1 Kings 19:9-13
“There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks 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. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
Recently, Treva and I were on the road and listening to a music playlist I had put together for our trip. In the middle of an artist singing a song about New Orleans, I said the clarinet player on the recording sounded like Pete Fountain. Through the magic of the internet, Treva searched, and “boom!” I was correct. How did I know that? I am familiar with the nuances of his playing style, phrasing, grace notes, and tone. I have listened to his recordings and even got a chance to play with him when I was a teen.
We can recognize the voice of God by reading His recordings (Bible), speaking with Him through prayer, and hearing from His messengers in worship. Learning His character, nuances, truth, and nature by cultivating a personal relationship. God will use dramatic means to get your attention when necessary, but His goal is for you to be so closely connected to Him that you’ll pay attention whenever He speaks to you.
God not only wants you to hear His Word, He wants us to obey His Word. The more you get to know the real thing, the more you can spot an imposter. Be intentional in looking for the wonderful treasures in scripture through name and place, translations, chronological events, and the culture of the period. You may be amazed how His Word comes alive on the page and in you.
There are many voices out there; who you gonna listen to?
While using the HEAR method with today’s passage, take some time to listen to what God might be saying to you.
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you?
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?
Jim Sellers, Minister of Music and YAH Director