“There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the Lord came to him: ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ He replied, ‘I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.’ 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 19:9-13 (NIV)
This passage reminds me of the importance of stillness and silence before talking to God. He comes to us in gentle, quiet ways.
I have a habit—not necessarily a bad one—of consulting just about everyone I know before making an important decision. Different opinions and perspectives can be beneficial, and I enjoy gathering information and thinking through different possibilities and outcomes. In many situations, this process works in my favor.
However, when I’m trying to hear God, too many voices drown Him out. Other believers in my family and friends who give me sound godly advice are certainly a gift from the Lord, no doubt. But, it’s no replacement for the conversations, prayer, and relationship with God alone.
What prevents you from hearing God’s voice? What clutters your mind and begs for your attention? I challenge you to find your quiet and peaceful place, calm your mind, and then enter into prayer. The practice of stillness and silence helps you hear what God has to say.
- Amanda McClay