Are you listening for the voice of God?
Elijah was a prophet of God who confronted false prophets who worshiped Baal on Mount Carmel. During this confrontation, Elijah challenged the false prophets and saw God miraculously show His power and the fact that He is the only true God. Queen Jezebel was angry and threatened Elijah’s life because he killed her false prophets.
Rather than trust the Lord and rely upon His strength to deliver him, Elijah fled into the wilderness and eventually hid in a cave. While there, Elijah has an encounter with God. God tells him to stand outside the cave on the mountain. Then the Lord passes by Elijah. There is a great wind, but God is not in it. An earthquake comes, but God is not in it either. Then the Bible records,
After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
Suddenly, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”1 Kings 19:12-46 (CSB)
God comes to Elijah in a whisper.
So many times we do not hear God’s voice because we are looking for Him to appear in an extravagant way. We’re looking for the pyrotechnics display. We want Him show Himself in a tremendous miracle in our lives. Although God still performs miracles and powerful manifestations of His glory, most often He meets us in a whisper.
He speaks to us through His Word as we read it in our daily devotionals. God communicates to us through prayer as we adore Him, cast our cares upon Him, and intercede on behalf of others. The Holy Spirit empowers the preached Word as we meet in corporate worship and impresses upon us God’s will as we listen to the sermon. We see God’s hand directing us through the counsel of mature believers who speak the truth of God’s Word into our lives. God speaks through our small group Bible studies as we meet with brothers and sisters in Christ around the Word of God.
In all of these scenarios, we will not hear the voice of God if we are not listening for it. Listening involves daily Bible reading and prayer. Listening involves asking the Holy Spirit to give us opportunities to have gospel conversations with people around us. Hearing God’s voice involves eliminating distractions that would drown it out. It involves an intentionality and expectation that God is speaking and we want to hear what He is saying.
Are you listening for God’s voice in your life? Are you seeking Him through His Word and prayer? Are you gathering with God’s people for Bible study and worship? Are you seeking godly counsel from mature believers who point you back to the Scriptures?
God speaks in a whisper.
Are you listening?
(For more posts from Tim McKnight, click here.)
Tim is the Director of the Global Center for Youth Ministry and Associate Professor for Youth Ministry & Missions at Anderson University. He is lead pastor/planter of Mosaic Church of Anderson. Tim is also the author of Engaging Generation Z (Kregel Academic), No Better Gospel (Seeds Publishing Group), and the author and editor of Navigating Student Ministry (B&H Academic). His comments do not reflect the views of his employers and are his own personal views on various subjects.