God had to teach Elijah a lesson on listening so he took him to the top of Mt. Horeb and gave him an illustrated sermon.
“Go out and stand on the mountain,” the LORD replied. “I want you to see me when I pass by.”
All at once, a strong wind shook the mountain and shattered the rocks. But the LORD was not in the wind. Next, there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. Then there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire.
Finally, there was a gentle breeze, and when Elijah heard it, he covered his face with his coat. He went out and stood at the entrance to the cave. The LORD asked, “Elijah, why are you here?” (1 Kings 19:11-13).
When that wind began to blow, I think Elijah thought, “It’s about time, Lord. Blow Jezebel right off her throne—throw her and her sinner friends to the winds. Blow them all away!” But God wasn’t in the wind!
Suddenly, a great earthquake came and Elijah said, “That ought to scare them good! God will get even. He will shake them right out of their shoes! Lord, you are vindicating your servant.” But God wasn’t in the earthquake!
After the earthquake, a fire! The heavens were glowing with white-hot flames! Elijah cried, “Lord, they didn’t accept the fire that fell on the altar—burn them out! Burn out wicked Ahab! Fry Jezebel. Cause your fire to consume the wicked. God, I know you are in this fire!” But God wasn’t in the fire!
“And after the fire, a still small voice” (vs. 12).
Wow! Can you imagine that? A prophet who wasn’t afraid of a hurricane or an earthquake or heavenly fireworks is frightened by a still small voice. “when Elijah heard it, he covered his face with his coat” (vs. 13).
Elijah covered his head with his coat! Why? Hadn’t he talked to God many times? Wasn’t he a great man of prayer? Hadn’t God used him with mighty signs? Yes! Absolutely! But Elijah was a stranger to the still small voice!
When Elijah finally allowed that voice to speak—alone, quiet, away from all the power displays—he got the most specific directions ever in all his ministry.
“Go to Damascus; go through the wilderness; anoint Hazael king over Syria; anoint Jehu king over Israel; and anoint Elisha to be prophet to follow you . . .” (see 1 Kings 19:15-16).
How many of us, who love the Lord, will do whatever He directs us to do, but have never had the voice come to them? We are so busy witnessing—doing good—praying for a spiritual awakening—fasting—building our business—working in our job—so intense—so dedicated. Yet, we have heard everything but the voice of the Lord.
Father, I do truly love you. I have often separated myself from my activities to “hear from you.” But I keep looking for the miraculous. So Lord, right now I just calm myself from all my efforts and frustrations and attempts to receive your direction, and wait, patiently, confidently, for your still small voice. Speak softly and quietly and I will listen.
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