|Dead vlei by benny_bloomfield|
Have you ever felt so desperate to hear from God that you'd rather die than keep living life this way anymore?
Or, so desperate for Change?
Ultimately what you mean by hearing from God is: CHANGE.
Elijah felt this way, toward the end of his ministry. He ran from a murderer to end up asking God to let him die.
1 Kings 19
4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, "It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!"
What was God's answer?What DID God do with this man who was EXHAUSTED? (Physically, Mentally, Emotionally, Spiritually Exhausted!)
What I often THINK God is saying when I get like this:
"You whinny brat, get up and keep moving!"
What did God actually do for this man?
1 Kings 19He ate angel made food, but he was SO tired he collapsed and passed out again!
5 Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, "Arise and eat." 6 Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again.
7 And the angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, "Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you." 8 So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.So before God deals with Elijah's attitude, before God gives Elijah ANY answers to his questions, before God satisfies Elijah's mind, he satisfies Elijah's Body and Emotions.
He gives Elijah Angel made bread and water, the strength of which lasted supernaturally for 40 days!
He allows Elijah to rest. Physically and Emotionally, Elijah needed Rest! How often do we try to keep pushing forward when God has been trying to get us to rest?!
Then The Answer: A Still Small Voice...
Only after periods of rest, refreshing, and satisfying food was Elijah prepared to take on the rest of the journey he started and complete his assignment on earth.
*Keep in mind, this is the SAME man who would be become one of only two men ever to be taken from earth without death. More than likely, Elijah and Enoch will return as the two prophets during the 7 year tribulation!
1 Kings 19
9 And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place...
11...And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces 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; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
Have you ever noticed that if you have had a "dry spell" in your prayer life and you go to start praying again, your mind is full of distractions? Wind (Think Hurricane or Tornado), Earthquakes, Fire... all really big, loud, scary things... all things that would prevent Elijah from hearing God clearly. Elijah had to be still long enough for those things to pass.
Once the noise had gone, the still small voice could be heard. Sometimes you have to push past that noise first. The longer it's been since you heard from God, the longer it may take to reach that place of rest so that you can hear Him.
Think of what Elijah, the great man of God, had to go through to get this instruction.
- Went off by himself, no people with him.
- He took several naps (Rested his body, mind, and emotions)
- Ate God's Bread (the Word of God) in between those rests. (Filled His Spirit with food/nourishment).
- Took a long, supernaturally long, journey.
- Waited Past noise and distraction even then...
Finally hearing the Still Small Voice of God.
*Sometimes my life of avoiding distraction has felt like this photo (Click Here).
Practically Hearing That Still Small Voice
I've started a new practice in my prayer time, to try to get to a place where my connection in prayer is stronger.
I don't start with worship, bible, praying... I start by becoming VERY VERY STILL. Not just physically. I will sit in one position and turn on some nature sounds (I like tropical rain<Click to download yourself).
Then I just sit. Let my mind settle down, let the thoughts blow and turn and rotate and fall... this works especially well in the morning or night, but it works on a break at work too. I don't say anything or do anything. I might pray in tongues softly, periodically.
Then, after anywhere from 5-15 minutes my mind has calmed down to the point I can actually start to listen and hear. It's been life changing for my prayer life.
FAIL!?Of course, I've failed to do it regularly. I was great about doing it every morning, along with a whole routine I'd set up for my mornings.
Fail!? That lasted... about a month? That was a month, or two, ago.
Well... is that failure? Not really. Just because I ate a cookie when I was supposed to be on a diet doesn't mean I need to eat the whole box and forget the diet for the rest of the decade!
One lapse does not a failure make.
If I miss a day, week, month, quarter, year... I simply need to start doing what I'd stopped doing.
The only failure, is a failure to start, or a failure to pick up and get going again after a fall.
So... this is my commitment to pick up and get going again.
The Still Small Voice Search
Maybe you and I can learn from Elijah. Start to give ourselves the rest we need, fill up on The Word of God, Push Past Distractions...
Maybe then, we can tap into that Still Small Voice more regularly?
So here my question for you: What kinds of things help YOU hear that Still Small Voice of God?