Toots Says 'Still is Still Moving'

Toots Says 'Still [is] Still Moving To Me' (10.12.12)

Toots and the Maytals lead song on their "True Love" Album (2004 V2 Records, Nashville) begins like this, with the Willie Nelson (author of the song) on lead quitar:

Still [is] still moving to me,

I'm like a fish in the sea,

and if that's what it takes to be free,

Still [is] still moving to me.

I can be moving or I can be still,

Still [is] still moving to me.

Psalm 46,10 (Israel fearing war from "the nations"): "Be still [cease striving, stop your fussing, chill out, be quiet once in awhile] and know [learn and experience my saving presence] that I am God." (KJ)

1Kings19,11-12 (Elijah running scared from Jezebel's wrath): "Go forth and stand on the mountain before the Lord. And behold, the Lord was passing by! A great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord: but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a still small voice."

Our modern culture runs over the speed limit, by design now. It's a way to get ahead of the other commuter guy. And it's an efficiency, so it must be good.

And then again many such speedy folks are a little proud of being "so busy." Busy now means important, whereas not too long ago, it meant poor planning, or something worse.

But God's not so impressed, with our huffing and puffing, our blowharded distraction. Nor is he likely impressed with the fear and anxiety that comes to folks contemplating what might happen if they chose to slow down a bit (well first off somebody would speed past your car, over the double yellow line for sure).

When you see a fish under water, they are often moving and not moving at the same time. If they have a purpose, they move. If they are headed somewhere, there they go swimming.

If not, it's as if they are listening for a word from the Lord.

We human beings can get so focused on our own steps, and our own voices, that God can't get a still voice, or any other, word in edgewise.

The fact is experiencing God takes learning to listen to his gentle and still voice. It takes giving him time, time that such important people as ourselves, just do not have.

Or think we do not have.

When I was sort of newbie faither, I would go to a prayer meeting led by a church mother type who was a dynamo example of the loud, "hands on", praying over you, in your face, lifting you up, loving-healing, healing-loving style of so many great women of God.

She had five grown kids of her own, and a husband, bless his heart. But everybody was her 'ito or 'ita ("my boy", "my girl").

For one person she was bursting into loving tears of intercession and burden bearing.  For another, she covered them with shouts of joy and encouragment.

Pastors came to her for ministry.

Whatever the Lord put on her heart and soul, she was moving with it, and was all over it.

Now if you just saw her prayer group ministry, or the way she taught school, you'd think she never slowed down or got quiet. And that perhaps she didn't really get what she shouted from the rooftops from God, let alone in his quiet and gentle voice.

But anybody coming to her house knew better. Whether it was empty or full (and it usually was full, with green chile too), everybody who visited experienced the peace and presence of God, and the same quiet and gentle and loving get-back-to-your-mission voice that she was hearing.

Her house was a supernatural feast.

Folks would come, and some of them didn't really know why. It was because she spent so much time in silent prayer that the experience was often better than going to church itself.

Her home was what the Apostolics would call a "healing room" as well as a place for her immediate family. She often had so many guests that she had learned from the Lord to let her "guests" hang out without her, so she could close her prayer closet, and listen for Jesus, telling her what to say at prayer meeting time, or how to minister to her visitors.

She had learned the message of Toots and the Maytals, that to be truly free in this increasingly hectic world (which includes the church), we need down time, slow time, inner work time, or we'll never experience that in God, who is Spirit, still is still moving.

Shalom in Jesus NAME



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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.