I am more convinced than ever at how the Lord communicates with those who love Him and seek His guidance. Obviously He Lords over all things in the heavens and on the earth with unlimited power to do as He wishes, but how He chose to communicate with His creations is a mystery hidden right before our eyes in plain sight.
In the book of 1 Kings 19:11-13 there is a beautiful passage that exemplifies this point:
In this particular passage the Lord appears to His prophet Elijah. “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.”
Elijah was a great prophet, one selected by the Lord to do His messengering to His people. In those days prophets developed a rapport with God more openly than we seem to experience today. We read many passages where there were literally full conversations covering passages of what God said to His chosen and what they said back to God. The fact that such narratives are written in the Holy Bible says a lot because it has been preserved for eternity. Our belief or acceptance of this is not as relevant as the fact that it was preserved for later generations over many thousands of years into the future. But, what are we to gain from this?
What I gleam from this passage is how faithful Elijah was to God in spite of those in authority seeking to take his life. Although admirable within itself, it was about the relationship between God and one of His prophets for a specific reason covering a particular point in time. But what I gleam more is the manner in which God presented Himself to Elijah. Imagine when the Spirit of God passed through it created a great and powerful wind, then an earthquake, followed by a fire and in all these natural forces Elijah did not perceive God in those natural phenomenon. Instead it was in a gentle whisper that followed afterwards and Elijah immediately recognized that God was in that quiet and gentle whisper.
Now bring this forward to our attempts to communicate with God today? It appears that there are so many natural disasters happening at an alarming frequency and people are so quick to think that God is punishing mankind for our wickedness and unrighteousness. But is God in those flamboyant natural disasters? Yes He allows them to happen but it is not as much that God wants you to fear Him but that He wants you to hear Him. In order to really hear Him you have to go past the physical bluster and listen attentively to that gentle whisper that calls you quietly by name. He is not in the thunder, lightening, earthquakes, fires, floods that the entire community acknowledges but in the gentle whisper that calls you by your name cautioning you to draw near in order to receive a message that is for you alone. If you are a child of God you will hear Him: God says:
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Many of these loud and disruptive disasters have a way of driving people into their worship houses but soon after, when things settle down, they go right back to their wickedness and unrighteousness. So what would be the point of a loud boisterous display when it is not personally directed to the ones that God are calling to Him? Those who do not wish to know or respect God will not change no matter how horrific the display may be. On the other hand for those who so desperately want to know God and to establish an intimate personal relationship, He whispers… and call them by name, as was the case with Elijah. Then God gave Elijah specific instructions, which he followed and then Elijah was restored and respected again by the people as God’s messenger… and the people followed him.
What does this say to you right now? In spite of all the frequent natural disasters going on around you…they are not really directed towards the children of God. They already know that even in the event of death, absence the body is present with the Lord so the ultimate sting of death has been removed. But, if God’s children are drifting away on a dangerous path away from Him, He will whisper and call them by name cautioning them to seek Him while He can be found. Turn and face Him and receive His instructions so they will be restored to their rightful position in the Kingdom of Heaven.
The 15th verse of the previously quoted passage, God says:
“Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”
Imagine when you start hearing that quiet still voice of God and began to respond to Him acknowledging that you hear Him, then you get His attention, (eyes will open and hears attentive) so speak to Him as would a child to a loving Father. Selah!