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—Dr. Sam Smith is the organizer of Butterfly Ministries and can be reached at

“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]

“Be still.” How often do you take time to be still before the Lord? Honestly, do you ever take time to be still before the Lord? To be still before the Lord, we need to find a quiet, peaceful place where we will not be interrupted for a time. Some folks have a “prayer closet”, a room designated for prayer, meditation and stillness. Others simply get alone in a room in their house. Some go to their church. The place is not as important as the intent to be still – quiet and undisturbed – and listen for God’s will.

I don’t know about you, but stilling my mind is a monumental chore. My mind reminds me of the old car radio we used to listen to on the river bottom when I was a kid. Late at night, the radio transmitted more static than anything else. It would partially receive multiple stations at once. You know that sound? A combination of music, talking and static – that is how my mind sounds most the time. Every now and then, though, one station would come in loud and clear: Del Rio, Texas. I never understood how the radio waves from a station that far away could find our old radio on the Neches River bottom in East Texas, but it did.

The conditions had to be just right for Del Rio radio signals to transmit from that radio, just as the conditions have to be right for us to hear God’s voice. To me, that is what “being still” is all about: arranging conditions to receive God’s signals – God’s voice. Del Rio was transmitting those signals constantly. God is speaking constantly. Consider these lyrics to my song, “I’m Not Listening”.

“I know that heaven is speaking to me; and I want to hear it more than anything; I know that heaven is speaking to me; God always speaks, but I’m not listening.”

Is there any believer who does not desire to hear from the Lord? The truth is, we probably hear from Him much more than we realize. The part of our mind that we call our conscious may well be the Holy Spirit guiding us. Remember Pinocchio’s conscious, Jiminy Cricket? According to Wikipedia, “Jiminy Cricket was originally a polite euphemism for Jesus Christ.” Remember he told Pinocchio to “Let your conscious be your guide?” That is very good advice, if we recognize the Holy Spirit as our conscious. How do we tell? If the promptings we perceive line up with the Word of God and lead us to righteous behavior, it is the Holy Spirit. We all need to consult Him for every decision we make and for every question we have.

Hearing from God is one thing, obeying is another. “So, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts…’” [Hebrews 3:7-8]. Jesus told us that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. [John 16:13] Our challenge is to learn to discern the Spirit’s voice and to obey His promptings. Think about some of the decisions you have made without seeking God’s will and the wisdom of the Spirit. For me, some of the results have been less than pleasant. Thank God for His grace. When we do follow His guidance, how sweet our lives can be! That is why taking time to be still and listen for the Spirit’s prompting is so important – and so wonderful. As we grow in our spiritual walk, hearing from heaven will not be as difficult. We will learn to more readily tune in to the ever-present “signals” from heaven. Then just as our old car radio began to receive the signals from Del Rio, we will tune in to the loving voice of God. With every session of stillness, we will find greater peace, joy and love.

“You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides Him there is no other. From heaven He made you hear His voice to discipline you.” [Deuteronomy 4:35-36]

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him…” [Psalm 37:7]

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—Dr. Sam Smith is the organizer of Butterfly Ministries and can be reached at