April 10, 2010

How Still His Voice

Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" He said, "I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away." So He said, "Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD " And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking 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. After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave And behold, a voice came to him and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
1 Kings 19:9-13 (NASB)
I love this passage as it summarizes for me a struggle I often have. Listening for and hearing the voice of God. Yes, when I seek to know the direction to take, I want God's voice loud and clear; a strong wind, an earthquake, a fire. Elijah takes off, fearing for his life from the threats of Jezebel. He is in a panic even after seeing how God dealt with the prophets of Baal and Asherah. So panicked, God has to gently ask him twice what he is doing. I am often like that, wrapped up in self worry and doubt, listening to my own rumbling so intently that God has to ask me a couple of times what is going on. Not because He needs to know, but because I need to focus. On Him.
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
Psalm 46:10 (NIV)
But it is often only in the stillness of myself that I can hear what He has to say to me. I like the NIV rendering "Be still" more than the NASB's "Cease striving" in this case, although I am a big NASB fan. I like the concept of stillness before the Lord. Stop watching wind and earthquake and fire, stop heeding the tumult of the world and of the mind and be still.

Sure God could thunder an immediately capture my attention. But He is a serene God, one of peace and calm, surety and assurance. And that is how He would have me behave.

Stop right now and try to be still before God and listen to the quiet power in His gentle voice inside you. Right now. That is what I am trying to do.

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