Speak to My Heart Oh Lord – My Daily Bread!
Our call to treasure the voice of the Lord is taken from 1 Kings 19: 11-13, NIV:
“The Lord said, Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by. 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. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.”
This awesome passage recounts the Prophet Elijah’s encounter with the Lord on Mount Horeb (Mount Sinai), when God appeared to comfort him in his darkest hour. 1 Kings Chapters 18 and 19 tell of Elijah’s greatest spiritual victories before the Nation of Israel – namely the defeat of the prophets of Baal and the end to the drought that had been foretold by him over three years earlier. After these great acts of faith in the Lord, Elijah despaired for his live because the Evil Queen Jezebel sought to kill him. And what did he do? “Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. I have had enough, Lord, he said. Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” (1 Kings 19: 3-4, NIV)
In the past God had displayed Himself in many spectacular ways to His people, so Elijah likely expected something grand when the Lord told him to look for Him on the mountain. But, behold God did something new! No doubt Elijah was familiar with how God had spoken to His people in the past: Job and his friends through a storm (Job 38: 1, 40:6); by an earthquake when he swallowed up Korah and others who rebelled against Aaron and Moses (Numbers Chapter 16: 31-35); by fire as the Lord consumed the sacrifices drenched in water in the contest between Elijah and the prophets of the false god Baal. (1 Kings 18: 36-38) These methods were fitting for large crowds to witness God in action!
But in this instance, God ministered to Elijah in a whisper! We know that a whisper is an intimate form of communication. One has to be close to even hear it and usually be very quiet and still or you might miss it. A whisper is typically directed toward one person, we generally do not try to whisper to a group of 10 people. But God gently whispered to His prophet and addressed the heart of his despair – He let Elijah know that He was not alone. (1 Kings 19: 14-18, NIV)
Oftentimes Saints at the heart of our despair is a feeling that we are alone, perhaps even that God has abandoned us in the midst of the very things He has called us to do. In those times it is hardest to stand on His promise that “the Lord will not reject His people; He will never forsake His inheritance”. (Psalm 94: 14, NIV) Elijah forgot that promise, even after God had used him in a mighty way. But God stirred up his heart such that he returned to the mission God gave him.
He can do the same for us. Do you need your heart stirred up? Well this is the time to go out and stand on the mountain of the Lord, in the presence of the Lord and listen for the whisper of God in your heart. Rejoice and be of good cheer, for you are not alone, God is with you! The Psalmist said it best: “When I said, my foot is slipping, your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” (Psalm 94: 18-19)
Saints, God is in the business of encouraging us one on one; so watch in hope for the Lord, wait on your Savior; hear the whisper of His voice; for “He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals His thoughts to man, He who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the earth – the Lord God Almighty is His Name.” (Amos 4: 13, NIV)
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