Listening to the small voice of God
People who sit around waiting for God to audibly say something to them – or do some miraculous deed in their life to guide them in a direction - risk missing the “still small voice of God” offered to every one of us. Most of the time He speaks to us through His Word - the Bible.
There’s an old joke about a man who kept praying to win the lottery and never did so when he got to heaven he asked God why He didn’t answer that prayer. And God leaned forward from His throne and said, “You never bought a lottery ticket!”
We have to open the Bible to hear God speak to us in the 21st century. A pastor, John Piper, wrote in to Christianity Today about the Bible and said, “This is the very voice of God. By this voice, he speaks with absolute truth and personal force. By this voice, he reveals his all-surpassing beauty. By this voice, he reveals the deepest secrets of our hearts. No voice anywhere, anytime can reach as deep or lift as high or carry as far as the voice of God that we hear in the Bible.
It is a great wonder that God still speaks today through the Bible with greater force, greater glory, greater assurance, greater sweetness, greater hope, greater guidance, greater transforming power and greater Christ-exalting truth.
The critical need of our time is for people to experience the living reality of God by hearing his Word personally and transformingly in Scripture. Something is incredibly wrong when the words we hear outside Scripture are more powerful and more affecting to us than the inspired Word of God.”
In 1st King chapter 19 God’s voice was not in the wind, not in the earthquake, not in the fire. It was in the gentle persistent whisper.
We all want God to tell us in some dramatic way what He wants us to do, but we refuse to see He has been telling us and He continues to tell us: that we are to have a relationship with Him, that we are to take care of His people and share the Good News with them and that we are to have relationships with other people too. Elijah thought he was the last one of God’s worshipers left, but God told him there were more. God always has resources for us to do His work.
We all want to do spectacular things for God, but we need to focus on the little daily things in our walk with Him. We are to look for God in the small things – not just big events – because He is always there! Jill Briscoll, a Christian writer and speaker, said she is often asked by people how can they become a Christian speaker and travel around like she does. And she tells them, “Do what God has put right in front of you.”
Everything is a call – everything we do can be a ministry: take time when someone needs to talk, use your extra time for more Bible study, smile at people, send an encouraging card or note, visit the lonely, make that phone call, share God’s word, share your stuff, share yourself! Give money, say only nice things about people. You may never have 1 big call, but you do have hundreds of smaller ones. The calls are as numerous as the needs.
Why is it that we can go to Mexico and love the people there, but we don’t like being around them in our hometown? How can we be so concerned about helping people with Aids in Africa, but stay away from them in the United States? Why is it easier to love people from a distance?
When Mother Teresa was asked how to have peace in the world she said, “Go home and love your family.”
As Christians we have the opportunity to show God’s presence and His love every single day – we don’t have to wait for a catastrophe, or a mission trip or a big “Christian event”. We don’t even have to wait for Sunday!
To only look for God in the “big” may mean we miss Him often in the small and constant.