What does His voice sound like? Are you listening to voices other than the voice of God? Scripture illustrates this most important truth in 2 Kings Chapter 1, where Elijah had his great encounter with the prophets of Baal or more importantly with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You know the story, it was here that the God that answered by fire, well, He is God. After this great demonstration of the power and presence of God where God clearly spoke, we see Elijah running for his life. Believing lies and listening to voices other than the voice of God. What changed? What went wrong?
Elijah was a mighty man of God. He watched as Israel was spiritually hijacked by Jezebel, the heathen wife of Ahab, king of Israel. Baal was worshipped throughout Canaan and north into Tyre and Sidon. Baal was looked upon as the source of life and fertility; and among an agricultural people, every hill and mountain was dedicated to the Baal idols. Baal was seen as the god of fire and power. His symbol was a battle ax. Baal’s wife Asherah was the god of fertility and it was believed that they must be worshiped for crops and animals to multiply and flourish.
In a farming community, to worship Baal meant the promise of an abundance of crops and cattle, which in turn meant wealth and power. With the focus of the religion being on power and fertility (productiveness, productivity), it brought with it an obsession with sex. The temples of Baal were served by armies of priests and priestesses, all who were sacred prostitutes to be enjoyed in worshipping the deities.
Baal was synonymous with every from of sexual immorality and materialism, and greed. Sounds like many of the same parallels of today’s society.
Elijah had thought that a display of God’s omnipotence, before the eyes of apostate Israel, would change their hearts. However, in this Divine Encounter, God dramatically showed Elijah that the presence he sought for Israel, and now for Elijah’s own troubled spirit, was not in a show of His power. Almightiness will cause a man to acknowledge that God is, but it does not describe the heart of God.
Mount Carmel had showed the futility of Baal worship, but it had not changed the heart of Jezebel or the people. Elijah did not need God’s power, but rather God’s presence, which reveals His love and grace, and is the means of hearing His voice, which brings about healing and direction.
All the “Elijah’s of the world” want God to change people. Deal with them in power so they will repent and ask Him for mercy and confess how wrong they have been. They want those who have hurt them to apologize and ask for forgiveness. Elijah’s always want God to fix the problem.
But God is not power-hungry God who throws his weight around demanding people obey Him. Rather when God speaks His voice carries with it the weight of His love and grace! He does not coerce people with power, but opens their eyes from within, as they hear His loving and compassionate caring voice. After running from the threat of Jezebel, Elijah’s hid out in a cave. How many times have we done the same? To hide in a cave is to “admit defeat”; imagine that, the great man of God Elijah the bold one hiding in defeat because of an evil woman. Remember, he had just experienced the power of God conquering her gods yet now he is trembling in fear of his life.
How often do we do the same? We get distracted by all noise of life. Six weeks into his hiding God shows up and asks Elijah what he was doing hiding in a cave of defeat? No, God did not show up six weeks late because He was there all along, but Elijah didn’t know how to hear God’s voice. So, he has that in common with many a Christian today.
Upon hearing God, Elijah answered, “the queen threatened to kill me, and I had to run, because I’m the only one you’ve got left. Elijah’s “me only” mentality is also like many today. Notice: Gods rely, “that’s funny the last time I counted I had 6999 other prophets and you make 7000. God told Elijah come here my son, stand at the month of the cave. I am going to perform an outdoor drama for you since you like power encounters so much. I am going to pass by you.
God passed before Elijah in the form of an earthquake, a mighty wind, and fire— great powerful destructive forces. Much like the powerful demonstration of the Mount Carmel experience of God answering by fire, there was a paradox in the drama that God staged for Elijah. God had said, I am going to pass by you, but after every one of those events the Bible says, but God was not in it.
Three times God said, I am going to pass by you, but God wasn’t in it. Why did God stage a drama with such powerful forces, only to be absent from them Himself? God was demonstrating that ultimately everything in life is of Him. God was saying that I take the trials and problems of life that you and the devil make and change them into something that I may use as a blessing. I am a part of these outer things in your life, including your soul fluctuations, but I am not in them, I use them, but they are not Me.
The scriptures continue in 1 Kings 19, saying that Elijah then heard “a still, small voice…” Some translations say, “A silent wind.” Elijah did not hear anything, that was audible, but Elijah knew that he was in the presence of God. He took his mantle and wrapped it over his face.
God was saying, this is how I talk to you, Elijah. I do not talk to you in all that noise. I speak to your spirit in silence. It is not about the miracles that I am doing that is most important it is Me.
What is most important? As you live in My presence— you experience my love— that is really living. His still, small voice was not making any noise compared to those great disturbances. But in the stillness, in the silence, Elijah knew he was in the presence of God. It is in His presence that we hear His voice and experience Life As God Intended.
Will you quiet your heart today and live from His presence, in the secret place of the most High, in the inner Holy of Holies your human spirit where God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit lives?
Living the Victorious Life
Living the Victorious Life
Living the Victorious Life