I’m delighted to have a guest on my blog today – this post is written by Simcha Natan (you can read more about her at the bottom of the post). I’ve been thinking about how we hear God myself lately, so this is very apt. Welcome, Simcha!
“After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire.
And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”
1 Kings 19:12
Where do you best hear God?
I think we have been fooled into thinking that the louder the volume, the more God is present. We go searching for this in the worship nights, the conferences, the music, maybe even in a book. We find ways to get a spiritual high, that we automatically assume is God. So we get used to having a roller coaster relationship with God – we equate spiritual highs with him feeling close, and the lows with him feeling far away.
What God actually wants is some peace and quiet! That is not to say that he can’t be found in all those other things – by his grace he chooses to speak in many different ways, including noisy ways too! But in the scripture above, God showed Elijah that although earthquakes and fires make more of impression, more impact and more noise, he wasn’t found there.. he was found in a gentle whisper.
The thing about a whisper is that in order to hear it, you have to intentionally listen. Very few can intentionally listen to someone with noise all around you. It could be visual noise, it could be emotional noise, it could be family noise. Whatever the noise is, we have to make a way to find quiet, where we can hear his whisper. We have to position ourselves to hear the whisper, to incline our ear towards him.
When we hear his whisper, we realise more of who he is, and in reaction to that, who we truly are. It is in these moments and these realisations that we start to comprehend which dreams that we have in our hearts are really aligned with his dreams for us, and which are just human, empty aspirations.
“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.”
‘Quiet whisper’ in 1 Kings 19 can also be translated as a ‘still, small, voice’. There is a difference between quiet and stillness.
I always imagine those scenes in the movies where time is suspended, and everything stops moving. It’s not just the noise that is stopped, but movement also hangs in suspension.
‘Be still before the Lord…”
To hear his still, small voice, we must also be still. Stop the movement, imagine your current life suspended, like the movie scene, where you can really see everything that’s going on, every detail held like a statue. You can walk around inside the scene and truly see it all for what it is.
When the scriptures tell us to ‘wait patiently’, it implies a lack of doing. Waiting involves not doing something that we could be doing, or that we were doing.
The combination of being still and waiting is a powerful one. It allows God to show us the reality is of what’s going on around us, as well as giving him the opportunity to show what our next action should be.
The reassurance in doing this is that we need not fret!
We are so great at fretting, especially when we are waiting. We hear the earthquake and worry that God’s voice passed us by. We see the fire, and fret that God was there – after all, he spoke to Moses with fire… We start to panic that we’ve missed his voice or his call entirely, that these same circumstances will never come together again in the same way.
We worry in our lives that this opportunity demanding our attention won’t be there forever, and that someone else will do it first or better if we don’t respond now.
But God is found in the stillness, and in the quiet.
There is no fretting in God. There is only peace and perfect timing for those who wait patiently and tune their ears to his still, small, whisper.
Simcha lives in Northern Israel in a small town near Caesarea, with her husband and three children. As well as writing, Simcha works for Ascend Carmel Worship and Intercession programs where she is part of the leadership team. She also works freelance for Ascend Music, a music and video production company.
Simcha’s first book, ‘Dare to Ask’ came out in May 2017. It was always intended to be an album, and Simcha is actively working on producing this in the near future. She continues to write music, lead worship and serve on worship teams as well as enjoying speaking engagements and being a mom.
Simcha is committed to seeing perspective shifts in this and the next generation, that we would understand that we can wrestle for more, and remain at rest.
Find her at www.simchanatan.com
Bible quotations are from the New International Version (NIV).