We live in a dispensation that makes stillness sound like a crime against humanity. The faster you go, the more efficient you are supposed to be. There is so much noise all around, there is so much information, very little knowledge. Much talking, very little reflection. We are bombarded with information everywhere. There is Twitter, there is Facebook where you even have the privilege of finding out what is happening in people’s bedrooms. The Internet allows you to have access to every book ever written, including the Bible. On my I-phone, I have loads of books, several Bible translations, comprehensive dictionaries, access to the latest breaking news from the farthest corners of the planet and I can access a tweet seconds after it was tweeted from anywhere. Yet, our individual and collective problems are growing in intensity. We are getting individually and collectively smarter but not wiser, to put it nicely.
We need to be still. Stand still, sit still. “Pause…”, like my wife Ronké says. The creator-owner of the universe, the earth and the world in which we live, said, “Be still and know that I am God…” If the knowledge of God is the beginning of knowledge and in Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, it follows that all knowledge could be accessed in stillness. Daniel did not have Facebook or Twitter but he was able to access the dream of the Emperor of Babylon, which, even the Emperor himself had forgotten. He knew that in order to really know, you need to be still and, it does not matter what the challenge is in creation, the Creator has the solution. Selah.
Information is good but it does not equate and should not be mistaken for knowledge. Information is what you get on the Internet, in the news, on Facebook, in school. Knowledge is what you access when you are still and are using your heart to explore. Myles Munroe said, “Your true intelligence is not learned, it is discerned.” Discernment requires us to practice stillness. Every challenge is easy when you know how to do what Daniel did – spend time to be still…and know… It matters little whether you have a PhD in the issue at hand or you did not finish 4th grade, whether you are a CEO or a garbage collector, the Queen or the lowliest commoner. Verily verily I say unto you, Konosuke Matsushita one of the entrepreneurs I admire, created Matsushita and Panasonic, although he did not finish elementary school. He ran Matsushita for over 40 years before becoming Chairman. The source of intelligence and knowledge has no respect for education or erudition but He honors meekness and elevates the humble beyond the stars. Òré (Buddy, in Yoruba), even though I have some education and read widely, I would rather pursue knowledge from Source. Nothing beats it, not even remotely.
What happens when we are still is that we are better able to pick up signals from the spirit realm, which is infinitely more real than all we see around. The source of knowledge is God and is referred to in scriptures, as “The Word”. If He is the Word, then speaking has to be his nature and a primary way of expressing Himself. We can say then that God is always speaking. If we are not hearing, the blockage has to be from our end not from His. Stillness is part of tuning our spiritual antennas to hear without interference, since God’s voice is a still small voice! In stillness and quietness, we are not creating or calculating our way to solutions with our heads. Our heads are quiet because they get in the way and our spirits, if they are alive, become alert to hear the very same voice that spoke the Universe into being, that created and sustains all spirit, all life, all matter. That voice is the voice of Him in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. That voice speaks to day to day challenges as well as eternal ones and everything in between. Daniel heard it by stillness, many great inventors heard it through stillness. They did not necessarily invent anything, they were simply sensitive enough to pick up signals from the spirit. They knew how to enter into the spirit realm by stillness – mental, physical and at times environmental.
Jesus Christ rose regularly I believe, a great while before dawn and from time to time departed alone, away from the crowd and the noise – and things were much quieter then, there was no Twitter or Facebook or TV or Internet – to a lonely place. He needed it because “…he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears…” I choose to believe that the reason many of us receive ideas and solutions in dreams is because our heads, which are incapable of piercing into the realm of timelessness, the realm of ultimate reality where the Creator is, are quiet and we can see, hear, know what’s really going on. I have received solutions to problems in dreams, including precise solutions to difficult differential equations in University.
Wakeful stillness allows us to know what is really going on, and it is a whole lot more than what we see, hear and feel. Elisha’s servant experienced this when he saw horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. What was really going on was the angelic hosts surrounding and protecting them, not the Syrian army that appeared to be a threat. Truly, eye has not seen, ear has not heard, neither has it entered into the heart of humans what God has in store for His lovers but they are revealed to us by His Spirit. They are revealed or unveiled to us, not through our heads but through our spirits, and our heads need to shut up and listen. This kind of revelation covers everything from the eternal to the ephemeral, since they all fall within the purview of “Him with whom we have to do.” I have personally experienced these revelations, with very tangible results some of which will crystallize after my time. And that is okay because even though I will profit from them in my time, I do not own them and I am merely a conduit for them. I plan to continue to crave them as long as there is breath within me.
One of the mysteries of revelation is that even the receiver of it does not fully grasp the meaning, the depth, the breadth, the potential impact of what they have heard. How can the only wise God speak and you will think you fully understand it? This is why it is just safe to assume we know nothing about any truth or any scripture if we believe it is inspired by God. I feel Apostle Paul’s heart climax as he was unfolding a deep mystery that was beyond him, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgements, and his ways past finding out!” Those who received and wrote down God’s thoughts and God’s dealings with humankind as passed down to us in the Bible were convinced it was from God. But they may have had no clue that one day I would stand on one of those scriptures to help win one of the most coveted accounts in the Nigerian Banking industry or to finish strong academically in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife when it was almost hopeless, or that a very beautiful child will come forth from my loins and my wife will receive strength to conceive it through faith in the scriptures they recorded, after we had waited 5 years. It is the same with hearing from the Spirit today.
You and I have no clue how far reaching what we download from the Spirit will be but you can rest assured that in keeping with the source, it is all good beyond what you can think or dream. The best way to ensure therefore, that I benefit my family, my society, my world, my generation and generations to come is to get into the habit of being still and hearing from the Source. Did Jesus who was in very nature God not say, “I can of my own self do nothing. As I hear, so I speak…?” He was being wise, not just pious and like we say in Nigeria, if I know what is good for me, I had better follow suit.