Be Still and Know

Be still and know that I am God.

It sounds so easy. Eight simple words. But in a world that manufactures business and rewards it, finding a quiet place for the soul is about as easy as getting to the bottom of the Grand Canyon…in the dark!

That’s what my friend and I set out to do on a warm Arizona night back in our college days.  Without a reservation for a campsite on the canyon floor, the only way we were going to experience the view from “down there” was to descend the Bright Angel Trail at midnight.  We were assured that if we hiked down in the cover of night, and up and out before noon, the sixteen-mile round trip in the searing heat wouldn’t wipe us out.

Though not the canyon’s steepest trail, Bright Angel’s eight-mile journey still takes you almost a mile down on a skinny path.  And, once we dropped below the South Rim we sank into the very definition of darkness.  Not to mention, we were under constant “threat” from the wild donkeys we’d be warned about, and whatever else was out there beyond our flashlight’s beam.

Several hours later we arrived at the river’s edge and laid down on a sandy patch where the water bent.  By now our eyes had remarkably adjusted to the dark, but we still could only hear the Colorado rushing by us.  And, all we could think about was the tough return ascent ahead of us…and the fact that we’d only get a brief sleep before we’d be awakened by the dawn.

The only place to look was up, and when we did our minds were blown.  Dripping overhead, the canopy of stars felt so close I literally reached up to touch them.  Absent of so much as a remote glimmer of light, the heavens hung low, dazzling us with their brilliance.

We were exhausted, with the hardest part of our adventure still to come.  But for a moment we were enraptured, and felt very near to God. We were swept up in the vast symphony of creation, the overture of God’s glory playing in the skies above.

It felt like the title of the piece the stars were playing was: Be still and know that I AM God.

As awesome as that moment was, fortunately we don’t have to make an excursion to some remote place to experience the rest of God.  Wherever you are today, at the rewarding end of a long arduous stretch or still facing a steep and challenging climb, you can find that place of quiet trust in God that will still your heart and inject confidence into your circumstances. That’s what Sabbath is all about.

The word Sabbath comes from the Hebrew word SHABBAT, which means “to cease.”  From this word we get the phrase, “be still.”  But “cease” from what?  Cease “striving,” as one translation puts it, and agree with God that He is God and we are not.

For us, Sabbath is more than just doing nothing, it is doing everything from a place of rest—an assurance that God is with us and in us, and that He is sufficient to accomplish all He has called us to do.  Thus, God urged through the Psalmist, “Cease striving, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10.

We Are Called Into God’s “Already In Motion” Plans

Sabbath rest is remembering that God calls us into His plans, He doesn’t call us to create the plans and make them happen.  At the outset, God invited Abraham into the unknown.  But that invitation was not without a promise.  God had been planning all along to make Abraham’s descendants as numerous as the stars, to make him the father of our faith.  But God’s timing and God ways required Abraham to trust Him every step of the way.

At a point of desperation in old age, Abraham gave up on the promise and had a son by his maidservant, because his wife Sarah was unable to bear him the child that would accomplish God’s plan.  Like us, Abraham became burdened with the weight of making the plan happen, when all God asked of him was to be available to what He was going to do.

God wants us to work with all our might as we participate in His plans. But Sabbath is about remembering that while we are responsible to step into the opportunities God sets before us, He is responsible for the outcomes.  In the end, God did come through, and He did fulfill His promise for and through Abraham’s life.

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. Hebrews 11: 8-12.

What lessons can we learn from Abraham’s experience?

1. That we are called into the plans of God, not to create the plans of God.
2. That we can be confident in God’s ability to fulfill His promise, even when the circumstances look bleak.
3. We should expect that God will work in supernatural ways to achieve His plans.
4. We must set our gaze beyond today, and live for the great reward.
5. We must believe God is going to do what He says He will do, without or without us.

Faithful Is He Who Calls You, He Also Will Do It. 1 Thess. 5:24

I love the end of Psalm 46:10, “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  God says I will be two times, meaning His plans are going to come to pass.  Thus, we can “be still,” assured that our great God will do everything that is in His heart to do.

What are you striving to make happen today that God alone can do?
What shortcuts are you taking to get the end result that God has promised?
What burden are you carrying, thinking that you have to accomplish it all on your own?
What gaps of faith have you created, forgetting to ask and expect God to come through in supernatural ways?
Has the view from “here” eclipsed the view of the great City of Rest God is leading us to?

Wherever there is an absence of rest, come to Jesus.  His invitation is—Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30.

Jesus believes in you and has done the work necessary to bring you from death to life. Jesus has made you righteous before God in Him.  He also lives in you by faith, and makes His life available to you each step of the way.  But to experience His power we must cease from our belief that we can do it on our own, believing that in rest before Him is our greatest strength.

So take a Selah moment.  In the stillness, abandon those places where you feel the weight of determining the outcome.  Confess your hope in the great and sovereign plans of God, plans for your good and His glory.  Breathe in hope.  Exhale fear.  Repeat.

view the original post here.

2014_Faculty_Louie_GiglioLouie Giglio is  the Visionary Architect and Director of the Passion Movement, comprised of Passion Conferences, Passion City Church and sixstepsrecords. Louie is part of our 2014 Global Leadership Summit Faculty. Learn more about Louie here.



Register your team for The Global Leadership Summit by May 20th for best rates!


How Can A Leader Build Authentic Relationships?

At The Global Leadership Summit 2013, Henry Cloud answered questions backstage that were asked by the Summit audience through twitter. Someone asked: How can a leader build authentic relationships in a complicated and competitive work environment?

Watch to hear Henry’s answer.

Do you have any questions for the 2014 Summit faculty? Send us your questions through Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram using the hashtag #GLS14Q for the chance to have one of the Summit faculty answer it at Summit 2014.

A Mid-Year Taste of the Summit

On Wednesday March 19th, Joseph Grenny launched The Global Leadership Summit 2014 season with a mid year injection of leadership wisdom.  Grenny spent time talking through disproportional influence and how to understand it from a leadership perspective.

Watch and learn from 2014 Summit Faculty, Joseph Grenny.

The Super Early Bird Deadline on May 20 is right around the corner. Learn more and register with best rates!

Tyler Perry’s Path from a Tough Childhood to Hollywood Success

Born into poverty and raised in a household scarred by abuse, Tyler fought from a young age to find the strength, faith and perseverance that would later form foundations of his work. Watch Tyler talk about who he was statistically likely to have become and how he was able to defy those odds to live a successful life.

Watch his 60 Minutes interview here.

Recipient of the 2004 Black Business Professionals’ Entrepreneur of the Year award, he leads a massively successful entertainment empire, employing 350 people from his 30-acre Atlanta studio, with five sound stages and a post-production facility. As a part of his inspiring body of work, including the now-legendary Madea franchise, Tyler has produced, written, and directed a dozen stage plays, five TV series, and 15+ feature films—staring in several of these projects, as well as recently completing a part in David Fincher’s next film, Gone Girl.

Perry hasn’t forgotten about those who helped him along the way, and is intimately involved in supporting charities focused on civil rights, homelessness, and rebuilding the lives of disaster survivors in New Orleans and Haiti.

Tyler Perry will be one of our speakers at The Global Leadership Summit 2014. Learn more and register today.

Setting the Stage: Behind the Scenes of a Summit Video Shoot

Post by Jesse Oxford

IMG_7011As filmmaker, I regularly lead teams of people who tackle complex problems behind the scenes in order to tell beautiful stories. When managed well, the climate of a film set is controlled clockwork. When mismanaged, tensions rise – problems multiply – and in the end the atmosphere behind-the-scenes seeps into the picture itself.

This is always a risk. In every single production. Even ones I direct for the Leadership Summit.

Each year that my team is trusted to produce the Summit Promo video, we like to challenge ourselves. This year was no different.

Our plan: Build an art-installation sculpture out of 178 unique polygons. This sculpture would serve as a digital projection background for the promo campaign.

To paint a picture of some of the complexity without getting overly technical: We, first, needed to design a 3D digital model of the sculpture. After perfecting the design digitally we built the 13’ high by 28’ wide physical structure in a studio over 5 days. Then using a complicated projection system called “Pandora’s Box” (I’m not even kidding) we were able to shine animations onto the structure that perfectly matched the contours of the physical object. Basically it allows you to do things like project an image of a car – onto a car shaped object, and it will look like its really driving.

It had all the hallmarks of a disastrous relationship between technicians and artists with competing visions and too little time.

But it didn’t end in disaster. In fact, things went oddly without disruption. Why?

I would say it had something to do with the leadership skills our team has learned from the Summit. Of course he would say that, you’re thinking. Yes – but it’s true. For the last decade, we’ve attended the Summit nearly every year and the skills we’ve gained from the leaders we’ve heard speak have influenced our work in tangible ways.

Thats why I love being part of the Summit community so much. Its not just for pastors or church workers, but for leaders of creative teams like myself who want to use their gifts on behalf of the Kingdom of God in this world.

No matter what project I find myself working on, I can always count on problems to arise. But there is seldom a time when I don’t draw on something I heard at the Summit that is helpful in charting a course forward.

247014_10151622031255491_346853131_nJesse Oxford is Creative Director / Principal at J. Oxford Studios a Chicago-based Creative Agency dedicated exclusively to partnering with organizations that are working to do GOOD.

Leaders Stirred to Create Change


Chinese GLS in Canada

The very first Canadian Chinese GLS, hosting 150 leaders, was held recently. With high engagement and energy at this first-time GLS, these Christian leaders experienced leadership development training in their own language.

Unknown-1 Unknown-2

The GLS in Pakistan

Since the GLS has been in Pakistan, Christian leaders have been stirred to start initiatives and develop new ideas to create change in their communities. Here is a glimpse at some of those stories:

“I had an encounter with God at the GLS in Pakistan. He whispered and pulled me out of my comfort zone and routine life. I am so filled with compassion for the women and the girls in my area who are in desperate need of literacy. Filled with the passion of
Jesus, I started an adult literacy program for women seeking education. By the grace of God, there are 38 ladies in the class. The GLS is more than just an event, it has
become a movement in Pakistan!”—Principal at a girls’ college, Pakistan

“I was so inspired by the teaching I received at the GLS that I wanted to do something. I recall memories of my experience and conversation about promoting unity among the body of Christ. As I looked around at the need in the community, which I had never done before, a thought came to mind—there were two churches in my area that didn’t have a proper place to worship and pray. God opened my heart to open up my church to other denominations so they could use our facility—free of cost. This year, I attended the GLS with my pastor friends, and we are inspired to go out in unity with a clear vision to win the souls of this city.”—A pastor in Pakistan

“I live on the outskirts of the city, on a rocky mountain, near a dangerous, sensitive, and ridged community in Pakistan. It was hard for me and my team to get to the Summit, and we traveled two days to get there. During the GLS, God opened my mind and heart to see and experience things with clarity. I feel like a dark blanket has been lifted from my mind. Now I clearly understand what God wants from my life. I am now able to share all about it with clarity to other pastors in my area. I couldn’t do it before. Now I am truly experiencing the power of clarity.”—A pastor in Pakistan

View more pictures and stories at

How Do Young People Become Influencers?

At The Global Leadership Summit 2013, our team asked people to send in any questions they had for the Summit speakers. We had a great response as questions rolled in through Twitter. Now its time to reveal the answers…and they are worth watching.

Watch and learn from Joseph Grenny as he answers the questions: How do young people become influencers?

Do you have any questions for the 2014 Summit faculty? Send us your questions through Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram using the hashtag #GLS14Q for the chance to have one of the Summit faculty answer it at Summit 2014.

The MLS: A New Kind of Summit

image003  image005  image004

The annual Global Leadership Summit has sparked year-round leadership 
development initiatives around the world. In Namibia, three local organizations have come together around the dream to do more to empower leaders, especially young leaders in their country. In 2013, these three organizations partnered to start what they call “MLS”—Mini Leadership Summits, and focus their leadership development efforts on local youth sports teams. Popular topics of discussion include mentoring, coaching, leveraging your past, and self-leadership. They kicked off the program at the end of 2013, and have so far have hosted 640 students, teachers, and coaches at five events.

One of the aims of the MLS program is to help students and teachers grow in their 
leadership skills, especially in the area of self-leadership. It is sometimes wrongly 
perceived that only a few people will be leaders, while the truth is that every single person must lead at least one person: themselves.

“There is a person with whom you spend more time than any other, a person who has more influence over you, and more ability to interfere with or to support your growth than anyone else. This ever-present companion is your own self. Our greatest potential source of leadership and influence comes not from an external leader, but from within ourselves!” -Dr Pamela Butler, Clinical Psychologist

“We believe that we can change the attitudes and skills of attendees through this program and we look forward to seeing the results in the next generation of 
leaders in our beautiful country.” —Namibian “MLS” Leader

16 Things I Believe from Susan Cain

Are you an introvert in an extroverted world?

Inspired by her book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” Susan Cain teaches leaders 16 things she believes about introverts.

“A Manifesto For Introverts”

  1. There’s a word for “people who are in their heads too much”: thinkers.
  2. Our culture rightly admires risk-takers, but we need our “heed-takers” more than ever.
  3. Solitude is a catalyst for innovation.
  4. Texting is popular because in an overly extroverted society, everyone craves asynchronous, non-F2F communication.
  5. We teach kids in group classrooms not because this is the best way to learn but because it’s cost efficient, and what else would we do with children while all grown-ups are at work? If your child prefers work autonomously and socialize one-on-one, there’s nothing wrong with her; she just happens to fit the model.
  6. The next generation of quiet kids can and should be raised to know their own strength.
  7. Sometimes it helps to be a pretend-extrovert. There’s always a time to be quiet later.
  8. But in the long run, staying true to your temperament is the key to finding work you love and work that matters.
  9. Everyone shines, given the right lighting. For some it’s a Broadway spotlight, for others, a lamplit desk.
  10. Rule of thumb for networking events: one genuine new relationship is worth a fistful of business cards.
  11.  It’s OK to cross the street to avoid making small talk.
  12.  ”Quiet leadership” is not an oxymoron.
  13. The universal longing for heaven is not about immorality so much as the wish for a world in which everyone is always kind.
  14. If the task of the first half of life is to put yourself out there, the task of the second half is to make sense of where you’ve been.
  15. Love is essential, gregariousness is optional.
  16. “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” -Ghandi

View original post HERE.

2014_Faculty_Susan_CainSusan Cain is a best-selling author and viral TED speakers on The Power of Introverts. Susan will be speaking at The Global Leadership Summit 2014. Learn more about her HERE.