When my kids are home from school for any amount of time, whether it be Christmas break or spring break or summer, by the end, I’m ready to send them back. The fighting, the fits the mess – ugh! What I hate most is that I find myself having to raise my voice on a regular basis just to get their attention. It drives me crazy! Why can’t they just LISTEN UP when I talk in a normal “inside voice?” It’s infuriating.
How much do you enjoy screaming? Teens, do you enjoy yelling at your parents or siblings or friends to try to get a point across? I would venture to guess that for most of you, loud communication wouldn’t be your first choice. Nice, polite conversations would be your chosen form of dialogue.
How do we respond when someone shouts at us? Do we listen up, or do we recoil or throw our arms up in defense? Maybe we even move further away from the person doing the shouting.
So why then do you think it is that we want God to scream at us? We want His communication with us to be BIG and OBVIOUS and LOUD! How much do you think He enjoys having to communicate with us in that way?
In 1 Kings 18 the writer tells the story of Elijah. Most of you were taught this story. It takes place on Mount Carmel and Elijah calls on God to prove himself by bringing fire down on an alter – and God did it. It was an amazing show of God’s power and people turned from their false gods and chose to follow the one and only. Actually, to quote the Word they said: “The Lord – he is God! The Lord – He is God!” Pretty cool huh?
In the next chapter, Elijah is sitting alone under a tree praying to the Lord – he wanted to hear from Him. He wanted to be comforted. God told Elijah to go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord “for the Lord is about to pass by”. (That part gives me chills.)
11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
Notice, God chose not to show up in a loud and obvious manner but yet a small and gentle whisper.
How do we respond when someone whispers to us? We inch in closer so we can hear better. Sometimes we even put our ear right up to their mouths. When it’s a really special whisper, the deliverer may even cup a hand over your ear so only the two of you can share the words. If we want to hear, We have to listen up.
A whisper is so much more intimate – it draws the two people in communication closer together. Wouldn’t it make sense that our God would want to communicate in such an intimate way? In a manner in which we actually have to move closer to him to hear?
My goal is to stop asking the Lord to show up in some big way or to shout his answers concerning my life. My goal and I hope yours too is to begin to walk up to him, lean in and listen to his gentle whisper.
Part of living a life of authenticity is to live life the way God has called you to live it. But how can you expect to do that if you don’t ever listen to what it is he has to say to you?
I encourage you to stop waiting to hear God’s voice in the thunder and go to him so you can hear his whisper. There’s no telling what he’ll have to say if you’ll just be willing to sit close and listen.