returns when I hand over my concerns to Him.

Susan :)

7:39 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Doing nothing may be the hardest thing to do of all!

12:24 AM  
Blogger Beverly Dillow said...

Crissy did good, didn't she. :)
I love reading your blog. I'll be back for sure.

9:27 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Smith said...

Oh my goodness!!!!! This is absolutely true and something we ALL need to be reminded of. A lot! : )

My inner Martha & Peter sure wants to override my inner Mary & Christ.

Do nothing. Thanks!

9:59 PM  

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