“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
Have you ever been in desperate need of a word from God and yet it seems as though He has gone silent? You have sought Him regarding a particular situation or decision, but regardless of the prayers you pray, no answers come?
I was recently thinking about times when we feel this way and I was reminded of the story of Elijah found in 1 Kings 19.
Following his dramatic victory over the prophets of Baal, Elijah was told that Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, king of Israel, was seeking to kill him. Despite his previous victory, Elijah ran into the wilderness feeling defeated, he collapsed in exhaustion. God sent an angel to strengthen him, after which he ate and then traveled to Horeb. In a cave there, Elijah voiced his complaint that all of God’s prophets had been killed by Jezebel and he alone had survived. God then instructed him to stand on the mountain in His presence.
In verses 11-12 we pick up the story, “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.” …the voice of God.
Consider this with me for a minute. While God is not limited in the ways in which He chooses to speak to us, in this instance He chose to speak to Elijah in a gentle whisper. Could God be speaking to us in a gentle whisper today and we are just not hearing Him?
In order for us to hear anyone whisper we need to stop what we are doing, quiet ourselves, and focus our attention on the one speaking. It is a brilliant strategy wise teachers use when trying to get the attention of a rowdy class – I’ve seen its powerful effect when used by both of my two older boys’ amazingly gifted teachers. Rather than get louder and talk over the students they become quiet to the point of a whisper. Elijah experienced God in the same way. If he had continued talking yet hoped to hear from God, but never stopped to listen for Him, he could have missed all that God had to tell Him.
With this in mind, I have to wonder if there might be times when we think God is being silent, but in reality He is speaking to us in a gentle whisper. Could it be we have just been too wrapped up in ourselves to even notice?
Perhaps God wants to speak to us through His Word, but we have been too busy lately to take the time to read it.
Perhaps God wants to speak to us through prayer, but we tend to do all of the talking and never take the time to listen for His response.
Perhaps God wants to speak to us through the leading of the Holy Spirit, but we have been so caught up with our own to do list that we have not even noticed how the Spirit has been trying to guide us.
Let’s take some time this week and intentionally listen for God. Let’s read His Word, spend time just listening for His direction, and invite the Holy Spirit to guide our paths. As Jeremiah 29:13 says, let’s search for Him with our whole hearts and maybe, just maybe, we will hear from God in a whole new way after all.