Monday, 25 November 2013

The Language of God: STILL SMALL VOICE

Here is a series you might enjoy: The Language of God. In the bible, God spoke in a number of ways to His people, or the announce His presence, or His displeasure. Weather was one of the ways He spoke. Since God is the same today, yesterday and forever, it stands to reason that He might be speaking in the same way today. But do we hear Him through the clutter? Do we listen for Him to speak in these same ways? The world has changed, but He has not.

Today we will examine the Language of God: 
The Still Small Voice!

It is a given that God is powerful. He has spoken in a number of ways that are loud! Thunder, hail, lightning, earthquake and fire are very noisy. You can't miss hearing those! In addition, Psalm 29 shows us from His own Word more ways He speaks:

Psalm 29, various verses--
  • The voice of the LORD is upon the waters; The God of glory thunders, The LORD is over many waters.
  • The voice of the LORD is powerful, The voice of the LORD is majestic.
  • The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; Yes, the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. 
  • The voice of the LORD hews out flames of fire.
  • The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; The LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the LORD makes the deer to calve And strips the forests bare; And in His temple everything says, “Glory"
The cedars of Lebanon were sturdy trees up to 130 feet tall. It would take a mighty voice to break those!

But then there is this voice: "Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” 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." (1 Kings 19:11-12)

The LORD breaks rocks! He topples cedars! He quakes the earth! The LORD is mighty, there is no doubt about that. But He is a personal God, too. He is not remote, dwelling on Olympus remotely and capriciously messing up men's affairs for their own entertainment's sake.

He is with us, that is His name: Emmanuel, God with us! When He wants to speak to our soul, to our heart, He speaks in a still small voice. He is loving of all humanity and He seeks to speak to us in the quiet of our hearts. To hear Him, though, a person must be quiet themselves. "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (Matthew 6:6)

Though we pride ourselves these days on multitasking, we are really overdue for a de-cluttering. Multitasking simply means that we mask God's voice.

All that noise drowns out God's still, small voice. When we start listening to other things besides God then the still small voice that penetrates the clutter will be satan's, hissing, "Hath God really said...?" Once our ears are plugged up with noise, then our eyes are taken off God and we drift away from the straight and narrow path. Get your attention away from the tumult of the natural and unnatural world, and carve out a quiet space to listen to God. One way we do that is in the prayer closet. When you pray, you talk, but then how much do you listen for a response? Do you stay in a pose of quiet contemplation, focusing on the attributes of God while you wait on Him? Or is there music going on in the background? Television? Is your cell phone on?

Another way to hear His still, small voice is by reading the Word. Again, make sure the tumult is off. Read, and when you feel an impression, or when it seems that you want to ponder a verse for a while, it may indeed be the still small voice calling attention to a deeper truth He wants to impart.

I'm amazed by the speed and noise of our world today. When I was little, 40-35 years ago, the number one television program was Little House on the Prairie. If you watch it now, it seems unbearably slow and too stodgy and quiet. That is because it isn't fast-paced, it didn't have jazzy music and the editing preferred long slow scenes instead of quick cuts. But 35 years ago was not that long ago. Nowadays if something isn't happening on the tv, DVD, Playstation, Wii, cell phone or twitter it seems like life has stopped.

Our God is a personal God. He speaks to us in the quiet. Shhh.