Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Still Small Voice

I am sure we have all heard the phrase the "Still Small Voice". When talking about God speaking to us we always say we must listen closely. Now this phrase didn't just come out of the blue, it came from 1st Kings chapter 19 in the King James Version:

"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.

And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?" (11-13)

Now, a lot of this probably sounds a little funny because of the old English, but let's create this image of the situation. Strong winds are blowing, winds that "rent" (define: A large tear in a piece of fabric.) Mountains. This wind is probably like a hurricane. A horrific storm. So powerful as to break rocks. Then, after all of this wind, an earthquake happened, after that an all-out fire storm. Now, the Lord was not in any of these, but God had caused them to happen. Where was the Lord? He was in a "still small voice".

God shows His awesome power and might but waits to speak until He can do so in a whisper. He speaks to Elijah through the torrents of the storm in a small voice. No shouting or commanding, just a simple, loving whisper.

I posit this question, how many times have you sought God's help and felt like you heard nothing? You knew it would be a still small voice, you knew it would come in times of trial, so you waited and waited yet heard nothing? This is always disheartening because of these passages of scripture:

Mark 11:24 -- "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

Matthew 7:7 -- "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."

We live in this misconception that asking will automatically grant us our wish. Let's be real friends, God isn't a genie in a bottle. We can't simply say "I.... wish for a million dollars. I'm asking for it full faith God and You WILL give it to me!" That is never, ever going to work.

I think we need to look to the Psalmist to find our reality check:

Psalm 22:

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest." (1-2)

I think it's safe to say this is me a lot of the time. I cry out to God, I seek His help and guidance, but feel all alone. But David then goes on to say...

"Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame." (3-5)
No matter if we hear from God or not, He is still there. It doesn't matter if we get an instant response, just because we live in a world of instant gratification does not mean God must adhere to that lifestyle.
I love David's words near the end of Psalm 22 when he says:

"I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you: You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.

From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will perform before those who fear him. The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord! May your hearts live forever!

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations." (22-28)

I encourage you to wait for the still small voice. But if you don't hear anything right away, don't worry about it! Just keep praying and pressing into God!

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