What is the Meaning of Psalm 46:10?

how to be still

Psalm 46:10 tells us to be still and know that He is God. What does this verse mean? How do we do this? How do we be still and know that He is God? 

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:10

Psalm 46:10 means to be still and take time to acknowledge that God is indeed God. Stop going your own way and recognize that He is God with all power and authority. This humility before God is what it means to be still and know that He is God. 

When the Bible gives this command to be still and know that He is God, it is like when a loving father tells a child to sit still when the child is in a situation of wanting to go his own way. God is saying to the nations, “sit still and know that I am God”. Stop trying to go your own way. It won’t work. 

What Does it Mean to Be Still and Know That He is God? 

Psalm 46 is a passage of scripture that describes the magnificence and authority of God, even during times of trouble and calamity. 

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear,

even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah Psalm 46: 1-3

Even if the earth is removed and the mountains are carried into the sea- we still do not have to fear! Wow. We can always choose to take time and be still- be still in our minds, be still in our souls, and recognize that God is God. He will be exalted among the nations and in the earth. 

There is so much going on in the world that could cause us to get into fear about the future. But God is saying even when the world around you is shaking, you don’t have to fear. He ultimately has the final say. He is our refuge and strength. We can be still, free from fear and anxiety, knowing that He is our God. 

Psalm 46:10 is also a warning to those who fight against God and His purposes. It is wise for those who are fighting against God and His purposes to be still, cease and desist, and acknowledge that He is indeed God. He will be exalted among the nations. He will have the final say. If only the wicked people in this world would take the time to heed this command. 

For those of us who are Christians, we don’t see ourselves as fighting against God. But there are still times when we need to cease and desist.  We need to forsake the way we might be going. This usually happens because of offense. We become offended, and that offense is able to control us and move us in a direction that may be against what God is doing in the earth. 

We can decide at any moment to be still before Him, acknowledge that He is God and choose to stop moving forward in our own strength and our own way. This requires humility. Are we humbling ourselves in the presence of God? Are we fighting against Him by not taking the time to actually hear what’s on His mind? We probably do this more than we think. All of humanity has the opportunity to be still, acknowledge that He is God, and choose to follow Him. 

Our lives are so busy and our thoughts are usually running so fast throughout the day that the idea of just sitting and being still sounds almost ridiculous. But this is exactly what God instructs us to do. Even just a few moments of being still and listening to God could save you a world of trouble. 

When you take time to make sure that you are moving with God, things are always smoother. If your life seems frustrating, or like nothing is going right, take time to be still and acknowledge Him as God. Be sure that you are in agreement with what He is doing. 

God is brilliant, and has all the answers you need. Being still in His presence is the way to access what He’s saying. It is extremely hard to hear God when our soul is not still. When your soul is busy making plans or worrying about a hundred things, it is very hard to connect with our spirit, where God is always speaking. 

It takes practice to learn to be still and know that He is God, but it is a discipline that you can learn to incorporate into your life. You can even eventually LIVE  in this state of inner stillness and reverence for God. 

Being still in your soul is the way you were actually designed to live. Living in a state of reverence for God will produce happiness in your life. 

Happy is the man who is always reverent, but he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity. Proverbs 28:14

Why is it So Important to Be Still and Know that He is God? 

You can ‘be still and know that He is God’ even in the midst of everyday life. It is a posture of humility and reverence toward God. This posture is also referred to as a spirit of the fear of the Lord and Jesus spent His time on the earth in this posture of reverence toward His Father. 

The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. Isaiah 11:2

It is crucial to regularly take time and check your heart. Make sure that your heart is still before Him and in a state of reverence. This is not a posture of being afraid of God. He is Your Father- you can approach Him boldly because of what Jesus has done on your behalf. But this is a posture of recognizing who He is and the power and authority He holds. 

There is no substitute to living in humility before God. No one else can do it for you. There’s no way around it. Walking with the Lord requires humility. Grace flows to the humble like water flows to the lowest point. 

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

When we are in a place of humility, we can hear God more clearly and receive freely the things He has provided for us. Pride always gets in the way of receiving from God because everything from God comes by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). 

You can learn to live in this place of stillness and reverence by regularly quieting your inner dialogue and stilling your soul. Here are twelve ways to be still and know that He is God:

1. Worship God12 ways to be still and know that he is god

The entirety of Psalm 46 is a psalm of worship, of reverence for God. 

Worship is a wonderful way to drown out all the distractions that are pulling at your mind. It may take a few minutes, but as you focus your attention on the Lord and begin entering into His tangible presence, your soul will be still. 

Worship is warfare. You may have heard this saying before, but it’s true. And when it comes to learning to be still, it is a wonderful way to quiet all your anxious thoughts and put things back into perspective. God is Almighty, and worshiping Him will remind you of that. 

Taking time to worship God, whether it’s in the shower, while cleaning the house, or driving to work will cause you to be still and put your soul in a posture of reverence and awe. Your problems become much smaller in the presence of Almighty God and His extravagant goodness toward you. 

Everyone worships something. Whatever you focus your time and money on the most is likely what you worship. Whatever you spend your day thinking about the most is usually what is being worshiped in your mind. When we make a decision to spend time worshiping God, we are able to get still before Him and know that He is God. 

Here’s a good exercise- after you have spent a good amount of time worshiping, and your soul is quiet, and your delight is in the Lord, ask yourself “what do I know?”. What are my heart desires right now? This will help to clarify so many things in your life!

2. Look at Nature Around You

All it takes is one look at the night sky full of stars, and it’s not hard to see the reality of God. Nature is proclaiming His existence. Nature speaks to us and teaches us to be still and know that He is God. 

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. Psalm 19:1

For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse Romans 1:20

The works of the Lord that proclaim His majesty and power are everywhere. Being in nature allows you to be still so you can behold them. The proof of God’s power and might are everywhere for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear (Ephesians 4:17-18).

I heard a story once about a man who was driving by the beach and was in absolute awe looking at the beautiful sunset. Years prior, he had lived homeless on that very beach. He realized that he had never noticed those gorgeous sunsets before. They were always there, but because of his life perspective at the time, he never noticed them. 

Take time to notice how nature is speaking to you. The goodness of God is evident. 

He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. Psalm 33:5

Have you ever stood by the ocean? Standing by the ocean will bear witness with the truth that there is something much bigger than you at work- that God exists and is present in the earth. 

The sound of the waves crashing reminds us of His voice. Perhaps this is the reason listening to the ocean is so calming for people. 

 His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. Revelation 1:15

The waves of the ocean stop at His command.

When He assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters would not transgress His command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth, Proverbs 8:29

The mountains melt at His presence.

The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. Psalm 97:5

The sunrise and sunset declare His glory. When you walk through the forest, the trees proclaim His existence. 

I think we all could benefit from spending more time in nature. There is something about being out in nature that stills our soul, that connects us with our heart and with our God. 

3. Understand the Grace of God

As long as you believe that you must earn or somehow deserve blessings from God, you will never be able to ‘be still’. It’s just impossible. You will always be working, striving, and trying to earn relationship with God. If you are doing this, it is a clear indication that you don’t understand the grace of God. 

When you understand that relationship with God is based on what He has done, and not what you do, is when you will learn how  to be still and know that He is God. God loves you because He is love, not because you have done something to earn it. True love is unconditional, it cannot be earned. 

God relates to us based on His grace, not based on our performance. When you have revelation of this, you are free to have a quality relationship with Him. 

4. Rest in What Has Been Accomplished

When you understand what God has done for you through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, it causes you to rest.

God’s plan was for us to live in this promised land of rest, where Jesus has done it all and we receive the benefit. Everything has been accomplished. We don’t have to strive and work to receive from God, we simply rest in the finished work of Jesus. 

It’s hard to be still if you are constantly trying to earn things from God. If you’re constantly trying to get God to do something, there is no rest.

When you understand that what you’re asking for has already been provided, you can finally be still and just enjoy a relationship of thankfulness and love with God. Before you ever had the need, God foresaw it and made the provision. 

5. Understand the Nature of God

If you really understood the nature and character of God, you would not have a single worry. God is extravagantly good and generous. Subconsciously, we compare Him to people, usually our earthly father or mother, or maybe a religious leader. But let me tell you, God’s goodness is far beyond anyone on earth. He is so incredibly good that we have a hard time receiving Him in His true nature.

In order to trust someone, you need to know them. Your trust level for someone you know personally is much higher than your trust level of a stranger. God wants to  be known. He wants you to know Him personally. 

When you know someone intimately, you know how they will react to things, how they will behave and the choices they will make. The same is true with God. He wants you to be able to know if someone is lying about Him, the same way you would know if someone was lying about your spouse. The kind of intimacy with God is what you were designed for. 

It’s so important that you know the true nature and character of God, and the best way to do that is to look at Jesus. Jesus came to show us the Father. Jesus represented perfectly the nature of God. 

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, Hebrews 1:3

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Colossians 1:15

If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. He is the exact representation of the nature of God. 

When you understand the truth about God and how good He is toward you, it will cause you to rest, to be still, to cease fighting against Him in your own strength and learn to trust Him- to know that He is God. 

6. Receive God’s Love for You Personally 

Knowing how much God loves you personally is really the foundation for everything. God is love (1 John 4:8), and the Kingdom of God operates on His love. 

Many people would argue that the Kingdom runs on faith, and that’s true. But faith works by love (Galatians 5:6). 

There is a difference in knowing about God’s love, and knowing it personally for yourself. It is absolutely life changing when you know that God loves you. Not just head knowledge, but a real experience with His love. He loves you beyond your wildest dreams. 

The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Knowing the Lord’s love for you will quiet your soul. Children that are well taken care of can rest. You have a Father that is watchfully caring for you. You can be still. You can cease striving. You don’t have to do everything on your own. You are not an orphan. You are a beloved child of God. Be still and know His love for you. 

7. Practice Focusing Your Thoughts

You constantly have an inner dialogue that is running all the time. You’re talking all the time to yourself. Thoughts are coming in and out of your brain almost faster than you can keep track.

It is important to learn how to silence this inner dialogue and just be still. Learning to recognize when our thoughts are wondering and bring them back into focus is an extremely valuable skill. It requires practice, but is well worth the effort. It is hard to be still when our minds are racing. 

The Bible tells us to take every thought captive. This implies that we do have control over our thoughts. God would not instruct us to do something that He didn’t give us the ability to do. We don’t have to think on every thought that comes into our mind. We can choose to reject or accept thoughts. We can choose to focus our thoughts onto what we want. 

casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:5

Our brains are not meant to focus on a hundred different things at once. We are designed to focus on one thing at a time. This is how our minds function the best. 

Practice bringing your thoughts to a still place by focusing on one thing. You can focus on the face of Jesus, on a particular scripture, something you are thankful for, or even on your breath. Turn on an audio version of the Bible and practice keeping your mind focused on what is being said. 

Practice the discipline of focusing your thoughts even if only for a few minutes a day, and you will reap the rewards of a calmer mind. 

8. Meditate on God’s Awesome Works

It is important to take time to meditate on the awesome things God has done. Look back through your life and see how good He has been to you. Encourage yourself by remembering His faithfulness to you. 

Meditation is a Biblical principle. We are encouraged many times throughout the Bible to meditate on God’s Word. This means to constantly be thinking about it, pondering it, and speaking it.

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8

Magnify the Lord by focusing on how awesome He is. Meditate on the accounts in the Bible of the amazing things He has done for His people. 

Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. Psalm 34:3

As you choose to make God bigger in your mind, everything else will become smaller, and you can be still and know that He is God!

On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. Psalm 145:5

9. Learn to Still your Soul

Did you know that you can speak to your soul? Your soul is your mind, will, and emotions. You are a spirit being, who has a soul, who lives in a body. You can speak to your soul. King David did this and recorded it in the Bible. 

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?

Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance. Psalm 42:5

When our soul is at peace, we can be still. We are not supposed to be full of cares and worries. In fact, we are commanded to cast our burdens and cares onto the Lord. 

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22

A wonderful mentor of mine, Myles Munroe, taught me something so important. He said “The first discipline in the kingdom is to maintain your inner peace”. This is so true. When you’re not in peace, your thoughts are running wild and it’s very hard to tap into the truth that abides within you. 

Learning to still your soul and maintain your peace will make it so much easier for you to stay in tune with what the Holy Spirit is saying to you at any minute. For more about how the Holy Spirit speaks, read 7 Ways the Holy Spirit Speaks

You were not designed to carry the cares of this life. In fact, the cares of this world will choke the word from being fruitful in your life (Mark 4:19). 

You were designed to live in a state of inner peace. This is how you will function the best. You can do it, because you were designed for it. If something is wrong in your body or in your mind, if things have gotten out of balance, they can be restored to their original design of peace and wholeness. 

10. Meditate on the Word of God

The Words found in the Bible are not like words found in any book. The Word of God is God-breathed. The Bible is alive and powerful. It is able to convert your soul back to its original state of wholeness and perfection.

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; Psalm 19:7

The word “convert” in the Scripture means the ability to restore back to its original condition. The Word of God can restore your soul back to how it was created- before the trauma, before the abuse, before the pain and heartbreak. 

As you meditate on the Word of God, it will supernaturally bring peace, comfort, and strength to you. It will cause you to be still and know that He is God. Ask the Holy Spirit for understanding. He will unlock the truths found in Scripture that will make you free (John 8:32).

Read the Word out loud to yourself. Think on it, ponder it. Pray in tongues as you read it. The words of God are supernatural. 

 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3: 16-17

The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130

Mix the Word with faith as you read it (Hebrews 4:2). It has the supernatural ability to bring forth what it says. If you need peace and stillness, meditate on verses like Isaiah 26:3. As you meditate on the Word, it will bring forth exactly what it says. 

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8 

You can also personalize the Word as you read it. This is a great way to make the Word personal in your life and convince your heart of its truth. I have a lot of affirmations like this that you can use under the Free Resources tab. 

11. Regularly Stop, Pause, and Listen

Stay in tune with your heart. When something feels off, stop what you’re doing and check in with your soul. Stay in tune with what’s going on “underneath the surface”. 

If you don’t have a stillness in your soul, pause and reconnect with God. Take time to stop and be still. 

When we choose to stop and be still, we become aware of what may be going on at a subconscious level that is driving our behavior. 

We are so busy in today’s world that we rarely stop and check in with our heart. We keep plowing forward, completely ignoring the issues underneath the surface that need to be dealt with. We think they will go away, but the truth is that they are driving the majority of our actions. 

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

The rejection you experienced, the broken heart you carry, the sexual abuse from your uncle or the verbal abuse from your father- these things are in your heart and are controlling your life until they are brought to the light so that Jesus can heal them. 

Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted (Isaiah 61:1). This includes you. This is one of the reasons we are afraid to be still. We are scared of what will come up. You don’t have to be afraid of dealing with the trauma you experienced. There is freedom and wholeness for you. Be still and bring these things to Jesus as they come up. He is safe. He is your protector. He knows exactly how to heal you. 

Make it a habit to check in with your heart. Emotions are clues as to what you are thinking about at a subconscious level. They are like a warning flag. There’s a reason you’re mad all the time. There’s a reason you are anxious every night. 

Emotions of thankfulness, contentment, and joy are what should be natural to a spirit filled believer. The love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts (Romans 5:5). If we are not overflowing with the love of God, something is off. 

Take time to be still, and look at what is going on in your heart. Redirect and focus on Jesus. He is your righteousness. He is your peace. Be still and know that He is God. 

12. Be Confident in Your Ability to Be Still 

God would never instruct you to be still if He didn’t give you the ability to do so. When you’re in a place of stillness, what do you know? This is the deepest part of you, where you can hear Jesus, the lover of your soul.

Jesus said that His sheep hear His voice. This includes you. You do hear His voice, but you may not be recognizing it as His voice. When we never allow ourselves to be still, we don’t recognize that still small voice. 

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. John 10:27-28

A huge part of being still and hearing God’s voice is simply believing that you have the ability to do so! If you believe that you can’t be still and hear Him, then you are wrong. You can because you were created for this! You are likely hearing His voice much more than you think. 

If you’re constantly doubting what God is saying to you, how will you ever confirm that it’s God? At some point, you’ve got to believe that you do indeed hear Him and trust in your ability to be still and hear. God did not mess up when He made you. He did not make some people with the ability to be still and leave you off the list. 

Believe that you have this ability to be still and know that He is God. Start practicing, and before you know it you will live in this wonderful place of peace!


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