If you’re anything like I am, you’re very busy! You’ve got work, maybe kids, volunteering, church activities, maybe school or continuing education for work, etc. The list is virtually endless. There is simply never quite enough time in the day to get it all done. As a Christian, you know you’re supposed to get in devotional/prayer time every day, but it just doesn’t seem doable. And sometimes you wonder if it will help at all.
I have to tell you the truth; you & I are created for intimate & constant fellowship with our Creator. Without listening to His voice, no matter how much time it takes to hear it, we are powerless against our adversary Satan. God is many things, among them our General in (spiritual) battle. Even the best-armed army couldn’t win battles if they didn’t consult their leader first. So it is with you & me. If we do not daily consult with our “General” (i.e. God), we will be defeated by Satan. “I pray every day,” you say. Good! The Bible tells us to “pray without ceasing”. But there is more to any relationship, including our relationship with God, than us talking to Him: we must also listen to God speak to us!
1Kings 19:9-13 recounts to us Elijah’s encounter with God. The first point of interest to us in this passage is in verse 9 when the Lord asks Elijah, “What are you doing here?”. In other words, “Are you seriously seeking an encounter with me?”. We should note that at this point Elijah was fearfully hiding out in a cave, fleeing Queen Jezebel. God was asking Elijah if he really wanted to know what His will was, or did he want to continue to wallow in fear? That is God’s question to you & me; “Are you really ready for what I am about to say?” Elijah responded honestly, confiding in God his deepest fears & shortcomings. As we see here, when we are honest with God, He reveals Himself to us.
Verse 12 tells us that when Elijah allowed God to lead him to the place where he was ready to hear from Him (in this case the lonely & probably frightening side of the mountain), Elijah was then bombarded with the noise of the rest of the world: whirlwind, earthquake, & fire (swirling & overwhelming circumstances, a shaking up of our lives such as job loss, &/or destruction of something precious to us).
This brings us home to where I was going with this. When we most desperately need guidance from God is when the world &/or Satan chime in & try to drown out His voice. As with Elijah, God’s voice more often than not comes to us in a quiet whisper. But notice that Elijah waited through the noise & chaos. He waited hear upon the Lord. And look what happened: God spoke!
Likewise, when we sacrifice the time to wait upon God to hear His voice no matter what it takes, we will be richly rewarded. God did indeed speak to Elijah, fearful & faithless though he was. And although we are at least as inadequate, God wants to speak to us if we seek Him as diligently as did Elijah (imagine the spiritual hunger it took to stay on that mountain through a whirlwind, an earthquake, & a fire!)
We as fallen, sinful human beings cannot find within ourselves that level of spiritual diligence. So if we want to hear from God & be in HIs presence, we must ask Him to grant us an insatiable hunger & thirst for Him. In Genesis 3 we see that our post-sin instinct is to go the opposite direction from God right when we most need Him. But Elijah’s story of relentless pursuit of God also tells us that God can & will change that if we ask Him to.
So my closing challenge to you today is; go before the Lord, & ask Him to implant within you an insatiable longing to hear His voice.
“You will seek me & find me when you search for me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13