Verses of the Week: I Kings 19:11-12 “And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake 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: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”
Encouraging Thought: Sometimes when you want to get someone’s attention, you raise your voice so they can hear you, or you might even shout. “Hey! Pay attention. This is important.” But when God talks to us, does He ever tell us something that’s not important? Does He engage in idle chit chat? Does He raise His voice or shout to get our attention? No. In fact, God whispers. You must listen very closely or you’ll miss it.
When Elijah was listening for instructions from God, he discovered that God was not in the powerful wind or the earthquake or the fire. God didn’t speak to Him through a destructive force, but through a still, small voice. And that’s the same way He talks to us today. Isaiah 40:11 says, “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” Often, the destructive forces in our lives are due to sin in one form or another. God is gentle and kind, and He speaks to His children in love. That’s why He uses a soft and gentle voice.
Words of Wisdom: Our lives today are filled with such incredible noise that we can’t hear God’s voice – motorized vehicles, traffic, constant chatter, lawnmowers, power tools, electronics of all sorts, and the list goes on. In addition to the racket, we’re usually so focused on our goals, our desires, and our plans, that we can’t even hear God attempting to redirect us.
I work as a bus monitor for the Head Start program. If there’s a change in routine, no matter how slight, I can call a child by name and repeat my instructions six or eight times, but they do not hear a word I say. They are so focused on what they need to do that they will follow the routine, not the instructions. I must physically redirect them, and even then, they sometimes resist the redirection because it’s not what they’re used to. So often, God’s children respond to His voice like the four and five-year old preschoolers respond to mine. They maintain their focus on their plans, regardless of God’s instructions. “I don’t know what God wants me to do. He never talks to me.” God talks to all His children. He gives us guidance and instruction throughout the day. In Matthew 15:10, Jesus “called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand…” And that’s what God expects us to do: hear and understand.
To hear my instructions, a child simply needs to stop and listen to my voice. To hear God’s instructions, all we need to do is stop and learn to listen for His still, small voice. You won’t hear Him by accident. God doesn’t shout above the noise in your life. To hear His voice, you need to be quiet, to be still, and to listen. It is a skill that you can develop if you choose to.