This is a post from one of my students from Ashland Theological Seminary, Dr. Darrell Williams. It is reposted with his permission. If you appreciate this blog, please send Darrell a thank you note at firstname.lastname@example.org
“11 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” (I Kings 19:11-12 NKJ)
In I Kings 19 we read of the prophet Elijah dealing with the earth, the wind and fire. Elijah was on the run from the evil Jezebel for his obedience to God concerning the false prophets. He took off on a journey into the wilderness. The angel of the Lord directed him to go and stand on the mountain. It is here that Elijah deals with earth, wind and fire. As Elijah stood on the mountain, a great wind came that was so strong that it broke the rocks of the mountains into pieces. We all have been in storms and experienced issues of life where it seemed that everything around us was falling apart. The Bible says the wind “broke the rocks into pieces” but notice it also says “but the Lord was not in the wind.”
As Elijah continued to stand on the mountain, an earthquake occurred; like so many of us the storms of life rage around us and as we are shaken pieces of our lives fall around us. We may begin to lose our footing and find ourselves in a state of panic. If the storm itself were not enough, now the very foundation of our lives is moving, unsteady. The Bible says “but the Lord was not in the earthquake….”
And finally there are the fires that spring up in life; the small sparks as well as the uncontrollable blazes; those issues that may test our patience as well as our perseverance. For pastors, it sometimes seems that congregations have several “small fires” burning throughout the church at all times. Despite your wise counsel and fervent prayer, Sister XYZ married the guy who could not even spell “LORD”, and now she and her “husband” are having marital difficulties. THERE IS A FIRE BURNING. Deacon XY has been way out of order in his duties; the congregants are beginning to notice so you must deal with him. THERE IS A FIRE BURNING. The pipes burst in the church from the cold weather and Trustee Y doesn’t have the “time” to handle the business to have it repaired therefore service may have to be canceled or moved to another location and it’s Friday. THERE IS A FIRE BURNING. The Bible says “the Lord was not in the fire.”
Throughout the earthquake, the wind, and the fire the Lord was not in any of them. But in verse 12 it says “a still small voice” was where He could be found. When you are faced with the trials and issues of life you must position yourself in a place to hear that still small voice of God. Your building/temple of your physical body may be breaking into pieces with the foundation of all you have ever known shaking around you, fires and flames hot against your face but the Lord can be heard in that still small voice if you seek Him.
Notice where Elijah was when this happens, he was on a mountain alone; by himself. When was the last time you went away by yourself to seek the face of God? It could be somewhere in your own home that is peaceful and quiet free of distractions or for pastors it could be at the church. The Lord told me that He wants to speak to you while you try and handle the earth, wind and fires in your life. But when He speaks you MUST recognize HIS voice!
So be encouraged even during your storms, the earthquakes and fires of life that the Lord is still there yet take a lesson from Elijah and go to that quiet place and meet God there.
Concentrate on the last sentence of this letter. As the words get smaller it is more difficult to read. The big letters are easy to see but as the letters get smaller you must look more closely. The Lord is waiting to talk to YOU.
How will He do it? In a still small voice!