The Importance of Seeking Silence
Nov 21, 2016 1756
We live in a busy, noisy world. While there is great beauty in sound, much of the noise of this world only serves to drown out the voice of God. Are we seeking silence? God taught Elijah a lesson that I we should all learn.
Elijah the prophet was your classic manic-depressive, and proof that God can use anyone! He got his buzz from great announcements, great deeds, and from being the centre of attention.
He had stood at the top of Mt Carmel and called down fire from heaven (1 Kings 18:38). The thunderbolt from heaven, roar of the crowd – that must have been some event! Then he had run ahead of King Ahab’s chariot (1 Kings 18:46); clearly this was one of his “manic” moments!
But now, a short time afterwards, he is suffering one of his depressive episodes. He has fled from Queen Jezebel, who seeks to kill him, and is how hiding in a cave in the desert, thinking of his failures, and thinking suicidal thoughts.
Now God speaks to him and tells him to,
Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by (1 Kings 19:11).
But Elijah is feeling so down, he doesn’t listen. A powerful wind sweeps through the mountains, shattering the rocks. But that wasn’t God. Then comes an earthquake, but that wasn’t God either. Then comes a raging fire. But none of those were the voice of God.
Then comes a “gentle whisper” (1 Kings 19:12, NIV), or as the King James version puts it, “a still, small voice.” Notice that this is not nothingness; we do not seek emptiness such as in the eastern religions. We seek the voice of God.
When Elijah ventures to the mouth of the cave, then it is that God speaks to him and says,
What are you doing here, Elijah? (1 Kings 19:13, NIV)
To Hear The Voice of God You Must Seek Silence
I can’t hear the voice of God when my mind is racing with a million thoughts all competing for my attention. I can’t hear the voice of God when I am being bombarded by social media, radio, or TV. To hear the voice of God, you must seek silence.
Finding silence is so hard to do in our busy, hectic lives! But unless you seek it, you will never find it.
Seeking silence is probably different for every person. I can’t find silence in places where I am accustomed to be busy. I seek it by leaving my house and going for a walk. I seek it by sitting and overlooking the ocean. I seek it by sitting under a tree and filling my senses with the beauty that God has made.
And then, like he did with Elijah, God asks me the important questions of life, like, “What are you doing here?” “How is your faith doing?” Who do you need to forgive?” And then he reassures me of his love and of his purpose for my life, just like he did with Elijah. So I heed the words of the Psalmist:
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him (Psalm 62:5, NLT).
Have you been seeking silence lately? Once you experience it, you’ll wonder how you never heard it before. – Eliezer Gonzalez