January 14, 2011

Whisper, Fire or Thunder?


Day 12 of 21

"Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.

 8 A third time the LORD called, "Samuel!" And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me."

   Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, "Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, 'Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.'" So Samuel went and lay down in his place."

Samuel 3:7-9

How do I recognize God's voice over the noise around me? How do I know it is Him if there is not crashing thunder or a burning bush? How can I be certain that what I am hearing from Him is really Him?

I have been asking these questions of myself over the past twelve days. I don't want to miss where He is leading me.

One of my favorite passages in the Old Testament can be found in 1 Kings;

"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. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 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 19:11-13

This passage serves as a reminder that God does not need to use great theatrics in order to speak. Sometimes I need to be still and quiet before Him so that I may hear His voice. (Psalm 46:16)


I may not always be able to discern God's voice above the noise but there are things I can do in order to assure I hear Him.

  • "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33
I have to be willing to let go of those things that take first place in my heart, making God second. This means that I have to let go of my people pleasing nature and focus on living to glorify God.

  • "I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You." Psalm 119:11
In order to know the plans that He has for me, I have to know what His word says. I have to be grounded in His truth and walking in it.

  • "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing." John 15:5
I must be committed to His ways and not my own.

  • "But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." 2 Corinthians 12:9 (see also Philippians 4:13)
I have to learn to lean on God's strength and not my own during times of trials. I must allow Him control instead of trying to carry the burden alone.

True faith is more than a rational conclusion or following family traditions. True faith is experienced and not affirmed. It is that "Aha!" moment when I finally discover that true joy, hope and power can only be found in a relationship with Christ.

That kind of faith is what drives me. That kind of faith is what compels me to do His will.
  

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