The Gentle Whisper

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It’s not what you say to everyone else that determines your life, but it’s what you whisper to yourself that has great power. The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts. The mind is your battleground and the place where the greatest conflict resides.

In 1 Kings 19, we find Elijah fleeing for fear of his life from Jezebel after killing the prophets of Baal. Elijah found refuge in a cave on Mount Horeb before being called out by God and speaking, “I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too” (verse 10).

1 Kings 19:9
There he came to a cave, where he spent the night. But the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

God speaks to us through his Word, his spirit, and his people, and our desire to hear him is inadequate by comparison to his desire to speak to us. We pray while we drive, listening to the radio and changing lanes, always multitasking in our lives, but he’s focused.

1 Kings 19:11-13
11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

Remember that Elijah looked for God in the wind (confusion), the earthquake (uncertainty), and the fire (pressure), but he heard him in the whisper. When Elijah heard that still, small voice, he stepped out of his cave and listened to what God told him.

Most of us will never see the fire fall like it did on Mount Horeb, and if we only look for God in those things, we may miss him in the quiet, ordinary, and unseen gentle sounds in our life. Maybe that’s why so many missed the birth of a carpenter’s son in a cow stall.

David first heard God whisper when he was a young shepherd and he then heard God’s voice everywhere. He described God’s voice as the “most gentle whisper.”

What really caused Elijah to run away (1 Kings 19:1-3)? What causes us to run and hide away? What is God saying to you today? What are the benefits of listening?

Next Steps:
As you begin each day, be mindful and take a second to think about what a privilege it is to simply be alive and healthy. We must quiet our lives, voices, and our thoughts so that we can hear. The problem is not God’s failure to speak but our failure to listen.

Abba, Father, thank you for surprising us with your love and grace. Help us to quiet our voices, our hearts, and our lives so that we can hear your gentle whisper and listen. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.

This post was written by Gary Schnabel, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.

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5 replies
  1. Barb
    Barb says:

    Beautifully written! At the beginning of the new year, the reminder of how God comes near to us in a gentle whisper in the midst of loud, chaotic or swirling circumstances is so powerful.

  2. Julie Estep
    Julie Estep says:

    It’s so hard to find quiet in the business of every day life sometimes. Thank you for encouraging us to slow down and listen for the gentle whisper of our loving father. Thank you Gary!

  3. Jeffery Ovens
    Jeffery Ovens says:

    Masterful selection for the introdutory groundwork for the 21 Days of Prayer.
    Perfectly timed induction to pray for an overwhelming participation by God’s Children to “Get on Track for Growth.

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