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Sep 21 2010

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Hearing the Still Small Voice of God

Dr. Marilyn Murphree

Dr. Marilyn Murphree

by Marilyn Murphree


“After the earthquake came a fire, but The Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”
I Kings 19:12

After his encounter with Jezebel, Elijah, the prophet, was stressed out, to say the least. He said to the Lord, “I have had enough, Lord, Take my life: I am no better than my ancestors” (I Kings 19:4).

In his depression he found himself sitting under a juniper tree where an angel came to him and provided bread and water. After he was strengthened enough physically, he traveled for 40 days and came to a cave at Mt. Horeb.  He was at this point still running, but God was able to ask him the soul searching question, “Why are you here Elijah?”

Even though he was physically strengthened, his spiritual life was in a shambles; and he was not where the Lord wanted him to be. Elijah answered God’s question by telling God all about his failures and disappointments and said that he was the only person left. He had worked so hard, and now this was happening.  Elijah was in a state of depression and irrational thinking,

God ignored the illogical reasons why Elijah felt he was on the mountain and instead gave him instructions and a new focus. God told Elijah to come out of the cave and stand before Him. The Lord had a better solution for him than hiding in a cave.  The Lord revealed himself to Elijah in four ways:
1 . A rock shattering wind
2 . A dreadful earthquake
3 . A sudden fire
4 . A still small voice

The Lord was not in any of the first three spectacular events.  It was only at the still small voice that Elijah immediately recognized God, and this voice is what brought him out of the cave where he could be restored. “When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave” (I Kings 19:13).

At this point God asked the same question again, “What are you doing here Elijah?” Elijah still answered the same way, speaking from his deep-seated failures. But at this point God was able to talk with him and explain some things.

When we are stressed out by the pressures of life, we often speak irrationally. just as Elijah did. We may lose our focus and recognize that our spiritual life is in a shambles.  We recite our litany of troubles over and over to our friends and to God. When God tries to speak to us, we are so focused on our own remedies that He can’t get through. We are still rehashing our numerous problems or looking for Him in all the wrong places.

God taught Elijah that He was not in the other things—the rock shattering wind, the dreadful earthquake, or the fire. He was not in the spectacular. God is not in the things where people search.  When the still, small voice came, Elijah knew immediately that it was God.
When we quiet our spirits long enough, we will hear God speak to us. When He gets our attention, He can tell us where to go and what to do next. God brought Elijah out of the cave and out of his depression. He can do the same for you today. Trust Him.

THINK: It is better to hear God in the whisper—the still small voice—because if you are close enough to the Lord, you can hear the whisper.

Dr. Marilyn Murphree is a writer, artist, musician, retired pastor, and retired guidance counselor.  She has authored several books, including the two devotionals, Moments with Marilyn and More Moments With Marilyn. She is also my good friend!

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  1. Tweets that mention Hearing the Still Small Voice of God | Daily-Devotionals.com -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by K. S. Roberts, Mattmdc, jasmine , gale harper, Nicole L.B. and others. Nicole L.B. said: RT @devotionsonline: Can you relate to Elijah's feelings of depression and wanting to run away? He heard a still small voice. You can too! http://bit.ly/bIAWNj […]

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