“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?””
(1 Kings 19:11-13 ESV)
God the Father was teaching Elijah an important truth on the mountain.
It is that He speaks to us in whispers. Yes, He is all-powerful like the wind and rain. But His whisper holds more power than the mighty thunder that rolls. And it’s His whispers that have the power to change us.
I remember a time in my life when I was asking God to show me something about my own heart. (Follow link to read about it). I was challenged in a book I was reading to stop everything else, and ask God fervently in prayer each day for 30 days to show me this one thing. The author said those who would do so would certainly end the challenge changed as a result.
I was excited to try. I prayed fervently on day one, day two, day three…nothing. I continued day six, day ten, day thirteen…nothing! But on the 14th day God broke into the silence with a still small voice. He illumined my heart so I could see the answer I needed to bring about the change I desired. I waited for two weeks! I could have given up and figured there wasn’t any change needed. But I knew better.
God desires to speak to us about things that need to change.
But sometimes He waits to see how sincerely we want to know Him even more than the answers we seek. We must be willing to continue doing what we know to do, no matter how long He calls us to wait.
There are four themes that will help us quiet ourselves to hear from God.
- A Captivated Heart
- A Bridled Tongue
- A Limited Curiosity
- A Slow Re-Entry After Prayer
Today we will focus on the first theme. Gary Thomas shares in Seeking The Face Of God, on page 109:
1. A Captivated Heart – Just as we have a limit to our physical strength, so we have a limit to our emotional and spiritual strength. John of the Cross said, “The more people rejoice over something outside God, the less intense will be there joy in God; and the more their hope goes out toward something else, the less there is for God.”
I want to have a simple and quiet heart because I want to hear from God; I want to be captivated by Him, so I am willing to give up everything else if only I can know Him. Some of what I give up may be given back, but I will accept back only those elements that allow my God-focus to remain.
Have you considered how important it is to reserve space in your heart for God? Whenever we say “yes” to one thing, we can be certain we are saying “no” to something else. Our yes may be for something good, but it may not be the best. If God has truly captured our heart, we will say “yes” to Him at the start of each day. We are not our own, we were bought with a price. So we must live and love based on this fact.
How much has the love of God captured your heart? Do you crave time alone with Him? If you miss a day of devotions is your heart saddened at the time you’ve missed in His presence? These are questions that will help you determine the true condition of your heart towards God. An honest answer doesn’t bring condemnation because we have been set free from the bondage of such thinking. But an honest answer will help us to continue to grow and not become distracted by the busyness of life.
Spend time over the next couple of days alone and with your spouse asking God to captivate your heart anew. We assure those who do will be met with a peace that passes understanding.