“Be Still And Know That I Am God” Is NOT A Mantra For “Christian” Yoga

Hindu Shrine
Photo taken at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts

Years ago, when I first started researching Brooke Boon and Holy Yoga, I visited their website (which I won’t link to today, lest I inadvertently promote them). One of their suggested meditations used the first clause of Psalm 46:10 in the King James Version. The clause reads, “Be still and know that I am God.”

I won’t go into detail about how the writer used this Scripture fragment as a mantra. But part of the contortion involved the idea of stilling the mind so that the person reciting the mantra could experience deeper communion with God. Stilling the mind, the writer taught, eliminates thoughts that distract people from His presence.

During my personal time with the Lord this morning I worked through Psalm 46. I used the New American Standard Bible, which translates the original languages with greater accuracy than the King James Version does. You can read the full psalm here.

As you can see, the psalmist representing the sons of Korah wrote this psalm to encourage Israelites of David’s time not to fear the heathen nations that warred against Jerusalem. He emphasized throughout the psalm that God was their refuge, strength and stronghold against these nations. Indeed, he assured his readers, even if nature itself turned against them, God would continue to be their security.

Throughout the first nine verses, I took notes with excitement, thinking about the persecution that is slowly coming upon Christians in the United States of America. I also felt convicted about my many failures to trust God as my refuge, strength and stronghold when trials overwhelm me. The Lord spoke so clearly through those nine verses about His sovereignty to protect His people no matter what circumstances we suffer.

Needless to say, those first nine verses greatly afflicted me.

Then I reached verse 10, in which the psalmist quotes God’s words to the heathen nations that came against Jerusalem.

“Cease striving and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” ~~Psalm 46:10 (NASB)

In the verses immediately preceding verse 10, the psalmist declared that God would break the bows of the heathen nations, causing wars to end. Therefore, verse 10 expanded on that thought, basically telling the nations that He demanded their worship. He would be exalted in the end, no matter how much they rebelled against Him.

Rather than than promising an esoteric spiritual experience to those who quiet their minds through Holy Yoga or some other form of contemplative prayer, Psalm 46:10 threatens those who dare to rebel against God by assaulting His people. Yanking it out of context, especially to support a practice, that assaults Biblical worship shows tremendous irony.

Perhaps it also invites the same fierce judgment that Psalm 46:10 threatens.

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One thought on ““Be Still And Know That I Am God” Is NOT A Mantra For “Christian” Yoga

  1. Thank you for this post, which is a reminder of God’s care for us and also a great example of scripture, yet again, used in the wrong way to further one’s own ends.


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