Participants: Ivor and Atonte Myers
Series Code: BOF
Program Code: BOF000028
00:14 Welcome to Battles Of Faith,
00:15 we're your hosts, Ivor and Atonte Myers.
00:18 Today's program is entitled "The art of stillness"
00:22 "and the art of silence", now if you were watching
00:25 last weeks program, you learned that we are in a holy
00:29 war and as Christians we need to realize that so we can learn
00:33 how to fight back, and you're probably wondering
00:35 "Hey, they ended the program last week without teaching us"
00:38 "any of the arts, or how to fight. "
00:40 Well, we're going to start that process today,
00:42 and we're going to start with the art of stillness.
00:45 That's right, we have, in our studies, seen that,
00:49 holy war, talking about spiritual warfare, is actually
00:54 an art form. It is something that needs
00:58 to be learned just as if you were in the military,
01:03 there are principles that need to be understood
01:05 in this war against self, and we discussed
01:08 many of these principles in our last program, and we're going
01:11 to learn some more of these principles, but we want
01:13 to focus in on 2 arts in particular, the art of stillness
01:17 and the art of silence.
01:20 You know, it's interesting, as we look at holy war,
01:24 and as we realize that we are called to fight
01:27 this fight of faith, we have to understand that God
01:33 is the one that empowers us with His grace,
01:37 God is the one that enables us
01:39 to fight this good fight of faith.
01:42 Atonte, many times people
01:46 don't understand that as Christians, we're not just
01:49 called to fight an "OK" fight of faith, we're called to fight
01:52 a good fight of faith.
01:55 If you have ever seen a good fight, or a good boxer,
01:59 a good martial artist, a good athlete,
02:02 they are expert in what they do, and believe it or not,
02:06 God calls us to be expert in war, to be expert fighters,
02:12 to be masters, as it were, I think of 1 Corinthians 9:25.
02:18 I want to read that verse because it says something
02:21 very interesting, it says: "And every man that striveth"
02:24 "for the mastery is temperate in all things. "
02:29 We are told here that as Christians we ought to be
02:33 striving for the mastery. That means, Atonte, you and I
02:37 should be striving for the mastery over ourselves,
02:42 because that's who we're trying to master,
02:43 we're trying to master self, this is the conflict
02:46 that we are engaged in.
02:49 It is the conflict against self, and we're not only called
02:52 to fight against self, we're called to fight a good fight
02:55 against self, and on top of that, we're called
02:58 to master self, so that's excellent news, that God
03:01 actually calls us to be masters.
03:04 I know when I was into martial art, I always wanted to achieve
03:07 master status, that meant that I was at the top of my art
03:11 and that I was an excellent fighter,
03:15 but in the grace of God, He calls us to master self,
03:19 to dominate self, and this is exactly what we see as we
03:24 begin to look at these various arts of warfare.
03:28 I want to read 1 Corinthians 9:25,
03:30 from the Amplified Version, it says:
03:32 "Now every athlete who goes into training"
03:35 "conducts himself temperately and restricts himself"
03:38 "in all things. They do it to win a wreath"
03:41 "that will soon wither, but we do it to receive"
03:43 "a crown of eternal blessedness that cannot wither. "
03:46 So there's training involved. Paul's here saying that we have
03:50 to endure some training if we're going to be able to fight
03:54 this good fight of faith.
03:55 That's right, and the first thing that we have seen
04:00 that the Christian needs to be trained in is the art
04:04 of stillness.
04:06 I want to read from Psalms 46:10,
04:10 the Bible says here, very simple verse:
04:12 "Be still and know that I am God. "
04:20 Stillness, Atonte, allows us to be able to recognize
04:24 the divine presence of God, and in the world that we're
04:28 living in today, stillness is something that is very rare
04:32 and God calls us to understand that as warriors,
04:38 the first thing that we need on our side when we are
04:43 fighting against self, we need the presence of God.
04:48 God has said in His word "Be still", which means
04:53 stop moving, "Be still and know that I am God. "
04:57 As Christians, many things that Satan tries to throw out there
05:01 to the world, we don't follow, we're like: "Oh no, I know"
05:05 "better than that. The Bible says don't do that,"
05:07 "I don't do that", but as Christians we still find
05:10 ourselves so busy that we almost find it impossible to be still
05:15 and have a quiet moment.
05:18 Another very important reason why we are told to be still
05:23 is because it is in stillness that God fights for us.
05:28 Again, we can read 2 Chronicles 20:17 to see
05:31 this principle of stillness, and it says here:
05:35 "You shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves,"
05:39 "stand ye" - and if you know the verse you know what word
05:41 come next - "stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD"
05:47 "with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not,"
05:51 "nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them:"
05:54 "for the LORD will be with you. "
05:58 Again we see this concept of stillness,
06:02 providing that setting where we can sense, feel and understand
06:08 the divine presence of God with us.
06:12 And this presence is so important for us because it is
06:15 only by the presence of God that we can win the victory
06:19 over self.
06:20 So the very first thing to be able to engage in this war
06:24 is to be still?
06:26 Is to be still.
06:28 Isaiah 26:3 tells us: "Thou will keep him in perfect peace"
06:33 "who's mind is stayed," - or stilled -
06:38 "remaining on Thee. "
06:40 We receive that peace that we are looking for,
06:43 we receive that peace in experiencing victory over
06:47 ourselves when we keep our minds stayed, or I will says stilled,
06:51 upon Christ, that's why He calls us to, before any other
06:55 principles are learned, He says "I want you to master"
06:59 "the art of stillness. " and we can look at today's society
07:03 and see that many Christians are failing at this art of stillness
07:09 I can hear mothers out there saying: "How can I be still"
07:12 "when I have all these little children, who are blessings,"
07:15 "but they're running around, constantly making noise,"
07:18 "causing whatever kind of havoc in the home, it's very hard"
07:23 "to be still. ", but you know, going back to what
07:26 1 Corinthians 9:25 says, we have to train, so we're going to have
07:32 to be disciplined; An athlete, when they go to the Oympics,
07:35 they get to the Oympics because they were very disciplined,
07:38 and they took time to train, and we're going
07:40 to have to do the same thing; As a mother to other mothers,
07:44 we most importantly, need to be training
07:47 to be able fight this battle because we have to train
07:50 our little children to do the same thing, and so
07:53 I find that the best time to be still is to take that time
07:57 early in the morning because that is the time where those
08:01 little ones are still sleeping and we can have the still
08:04 time with the Lord, but that means that we have to go
08:07 to bed early, it's really a lifestyle, to fight this war
08:10 it's really a lifestyle.
08:12 Some people may be watching and saying:
08:15 "Stillness... is that all there is to the art of war?"
08:18 If you were to join the military or any other fighting system
08:24 in the world, you are trained at levels.
08:27 You start out learning the basics and you move up,
08:31 you don't jump automatically to the top,
08:33 and this, I believe is the basics.
08:37 God calls us to understand that it is in stillness, the setting
08:40 of stillness where every other principle is learned.
08:45 Without stillness, the other principles that are vital
08:48 to understanding how to overcome the cigarette, the alcohol,
08:51 how to overcome the addictions to the entertainment industry,
08:55 how to overcome these plethora of temptations
09:00 that we got through, without that foundation of understanding
09:03 how to be still, we can't learn the other principles.
09:08 It's in stillness that in God's presence comes to us,
09:12 and it's in God's presence that we begin to learn and understand
09:17 how to fight that good fight of faith.
09:20 You know what? Sometimes if we're not willing to arrange
09:22 our lives so that we have the time to be still,
09:24 God will allow things to happen to arrange that for us.
09:28 I've seen that happen many time as well.
09:30 Psalms 4:4 tells us: "Stand in awe, and sin not. "
09:35 "Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. "
09:40 That's a place where we can learn stillness, as we're
09:44 in our bed in the morning, in our bed at night,
09:47 getting ready to go to sleep, God says take that time
09:50 to practice the art of stillness.
09:53 That means to just allow all the other things that cloud
09:59 our minds to be taken out of our minds,
10:03 and to slow down, to stop, to be still,
10:07 and to seek for God's presence.
10:10 One of the major problems that we have,
10:11 as Christians, the reason why we don't obtain this stillness
10:14 is because we go into a communion with God
10:18 with the wrong mindset. If we went in really believing
10:22 that we were worshipping God, you cannot worship God
10:26 and be on the move, if you will, you have to have a time
10:30 of stillness to worship a holy God, and be in awe of Him.
10:34 That's right. I want to read a quote here
10:36 from the book "Education", page 260, which really brings
10:40 out this principle, it says: "Many, even in their seasons"
10:44 "of devotion, fail of receiving the blessing of real communion"
10:49 "with God. They are in too great haste, with hurried steps"
10:54 "they press through the circle of Christ's loving presence. "
11:00 "Pausing perhaps a moment within the sacred precincts,"
11:05 "but not waiting for counsel. They have no time to remain"
11:10 "with the divine teacher, with their burdens"
11:13 "they return to their work. "
11:15 That is very powerful.
11:17 What we see from this is that it is as we master stillness,
11:22 learning to be still in the presence of who?
11:25 The Divine Teacher.
11:36 "I will teach thee and instruct thee in the way"
11:39 "that thou shalt go. " I think it's Psalms 32:8.
11:42 God says I will teach you and instruct you,
11:45 and He will teach us and instruct us in war, the war
11:48 against self, how to become masters, but before we can
11:51 become masters at this active war of faith,
11:56 we must first learn, coincidentally,
11:59 the art of stillness.
12:01 In the quote it says "so many times they hurry"
12:03 "and press through his loving presence", it's almost like
12:09 when it's time for worship to be over, they'll slip out of it
12:13 almost moaning, like: "Oh, I don't want to leave"
12:16 "His loving presence", and it also, it talks about
12:19 we rush through it so fast that we don't leave enough time
12:23 for Him to speak back to us, to commune with God,
12:26 us talking to Him, and Him talking to us.
12:29 Daniel 12:4 has a very interesting
12:35 concept presented to the reader, especially in light
12:38 of what we're talking about, because in Daniel 12:4
12:42 it says that in the time of the end knowledge shall be
12:45 increased, many shall run to and fro.
12:51 When we hear this verse spoken in a prophetical context,
12:56 we know that at the time of the end,
12:59 knowledge would be increased and society would begin
13:04 to multiply, and technology, inventions, would begin
13:09 to increase, and that's a good thing, and some people
13:14 also look at this verse and say that the knowledge of the Bible
13:17 would increase in the last days, but I also believe
13:20 that the running to and fro in the last days, also has
13:24 a negative context in the fact that we see a world
13:29 where people are just busy, caught up in the affairs
13:33 of life, running to and fro with no time to be still.
13:36 You look at the internet, the television, media,
13:39 and everything that this world has to offer,
13:42 men are running to and fro, especially in these last days:
13:47 eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,
13:49 and just going about their business with no time
13:54 to stand still and know that God is God.
13:57 I'm sure there's people out there who are very similar
14:00 to myself, who find it very difficult to be still
14:04 because our mind moves at such a fast pace, it's hard to slow
14:08 everything down, but my challenge to you, and I'm sure
14:12 God's challenge to all of us is practice it, say:
14:16 "Ok Lord, I have a hard time being still and having"
14:19 "a quiet moment with you. " Do 5 minutes at a time,
14:23 and then up it to 10, and 15 and so on and practice
14:26 like an athlete, remember, we're training so that
14:28 we can fight in this battle, and in the war.
14:33 There's an account where Jesus is casting out a demon
14:38 out of a possessed man, and at one point in this
14:42 account, Jesus asked this demon: "what is your name?"
14:45 and the demon replies "My name is Legion, for we are many. "
14:50 You see here, the demon being named according to his
14:54 characteristics, he was called Legion because he was many.
14:58 This is not in the Bible, this is my own thing, but I believe
15:02 that there is a demon by the name of "Rush",
15:09 ...And he has a first cousin named "Busy".
15:14 The demon of Rush, he is responsible for teaching us,
15:18 for getting us into a rushed state of mind so that
15:22 everything is about "Rush, rush, rush", and with the
15:26 specific purpose of never allowing us to have time
15:31 to be still and know that God is God because it is
15:35 in that stillness again, stillness is the classroom
15:39 in which we learn the art of warfare, in which we learn
15:42 the principles of war that we'll be discussing in this series.
15:47 It is in this setting that the demons of rush say:
15:51 "Whatever you do, keep them busy. "
15:54 That's right. And God wants us to be still
15:57 so that we can hear His voice, it is through His word
16:01 that we receive power to overcome and to fight the enemy
16:04 which we know everyday we're going to have to fight.
16:07 Now that takes us to the next phase, once you're still,
16:11 you need to be silent.
16:12 Right. This is a good transition because
16:15 when we look at the entertainment industry,
16:18 everything is moving so quickly, the movies: fast paced,
16:24 the music: fast paced,
16:27 the entertainment industry is a fast moving entity,
16:32 and I believe that that has a lot to do with how we,
16:35 in essence, live our lives. When we're continually being
16:39 bombarded by these scenes of quickness,
16:43 these scenes of everything is fast, everything is motion,
16:45 everything is happening now, now, now!
16:48 When we live in a society like that, it trains the mind
16:51 to be busy.
16:52 Busyness is a state of mind, it begins in the mind,
16:56 and if busyness begins in the mind then stillness must also
16:59 begin in the mind, and that's where prayed comes in,
17:03 that's where we learn to be still in prayer, and that takes
17:06 us over into the art of silence.
17:11 God not only wants us to be still, but He also wants us
17:16 to master silence. Why?
17:19 Because in silence we hear the instruction,
17:23 the voice of God.
17:27 Being silent, hearing God's voice, again, that's what
17:31 empowers us to be able to fight.
17:36 Many of us say "I don't hear the voice of God. "
17:39 We do, the Holy Spirit is leading us all the time.
17:42 Sometimes we hear it when things are not so busy and not so
17:47 loud, if you will, and most of the time we don't
17:50 because our life is on fast forward all the time,
17:53 and we're just not hearing His voice.
17:55 That's right. Another quote from the book
17:58 "The Ministry of Healing", page 58, says this:
18:01 "He that is God, bids us: be still and know that I am God. "
18:06 "This is the effectual preparation for all labor"
18:09 "for God. Amidst the hurrying throng, the strains of life's"
18:14 "intense activities, he who is thus refreshed will be"
18:17 "surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace. "
18:21 "He will receive a new endowment of both, physical, and mental"
18:24 "strength, his life will breath out a fragrance"
18:28 "and will reveal a divine power that will reach men's hearts. "
18:34 It is this being still, knowing that God is God,
18:37 listening for His voice, that teaches us,
18:41 that prepares us, not only to go out and fight
18:44 the good fight of faith, but also to be a witness
18:47 for those people around us, to have that fragrance
18:51 flowing out from us, because it is there that people then become
18:54 attracted and say: "whatever you have, that's what I want. "
18:58 We get that through learning how to be still,
19:01 and learning how to be silent to hear God's voice.
19:04 Now this is the real challenge, because some of us
19:07 can take time out and spend that quiet time in the morning
19:10 and in the evening with the Lord when we get up, or before
19:14 we go to bed, but we're finding that the problem is
19:17 when we get out of those special times with the Lord,
19:20 it seems like we leave it at that time.
19:22 How can we be still and silent going throughout the day?
19:25 Going to work, going to school, doing all the many different
19:28 things that we must do. It's a training of the mind.
19:32 And this is what Jesus had, He had the constant communion
19:35 going on with His Father, where things around Him were going on,
19:39 and He's talking to people, but His connection was always
19:43 flowing so He could hear everything
19:45 that His Father was saying.
19:46 This connects back to the entertainment industry.
19:50 It's not that God doesn't want you to engulf yourself
19:57 with the entertainment industry just because...
19:59 it is because he knows that if you're constantly feeding
20:02 all that stuff into your mind, you're not going to be able
20:06 to walk around during the day with that stillness,
20:09 and the silence.
20:13 So if you have all that stuff in your mind,
20:15 it's almost impossible.
20:17 That's right, stillness and silence, these arts are not
20:20 limited to our prayer time,
20:22 even though in prayer time, understanding the art
20:24 of silence is very important because many times we go down,
20:27 we kneel to pray, and who's doing all the talking?
20:29 We're doing all the talking.
20:31 We stop, we get up, we go about our way.
20:33 We don't understand what it means to be silent, to hear
20:38 God's voice speaking to us, do we really expect God
20:42 to speak to us? We're not talking about
20:44 an audible voice, Isaiah 30:21 says:
20:47 "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee,"
20:50 "saying 'this is the way, walk ye in it. '"
20:53 What way?
20:54 The Bible tells us that God has provided a way of escape
20:58 from every temptation, so in the midst of every trial,
21:02 every temptation, if we listen close enough, we can hear
21:06 the voice of God, speaking to us saying: "this is the way,"
21:10 "walk ye in it", and so stillness and silence
21:12 become something that spills out into our life.
21:15 When everything is going chaotic around us, we are able
21:20 to keep our minds still on Christ, stayed on Christ,
21:24 and silent, so that we can hear, and this becomes crucial
21:29 in the fight against self.
21:31 Also, being still and being silent helps to keep us
21:35 in perfect peace, that's what the Bible calls us to do.
21:39 Many times, we're not in that way and so we're moving
21:42 around so fast and things are not peaceful in our minds,
21:45 and here comes sin and we run right into sin.
21:49 Sin is just waiting for us to come,
21:50 because Satan sees that everything is so chaotic
21:54 and it's not peaceful and so we just fall right into sin.
21:57 That's right, we need to learn how to master peace in the midst
22:00 of a crisis. How do we master peace
22:03 in the midst of a crisis? By practicing the art
22:05 of stillness, by practicing the art of silence.
22:08 When we understand those things, we may be like Jesus
22:11 in the boat in the midst of the storm, who, when everything
22:14 was going on around Him, He was able to rest
22:17 in peace, so that's something very interesting.
22:21 When you think about a fighter, an earthly fighter,
22:24 an external fighter, a person who's involved in fighting
22:27 systems of the world, they understand that remaining calm
22:32 in a fight is crucial. Let me read something here,
22:37 this is speaking what happens in a conflict, and how it can
22:43 seriously affect any battle that you're in.
22:46 At 115 beats per minute, talking about heart beat, most people
22:52 will lose their fine complex motive skills.
22:56 At 105 beats per minute, most people will lose their
22:59 complex motive skills, without complex motive skills
23:02 it is difficult to execute movement, to make matters worse,
23:07 the part of the brain that hears also shuts down.
23:10 This is when you're heart beat begins to increase
23:13 because you're in the middle of a conflict and you're not
23:15 remaining calm.
23:16 At 175 beats per minute, a person will experience
23:21 tunnel vision, and visual tracking can become difficult,
23:26 opening a person up to multiple attacks.
23:29 On an average, a person will experience a 70% decrease
23:32 in their visual field during a violent attack, and their
23:36 heart beat is increased.
23:40 Depth perception now begins to be lost, and critical stress
23:44 amnesia can occur, causing a person to forget up to 70%
23:48 of the encounter.
23:49 At 185 beats per minute, most people will go into a state
23:54 of Hypervigilance, meaning they will go into
23:56 the "deer in the headlight" mode.
23:59 Now, that's for physical fighting.
24:02 How do you think it is when we are in the middle
24:05 of a temptation and we don't remain calm.
24:09 Our heart beat begins to speed up,
24:12 all of a sudden we're in spiritual
24:16 "deer in the headlight" mode, sin is coming right at us,
24:20 temptation is coming right at us and we're frozen because
24:23 the temptation has such a grasp over us, we have not learned
24:26 how to be still, how to be silent and we just fall
24:30 right into that temptation, brought on to us by self.
24:35 Let's keep it practical, "let's keep it real"
24:37 as the young people would say, I mean, this happens
24:40 on a daily basis in the home. If we were experiencing
24:44 that peace, that stillness, that silence,
24:46 when your husband or wife may say that thing to you,
24:50 everything is in a much slower motion, you're so much
24:53 more calm, you're going to wait, hear God's voice, and respond.
24:59 And if you're obedient to what God tells you to do, it is going
25:02 to not cause whatever that person said or did to
25:05 escalate and take it to the next level.
25:07 This formula can be used in any situation, and this is what true
25:12 Christian fighting should be.
25:14 That's right. Be still.
25:17 Don't respond, be still. Know that God is God,
25:20 listen for His voice.
25:22 These are the very fist steps, and God trains us in this
25:25 through prayer. Another powerful quote,
25:27 I've got so many here, but "Ministry of Healing", page 58,
25:30 says this: "All who are under the training of God"
25:33 "need the quiet hour for communion with their own hearts"
25:37 "with nature, and with God. In them is to be revealed"
25:41 "a life that is not in harmony with the world, it's customs"
25:44 "or its practices. We must individually hear Him"
25:48 "speak to our hearts. When ever other voice"
25:51 "is hushed and in quietness we wait before Him,"
25:54 "the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God."
26:00 Beautiful, beautiful concept there.
26:03 Learning to be still, learning to be silent
26:06 gives us that peace, and when we're in conflict,
26:09 like Jesus, in the midst of conflict,
26:11 the Bible says that when Jesus was in His last days
26:15 and He's being questioned before Pilate, the Bible says
26:18 that Jesus held His peace.
26:21 Most people read that and they say "Oh, He didn't say anything"
26:23 no, He held His peace, He held His composure,
26:27 He held His connection with God because He had practiced,
26:30 He had mastered the art of stillness and the art of silence
26:37 This is what these programs are all about.
26:39 We want to help, with God's Holy Spirit and His power,
26:43 to train people to experience this because this is powerful.
26:48 When people see that you are so connected to God
26:52 and you are being still and silent so you can hear
26:55 God's voice, when you don't react the way that
26:58 the average person would react, this is a testimony.
27:02 This is what speaks to people, and they say:
27:05 "I want what you have. " It's evangelism power working
27:09 and walking, it's very powerful.
27:10 That's right, that other attack of the enemy,
27:13 is that he will bombard our minds with music,
27:17 with the programs so that we've got all these other voices
27:20 in our heads when we kneel down to pray we cannot be silent.
27:24 Why? Because those things are playing in our minds:
27:27 the latest movie, the latest music,
27:29 and what we hear is the voices of the world
27:33 and not the voice of God.
27:35 So we've got to understand that this is the beginning
27:39 of the warfare, it may sound simple, but it is profound.
27:42 The art of stillness, the art of silence,
27:46 these are 2 arts of war that help us to learn
27:50 how to master self.
27:52 That's right, and remember, challenge yourself,
27:55 take time and allow God to train you in this art.
27:58 It will take time, but with God all things are possible.
28:02 We're all out of time, until next time, God bless.
28:05 [Music for Credits]