In the last several of post we have been looking at the encounter between God and Elijah and if you need to review Elijah’s encounter with God you can click here. Here is what we have covered so far in looking at this encounter. We looked at how even when running from God, Elijah still had an encounter with God. We also looked at how God will ask us questions in an encounter with Him so that we can learn in the encounter and not because God does not know the answer. We saw how sometimes we need to have our physical needs taken care of before we can have a God encounter. We also saw that fasting is something that is a part of encountering God. There is also the fact that sometimes we do not like what God says in an encounter with Him. We also saw last time that the best way to deal with discouragement is action or being put to work by God.
Let us look at the last couple of thought on the encounter between Elijah and God. Here is the first thing to grasp today; you can get encouragement in an encounter with God. Elijah had been used greatly of God in his life; there was an anointing upon his life. For three and a half years at the brook Cherith, God supernaturally provided for his food by ravens. Then he went to the town of Zarephath where Elijah miraculously provided for his needs by a widow and her son with a small amount oil and flour that did not run out during a famine. Then when the widow’s son died, Elijah raised him from the dead. There was the famous confrontation with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel that where Elijah prayed and God sent fire from heaven. In spite of all that God did for him, Elijah got discouraged.
This means that perhaps you have been used of God in the past but now you are discouraged and feel all alone. Know that you are not alone – Elijah thought he was the only one who was faithful but God showed him that he was not alone. He was not the only one out there – he felt like he was but the truth is that there were seven thousand like Elijah as he was reminded by God in 1 Kings 19:18. Discouragement gets us thinking poorly – we think negatively and we think we are the only ones but as we see – these are lies and tools of the enemy. Let us not fall for this but look to the positive and know we are not alone.
Do not miss this last point in the encounter – sometimes God encounters us in quiet ways, not with extreme physical manifestations. We many times expect God to be in the big and mighty things but we are so far off when we think that is the only way that God works. When Elijah stood before the presence of God, first he experienced a mighty rushing wind, but God was not in the wind. Next Elijah experienced an earthquake that shook the rocks, but God was not in the earthquake. Then Elijah saw a fire but God was not in the fire. God revealed Himself to Elijah in a still, small voice.
All too often we think we have to yell, be loud, get angry, speak ill of others or a situation to get our point across but God has shown us something very different here. God doesn’t need to yell to get our attention and we do not need to yell, scream, or make a scene to make a point – we need to get quieter like God did with Elijah. God spoke to Elijah in a still, small voice, and He still encounters us in the same way. One problem that some have is they are rarely quiet enough to ever hear God’s still small voice. It is a lesson for each of us – if we want people to listen to us then we need to speak quietly and gently.
If you want others to tune you out and really not hear what you have to say – yell or be harsh or rude – but if you want people to listen to you and respect you then follow the advice of Proverbs 15:1 – A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. Gentle words people hear and harsh word make for more harsh words. What and how you say things are very important. People will not necessarily remember what you say but they will remember how you make them feel with the words and the tone you use. How are people feeling around you?
Again – where was the Lords voice in all that was happening on the top of the mountain? He was not in the wind; or in the earthquake or in the fire; but a gentle breeze with a still, small voice. Let us listen for the still small voice and let us all have a quiet voice so we can hear each other clearly.
Remember this: When you encounter someone who lowers his or her voice, you must become still and quiet if you want to hear and understand them. God did not just use big miracles to speak to Elijah, God lowered His voice to get his full attention. Sometimes you must be still and listen if you want to encounter God. Remember Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God".
Has God been speaking to you in His still, small voice recently? What has he been saying? Any other thoughts on Elijah you would like to share?