One of my favorite passages can be found in 1 Kings 19. It is the story of Elijah being in the presence of God and hearing His voice.
“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 entrance of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him that said, ‘What are you doing here Elijah?’”
I’m going to go bible student on you for a second because you have to understand what was so profound about this series of events:
In the Ancient Near East they had a lot of thoughts about gods. They actually had a lot of gods, period. But in their thoughts about gods they thought that the events that happened to/on the earth such as wind, earthquakes, fire, etc. happened it was one of their gods expressing their satisfaction or dissatisfaction. If something happened to your family it was thought that the gods were unhappy with you. And so the people would worship and offer sacrifices to these gods in order to appease their anger and thus so nothing would happen to their families. Well, God wasn’t like the gods that the Ancient Near East knew, everything that was practiced and thought about these gods was contrary to the God that the Israelites worshiped.
And thus, God revealed himself in a still small voice.
God wanted Elijah to understand that He wasn’t found where the culture and understanding of the people would assume that He was to be found, but instead that our God, a God of relationship who speaks to His people, was found in the least likely place. I love that, probably because I’m a talker myself. To me words and language are so personal. They allow you to tell your story, to express who you are but they also allow you to know other people and to be brought into the world that you can’t see.
Well the point of this blog wasn’t to talk about Elijah, although tempting but instead it is to talk about the “still small voice” the whisper of God. Have you ever heard a whisper from God? I think sometimes it comes about as a thought that we know we would never have thought of by ourselves. Sometimes it is a gut feeling that fills you from the very depth of your being, it tells you what you are to do, say and feel. Often times it comes as we are reading the bible, because “hello!” that is the word of God! Sometimes it comes to us from other people, because well God loves relationships so He uses our relationships to bring about His words. And sometimes He speaks.
I’ve been asked by quite a few people about what I mean when I say that God spoke to me and honestly sometimes I can’t tell. Sometimes I can’t tell if it was a voice or a thought, all I know is that He spoke to me. This isn’t a head kind of know though, this is a very core of my being kind of know. Have you ever had that kind of know. That being said I do know one time in the past couple of months were a heard God audibly and it caused me to stop in my tracks.
I like to go on adventures. They are my absolute favorite. Probably because I’m so curious about the world. I want to see and experience everything that is around me. So often I will be going along and I’ll see something that sparks my interest, a store, lake, etc. so I’ll stop and check it out. This is a completely normal experience for me. The 4th of July I spent by myself in Boston on the Esplanade with thousands of other people. It was awesome and something I still need to write about but, that really is not a normal thing for a single 20 something to do.
Anyways… a few months ago I was driving home in the evening at about 7:30ish in the evening and I passed the start of a trail that I had noticed a couple of times before. Every time I passed it my interest was piqued, so in Kaitlin fashion I pulled in. Now it did not cross my mind that it was 7:30 PM and at any moment it was going to get dark. Nor did it cross my mind that there were NO other cars around. No one knew where I was or what I was doing. All I thought was hmmm I wonder where that goes, I’m sure it’s beautiful!! So I read the sign and started down the tree covered trail.
I had walked possibly 10 steps when God spoke. “STOP! Turn around, get back into your car and come back when you are with someone else.” The word stop was spoken with force but the rest was an urgent, soft whisper. And I didn’t think twice. I turned right around, walked out of the trail, got into my car and drove home.
And as I drove home I realized what could have happened to me. That I am a single girl of 23. No one knew where I was and no one was expecting me at any particular time. I could have been walking into a dangerous situation but I will never know. What I do know is that the still small voice of the Lord spoke and I responded.
And I think that’s the point. God speaks. His still small voice is still very active today. And if we are willing to respond it will change everything. The question is, Are we listening?
How do you hear from God? Do you think that you hear from God?
Have you ever experienced anything like I did, where after the fact you realize that
God could have been preventing something from happening?