Contributor: Esther Alajiki
In the last 2 weeks, we started to look at ways in which the Holy Spirit leads us. We learnt that the Holy Spirit is Person of God Himself and His Presence. Since He was gifted to the church, He has not stopped speaking to us and fulfilling His role as our Helper, and also we also discussed His leading as an “inward witness” point of view.
Our text reveals that our God is a sovereign God, He reveals Himself in diverse ways, He can reveal Himself in majestic ways as in the strong wind, the earthquake, and fire and He can decide to come as a still small voice. Whichever way He chooses we must realize that God lovingly speaks to us as we need. Because He is God, He is not confined to a single manner of communicating with His people. He is said to communicate through a whirlwind (Job 38:1), to announce His presence by an earthquake (Exodus 19:18), and to speak in a voice that sounds like thunder (1 Samuel 2:10; Job 37:2; Psalm 104:7; John 12:29). In Psalm 77:18 His voice is compared to both thunder and a whirlwind. And in Revelation 4:5, we’re told that lightning and thunder proceed from the throne in heaven.
Why a Still, Small Voice?
1. It was what Elijah needed
In this moment Elijah didn’t need the power and strength of wind, an earthquake, or a fire. Elijah needed the calming reassurance of God’s presence. God knew this and he met him in that manner. The Mount Carmel incident could have been spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting for Elijah and for it to have been followed by a death threat?? He was in a fragile state – even requesting suicide. God came to him in a still small voice as he often does to us when there seems to be chaos around us, God is the one who chooses how he comes to us.
2. It revealed the tender nature of God
God deals with us more often than not with grace and loving-kindness. The God of fire and brimstone draws us to himself by his kindness, his mercy, his compassion and love. Romans 2:4 God met his brokenness with tenderness.
3. It was a foreshadowing of things to come
All throughout Scripture we see God from time to time move in dramatic ways. In the book of Acts on the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came upon them. The infilling of the Holy Spirit in our lives is not always with thunder and our experience is mostly with a calm, reassuring sense of God’s presence that you carry with you from day to day.
4.It is the place that God speaks from
There is one more thing I find in the significance of God appearing to Elijah in a gentle whisper. In 1 Kings 19 after God appeared in the gentle whisper, he spoke to Elijah. I believe this is the same way he speaks to us when we need it. Apostle Paul in (1 Thess. 5:14). “admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all” reflects diverse ways of reaching out. Our Father generally uses that which is soft, tender, gentle, quiet, calm, peaceful most times.
We must make room for his presence and you must tune our ears to his voice, the ones who hear God speak most often are the ones who have prepared themselves to listen. Most people will not hear God speak audibly; you may hear God speaking to your heart through prayer, or you may hear God speaking to you through reading the Bible. Jesus has left us with an advocate and helper who lives within all believers.
Without being filled with the Spirit, we cannot be led by Him, (Romans 8:14). The Holy Spirit of God can lead us through the still small voice to fulfil His role in our lives, He is our helper who teaches and reminds (John 14:26, ESV). The Greek word “Parakletos” “Helper” (ESV) “Advocate” (NIV), and “Counsellor” (KJV). He gives us “legal counsel.” HE convicts the world of sin (John 16:7-8, ESV). HE dwells in believers and fills them (1 Corinthians 3:16, ESV), HE is the source of revelation, wisdom, and power (1 Corinthians 2:10-11). HE guides to all truth, including knowledge of what is to come. HE is called the “Spirit of Truth” in John 16:13. HE gives us spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). HE is God’s seal in our lives (Ephesians 1:13). HE helps in our weakness and intercedes for us (Romans 8:26-27). HE works to renew, sanctify, and make us holy and partakers of eternal life. (Romans 8:10-11). HE sanctifies and enables us to bear the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25). The still small voice is not a hearing of the mind, nor it is of the intellect, it comes directly from Christ Himself. It is God Himself speaking to us through the Holy Spirit.
The point of God speaking in the still small voice was to show Elijah that the work of God need not always be accompanied by dramatic revelation or manifestations. Divine silence does not necessarily mean divine inactivity. Zechariah 4:6 tells us that God’s work is “not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” meaning that overt displays of power are not necessary for God to work. Hearing from God is more of an art than a science. The more we learn it, the readier we will be to recognize His voice when He speaks, hearing from Him must be valued and practiced. It is a lifelong lifestyle and walk. God is a living Person and not an inanimate force. He can be wooed and He can be grieved. He can be received and He can be shunned. He can be valued and he can be rejected. As powerful as God is his presence so often shows up in the gentlest, most loving fashion. Regardless of your situation, God cares. He is not too busy to meet with you. The Holy Spirit has never stopped speaking since the time of Pentecost. The bigger issue is are you listening?
God is inviting you in. “Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David”. Isaiah 55:3