There is a Bible story that I love which you might be familiar with. In 1 Kings 19 the prophet Elijah had fled and hid in a cave due to a death threat from Queen Jezebel.
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. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:11-13).
A gentle whisper. That is so beautiful to me, to think of the Lord speaking to us in a gentle whisper. But I believe it also reveals a lot as well. Many Christians say that God does not speak to them. God does speak to His children. But could it be that either we are not listening or we have too much noise that drowns God out?
In today’s society we have a lot of “noise” all around us. Noise can be literal noise, such as talking, the radio, television, etc. Many people cannot stand silence and always have to have noise of this kind. I am sure we all know someone who has to turn on the radio when they are driving. But noise can also be figurative noise. Many of us tend to stay very busy, running from one thing to the next. We might be in a quiet room, but we do not slow down long enough to notice it. I have learned that if we want to hear from God, we need to turn down the noise in our lives.
When my husband and I travel to the mountains, we often stay in a cabin. I remember one particular cabin had a sign hanging up that I loved. On the sign were these words: “Let us be silent so that we may hear the voice of God.” So simple and beautiful, yet so profound.
How exactly do we turn down the noise and hear from God?
1 – Spend quiet time with Him daily. This includes reading your Bible and praying, but we need time to sit quietly as well. Too often our “quiet” time with God is filled with our petitions. It is also essential that we sit quietly and allow the Lord to speak to us.
2 – Ask the Lord to speak to you. I do this a lot, especially when I am trying to make a particular decision. God wants to be a part of our lives, but He might be waiting for us to take that step towards Him.
3 – Get outdoors. There is something special about being outside in nature. I always feel closer to God when I have only the sky above. You can take a prayer walk and listen for His gentle whisper.
4 – Remove noise. In your daily routines, try to lay aside things that are “noisy.” This could mean taking some activities off of your plate if you know you are doing too much. And it could also mean spending less time on social media, so you have more time with God. We have so many things coming at us, our heads become filled with the world. We need to make space in our hearts for the Lord’s gentle whisper.
Let’s make it our goal to consistently seek God and His gentle whisper!
© 2020 Bridget A. Thomas