There’s a story in the Bible about a prophet named Elijah who called down fire from heaven. It’s one of my favorites. If you’ve never read it…well, you should. You can find it in 1 Kings 18.
The story goes like this (Sharon version). Elijah challenged 400 false prophets of Baal to a duel. Elijah said, “Let’s see who worships the true God. Whoever calls down fire from heaven first wins!” So they each selected their animal of choice, a bull, and then loaded up on some firewood. Now these prophets of Baal shouted and danced around for hours trying to get their fire going. Elijah even teased them and asked if their god was on the toilet. Seriously, you can read it for yourself in verse 27.
After hours of this craziness, Elijah was ready for his turn to bring some fire. Elijah wanted to make a big statement, so before he did anything he dug some trenches and filled them all with water. Then he prayed. God moved in a BIG way.
1 Kings 18:38, “Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench….”
I’d say Elijah proved his point. Right after that he killed all 400 prophets of Baal, which made Queen Jezebel pretty stinkin mad. And a mad queen made Elijah scared. So he did something crazy…he ran for his life.
Let’s get this straight. God moved in a big way. I mean fire came down from heaven. Like real, hot, burn your face off fire! It soaked up the water and everything else. And now one little threat from a lady named Jezebel sends him running and hiding out in a cave.
We can hide all we want, but God always knows where we are. Hide under the sheets or hide in your work or your family or your busyness or anything else, but God will always find us. He’s like that. He always seems to know where we are. I mean if he knows how many hairs are on my head, I’m pretty sure He can find me hiding under the sheets. God did just that with Elijah. He saw him hiding in a cave and asked him what he was doing. He told him to go stand before him on the mountain.
As Elijah stood on the mountain a mighty windstorm came and hit the mountain. It tore right into it like an explosion, but the Lord was not in the wind. Then there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. Then there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire either. After the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard the whisper he wrapped his face in his cloak. He knew God was in that gentle whisper.
When Elijah finally stopped to hear the gentle whisper of God it changed his life. And saved it (you’ll have to go read the rest of the story to find out why and how).
God responded with gentleness to Elijah. So many times we wait for God to show up in some crazy explosive way, when the entire time he’s just whispering in our ear. Often it is the small seemingly insignificant things that ultimately determine our destiny. Hearing that gentle whisper changed Elijah’s life that day.
So my question to you is….are you listening for that gentle whisper or are you waiting for the explosion, earthquake and fire? If you’re waiting for something to knock you off your feet before you move, you may miss out on something really exciting that God has in store for you.
Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God…”
- Sharon Anderson