Fall has finally arrived! And with it come cooler nights and a much awaited reprieve from summer’s heat. There is something inside of me that awakens during this time of year. It’s hard to explain these feelings but they are a welcomed friend, very comforting and they help me to slow down my pace and rethink my busy life. Maybe it’s the idea that life has a cycle and a rhythm to it, that we need “down time” to regenerate ourselves. If you take it to the extreme autumn reminds us that things are born, they grow and eventually die.
As we follow the last days of Elijah we find him running away from Jezebel who has just threatened to kill him. Elijah just had one of the most impressive mountain top experiences in the history of the world. We watched as he called down fire from heaven and then slathered four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal.
Now he has taken his eyes off God and is on his way to hide in a cave. I find it very refreshing that the men God chooses act the same way all of us do, that is, that they are not super human. In fact, they are only strong when they allow God’s Spirit to control them, guide them and ultimately protect them. Once they try to engage the enemy in battle in their own strength they fall flat on their face.
“And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him ‘What are you doing here Elijah?’” 1 Kings 19:9. Now, the prophet begins to explain his hopeless situation to God, as if He didn’t already know why Elijah was running scared from Jezebel.
God tells Elijah to stand at the mouth of the cave. As he is standing there the Lord passes by; a great and strong wind tore into the rocks of the mountain, but the Lord was not in the wind. Then an earthquake but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
I love the fact that our God as mighty as He is, the One who called the universe into existence just with His voice, chooses to speak to us with a still small voice. He’s not a “helicopter parent” but allows us room to make mistakes. It’s His desire that we have an intimate relationship with Him, coming to Him every day for guidance.
God had a plan from before the foundations of the earth were formed. It is written in 1 Peter 1:19-20 “but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”
God is still on His throne, He has a plan and that plan is still on track. Our Heavenly Father could see all the bad choices that man would make and pre arranged a solution to redeem us from our sin-debt. While He allows us to make wrong and often painful choices, He is always right there to catch us when we fall.
God speaks to us by using a still small voice that can be heard only when we take time to listen to Him. Sure the mountain top experiences are wonderful but God chooses to guide us on a daily basis in a more subtle way. Just as in Elijah’s case it’s usually the great winds, earthquakes or fires in our lives that get our attention but God really prefers that we simply just walk with Him.
The grand designer created us in a way that we need to be in community with each other. Fellowship with each other prepares us for eternity with Him. The first step is to believe in Him and the gift of life through the blood of His Son, Jesus. Once we are born again, He gives us spiritual gifts and seals us with His Holy Spirit as a pledge of our future inheritance. Then while we wait for the return of Jesus Christ we have an opportunity to encourage and help each other by using our spiritual gifts.
Life here on earth is all about relationships. God designed life in such a way that we would never be complete without a relationship with Him and each other. Make the time to listen to God and begin reaching out to others by using the spiritual gifts God has given to you. Be still and know that I AM God!