Hindrances to Hearing
1 Kings 19:8-18
Have you ever put a seashell to your ear? The common belief is that if you do so, and if you stay perfectly still and quiet, then you can hear the sound of the ocean inside the shell. It seems unlikely, yet when we try it, we always seem to hear something, don’t we?
There are many things in life that we simply cannot hear until we become quiet and focus our hearing intently. When we concentrate on a shell, we hear the ocean. But what can we expect if we turn our attention to God?
In today’s passage, we see Elijah in desperate need of a word from the Lord. First a mighty wind blows through the mountains where he is resting, but God is not in the wind. Then an earthquake shakes the very ground, but God isn’t in the earthquake, either. Finally, a brilliant, consuming fire appears, but Elijah knows this is also not God.
Then, after the dramatic occurrence of these three mighty forces—all of which could have been a fine representation of God’s power—the Lord approaches in a gentle breeze. And Elijah recognizes Him immediately.
God does not always speak to us in the way we expect. It is possible to expend so much energy searching for Him in the powerful, distracting “noise” of life that we can overlook His most intense call—which often comes through silence.
What might God be whispering to you today? Calm your mind and become quiet before Him; He may just shock your senses with His compelling, small voice.
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