It is amazing what the quiet holding of the soul before the Lord will do to the external and seemingly uncontrollable tumult around us. It is in that stillness that the voice will be heard.
A Lamp For My Feet (pg 104) By Elizabeth Elliot
And after the earthquake a fire;
but the LORD was not in the fire:
and after the fire a still small voice.
1 Kings 19:12
Elizabeth Elliot is one of my favorite authors. She writes with such love and passion for the Lord. The books that I have read written by her have inspired me to seek God in such a way. I can’t imagine that God would use me the way that He uses her through her experiences and books but to know that if I make myself available He will use me in some way within the world He has placed me. As long as I am in tune with His voice…paying heed to the instructions He gives me for each step I take.
In that thought, it makes me wonder why it is so very hard for some Christians to hear God? One simple answer is sin. Sin in our lives blocks or grieves the Holy Spirit, it keeps God from working in our lives. It also keeps us from hearing God’s voice.
In meeting many Christians, it seems to me that there are at least three types. Those that are completely surrendered to God walking and growing with Him. Excited about who He is and what He is going to do each day. Being blessed in every way in their life, always giving God the glory.
Then there are those that are nominal. Going to church, mentioning God when convenient but never going deeper with Him than hearing a message on Sunday morning and singing a hymn or two. And the only way you would know that they were Christian is they pronounce which church they attend.
The third type of Christian is somewhat illusive. They know God. They believe God has done great things in other people’s lives but they often question whether He would do it in their life. They struggle in many areas. They are defeated, hopeless sometimes and even unsure that they ever really accepted Christ as their Savior. They go back and forth in their worship, their faith and their walk. What they don’t understand is that what they need is already indwelling in them.
The very same power that raised Jesus from the dead is living inside each one who professes Him as Savior. All one has to do is take time to get to know HIm. To watch Him work, weaving the good and bad in our lives into something beautiful. The secret is that He already knows everything about us. I love telling people that….cuz it is true. Scripture says He formed us in our mother’s womb and that He knows the very number of hairs on our heads. He knows how much we can take, He knows what to allow into our lives to keep us drawing near to Him.
I know there are those reading this who are probably saying what beautiful thing could possibly come out of a senseless death of my loved one? Or losing my job and my home? Being raped? My child being addicted to drugs? My marriage falling apart? Betrayal by adultery? Diagnoses of terminal cancer? Why on earth would God allow those things to happen to people, especially Christian people who have made the decision to trust God? This question is often asked especially when life is sooooo very hard to take. The truth is we live in a fallen world. The moment sin entered into the world, evil existed in our flesh & we began to die. Pretty much everything awful that happens can be associated with that fact. To many that answer is often inadequate.
While God is always present in every event of our lives he will not control what people do because He has given us free will. He does not promise a trouble free life but does promise He will never leave us nor forsake us. Often, we as Christians, are quick to question the purpose of God. We think we have to figure it out.
The Christian filled with the Holy Spirit will not question why but what, what do I do with this? The nominal Christian will lose faith or give into resignation and go on in their shallow faith. The struggling Christian will wonder if they themselves have caused God to punish them. They do not know God well enough to know that God does not strike down punishment on us as a cruel dictator. They won’t always understand that sometimes the trials that we go through are brought on by consequences of our sin or the sins of others, not punishment from God.
It is not hard to get to know Him. It just takes time. Time spent seeking Him. Conversing with Him. Getting alone with Him. Get to know Him first before you make judgement on Him. Give Him a chance to show His love for you. Allow Him to change your heart and life. Saturate your mind with His words. There is no formula except to spend time daily and consistantly. Otherwise what type of Christian will you be? Or want to be?
One of the things you will discover is that He is very, very personal. And only you can know if you hear His voice or not, because His voice becomes in tune with your heart and soul if poised to hear it.
To hear the still small voice when quiet before the Lord is the most incredible, indescribable thing you will every experience. I pray that you would desire that…
Grace to you