Monday, April 13, 2015

Can you hear that still small voice?

1 Kings 19:10 . . . and I, even I only, am left . . .


Do you ever just feel alone in this world?  Surrounded by people, but, oh, so alone?  Do you ever feel lost in this great big world? Have you felt as if you’ve lost your purpose? Do you often wish to flee from situations that make your life seem overwhelming?  I’d say that all of us have experienced one, if not all, of these feelings.  As I was reading the entire chapter of 1 Kings 19 this morning, I realized that I had a lot in common with poor Elijah.  And maybe you can relate to him as well. 

Overwhelmed by circumstances and fleeing for his very life, he found himself out in the wilderness, fearful, discouraged, probably anxious, and certainly depressed and begging God to take his very life.   Maybe he just didn’t have the energy to keep on living.  Maybe it felt too difficult and he just didn’t know how. Maybe he forgot that he could trust God to handle the whole terrible situation.  However, when asked what he was doing in that place, he did give the Lord a truthful answer. As the story unfolds, we find Elijah on Mt. Horeb after a grueling forty-day and forty-night trip.  The strength for that trip was provided by God thru a ministering angel who fed him before he started on his way.  Even though Elijah was running away, God never left him alone!  He was there providing for his every need and guiding him to that place he needed to be in order to hear the voice of God. When his journey is complete, God once more questions him as to what he is doing in that place. And once again Elijah is absolutely honest with God.  Shortly afterwards, he experiences terrible winds, an earthquake, and a fire, and though God is in none of those things, Elijah finally finds Him in a still small voice and receives instructions and purpose from God.

In Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Bible, he says of this passage: Despair of success hinders many a good enterprise. Did Elijah come hither to meet with God? He shall find that God will meet him. The wind, and earthquake, and fire, did not make him cover his face, but the still voice did. Gracious souls are more affected by the tender mercies of the Lord, than by his terrors. The mild voice of Him who speaks from the cross, or the mercy-seat, is accompanied with peculiar power in taking possession of the heart.” 

How true!  God could have really let Elijah have it for not trusting Him and for failing to run to Him instead of just running away!  But He didn’t.  He used a calm and quiet voice to get his attention. When my own children were little, I had better success in discipline when I would use a quiet, gentle voice as opposed to an angry, thundering one!  I could always tell when I reached their hearts because the tears would fall down those little cheeks.

As I was thinking on how God finally calmed Elijah and was able to work in his situation, it occurred to me that when we are in a room full of noisy, talking folks, doesn’t a quiet voice make us stop and take notice? Don’t we lean in a little closer in order to hear what is being said? We can’t hear the words being spoken if we do not block out all of the noise around us.  The same is true when we are listening for the voice of God.  Do we not have to quiet the fears and anxiety in order to hear His quiet voice? The realization for me is that in order to hear God’s voice, I cannot focus on the trials and temptations that may surround me.   God is not in those things, but instead works THRU those things. 

He is peace when I am still.

Even though this is ONE chapter from one book in God’s word, it spoke so many things to my heart today:

  • God really does not leave us nor forsake us, no matter where we are
  • God wants us to be honest with Him about our problems
  • God doesn’t want us to run away from life’s trials but to trust Him
  • God will speak to us but we must be obedient and willing to be in a place that we can hear Him
  • God will send what we need if we will just stop and listen to Him
  • God pursues us and provides for us

Love in Christ to you all!