1 Kings 19:11 – 12 says, “And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”
On Sunday, Minister Allan delivered a sobering word entitled Who are you listening to? He highlighted that there are many voices which speak to us daily but ultimately we decide which ones to heed. These voices include that of the enemy, our own voice and the voice of God.
One of the most crippling tactics of the enemy is the expression of his voice through the medium of other people’s mouths. People can be the belt high notes of inspiration and just as quickly shift to generate quagmires of contention. While Christians should as far as possible attempt to remain within the first category, many of us find ourselves accusing Paul of being a criminal and in the same breath lauding him as a god. Because as humans, we often rely heavily on the people around us for encouragement and support, hurtful words from strangers and even more so our dear ones, can have pernicious effects. One could lose faith if he misses a job opportunity he worked hard for. It is difficult to cultivate joy when a baby is on the way to be cast into despair at a miscarriage. It is a distressing feeling to be plunged from the mountain top into the valley. Walking through the uncertainty of life is hardly a simple task and the words which have access to you in those moments oft have the ability to make or break you.
Elijah was no stranger to the paralysis of depression. He was a man who walked with God and had been used mightily in the destruction of Baal’s false prophets. This was the man God used to summon fire from heaven to cancel all doubt that truly, Jehovah Sabaoth is living. This was a man God allowed to dictate whether rain fell or was withheld. Yet Elijah was a man as we are. He was perturbed by the words of others. Not long after “all he had done” (1 Kings 19:1), Queen Jezebel threatened his life with the sword. This drove him to a place of hiding, demanding that God take his life. Sometimes our most disparaging opposition comes from people of high repute, casting all of our self-value to the lowest pits. Sometimes the burdens of life can push us to the degree of desiring death. Although Elijah had witnessed the work of God before, he had become fearful of the less potent word of man.
Nevertheless, God came to his rescue. Aside from His great power and majesty, He was not found in the earthquake, not in the fire, but in a still small voice. In spite of the storm raging around us, regardless of the slew of opinions we find ourselves drowning in time after time, we must push our way toward a quiet space where we can locate the still small voice of comfort and help. What is the Holy Spirit impressing on us? What is His Word saying to us? What has God said concerning our lives? When we relocate that sound of stability, the only opinion that matters, we will find the instructions we need, we will get up and we will ensure that we trod the necessary path. We will realign with purpose and ensure that our lives are not wasted. He will not let us down. As David did, we will encourage ourselves in the Lord, even in the toughness of the temporal, He can answer in the encouragement of others. In the confusion, we find Him not in the loudness of the fire and the earthquake but beyond that, in the space of a peaceable stillness; He is speaking, make sure you listen.