Waiting for the Whispers


The Bible invites all of us to be still before the Lord – not because stillness is somehow more holy than noise, but that we might hear His gentle whisper.

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him. (Psalm 37:7)

One of the things that probably most of us find hard to do is to wait. Waiting is not easy at the best of times; but after a time of great activity or excitement, it can almost be unbearable. That’s how Elijah felt after the exciting demonstrations of God’s power in the contest with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. He was now completely exhausted – so exhausted that when Queen Jezebel merely threatened him, he simply ran. What he needed to experience right now was not God’s power, but God’s presence.

In fact, that’s exactly what God brought him. As Elijah stood on the mountain, a great wind came, followed by an earthquake and fire. These were all traditional ways in which God had manifested His power; but, no doubt to his surprise, God appeared in none of them, but rather in “the sound of a gentle whisper” (1 Kings 19:12, NLT). What Elijah needed to do was to simply stop and listen; and as he did so, he heard God’s whisper.

The Bible invites all of us to be still before the Lord – not because stillness is somehow more holy than noise (in fact, the Bible has far more to say about vibrant, expressive worship than silent worship!); but because being still gives us the opportunity to experience what we might otherwise miss. Being still allows us to “know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) and to hear God speak, like Elijah did that day. Being still is a challenge to us westerners with our busy lifestyles; but being still and waiting carries a promise with it, that “they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31, KJV).

If you have been busy recently, running through life at full pelt, God invites you to stop today, to wait for His whispers, and to be ready to hear His voice, just as He promised.

But as for me, I will look to the Lord, I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. (Micah 7:7, NRSV)

Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont

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