Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Grace To Hear His Whisper

Then a great and powerful wind tore the
mountains apart and shattered the rocks
before the LORD, but the LORD was not
in the wind. After the wind there was an
earthquake, but the LORD was not in the
earthquake. After the earthquake came a
fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And
after the fire came a gentle whisper.”
                             1 Kings 19:11b-12 

     In 1 Kings 18 we read about the prophet Elijah on Mt. Carmel with 450 prophets of Baal. Elijah prayed and God displayed His mighty power allowing Elijah to defeat those 450 ungodly prophets of a pagan god. Soon after that event, being threatened by one woman—Jezebel, Elijah ran for his life. Finally, he reached the desert, sat down under a broom tree and prayed to die. God sent a ministering angel, and later in the story we find Elijah sleeping in a cave on Mt. Horeb.

     God spoke to Elijah. “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (verse 9) Elijah whined. “The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” Seriously! The only one left…

     Have you been to that place? I have. You know—the place where you thought you were the only one! The place where no one understood but you! The place where you were misunderstood and mistreated! The place where you became so tired from the work that you just wanted to quit! After all, who cared and who knew what you were going through—who understood?

     Maybe you are in that place now—overwhelmed by work, finances, illness, family problems… Take heart! You are in the perfect place for God to show His mighty power.

     After Elijah stopped whining, The LORD told him to “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Wow! Watch Elijah! Wait Elijah! I AM is coming! (That is on my list of requested videos when I get to heaven.)

     Verses ten and eleven tell us the wind came and tore the mountains apart, an earthquake followed, and then came a fire. But the LORD was in none of those things. Then, after the fire, came a gentle whisper. “When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.” Elijah recognized the voice of God.

     It is interesting to note that God told Elijah to “go out” and stand on the mountain and after God whispered, we read that Elijah “went out” and stood at the mouth of the cave. I would love to know at what point he retreated from standing on the mountain to hiding in the mountain. But it was the gentle whisper of God that brought Elijah out where he stood in the presence of the Almighty.   

     We live in a noisy world; television, telephones, conferences, rallies, traffic… It is sometimes difficult to discern the voice of God in the midst of life’s wind and earthquakes and fires. Might I suggest a step back from the noise that surrounds our daily living—a Psalm 46:10 moment, “Be still and KNOW that I am God.” Could it be that He is just waiting for us to have a quiet humble heart? Is it possible that we might then be favored with the presence of the Almighty and receive grace to hear His whisper?

©JP 2013


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