How can I encounter the Voice of God?
by Esme Schmitt
Are you wondering, “How can I encounter the Voice of God?” Do you desire to encounter the Voice of God? Do you wonder if it is truly possible to experience God’s voice? Or are you just desperate and need God NOW? In this blog I will discuss a transformational encounter that Elijah had with God’s Voice. I will also give you some tips on “How can I encounter the Voice of God?”
Elijah knew the Power of God
One of my favorite prophets in the Old Testament is Elijah. He was zealous for God and was intimately acquainted with the Power of God. In 1 Kings 18 it even tells of a ‘show-down’ Elijah had with the prophets of Baal. He challenged a group of people devoted to the demonic (who practised the most vile and evil practises one can and cannot imagine) to demonstrate that Baal was the true god (1 Kings 18:21). These followers of Baal had to show that their god could bring down fire (not made by man) to consume a sacrifice. When their attempts failed, Elijah demonstrated the Power of God by asking God to consume a sacrifice that was saturated in water. This was such a powerful display of who God was!
Depressed and gripped by fear
Yet, in the very next chapter in the Bible (1 Kings 19) we find Elijah running for his life. He was scared and overtly depressed. The reason: Jezebel (upset that Elijah killed her prophets) threatened to kill him (1 Kings 19:2). Even though Elijah have seen and demonstrated the Power of God many times, the threat of one woman had him running into the desert! This event was the beginning of a unusual story that holds a powerful key to understanding God’s voice.
For 40 days and 40 nights, Elijah ran until he got to the mountain of Horeb. This mountain, up to that point, was known as a meeting place with God. It was also the same mountain where Moses received the ten commandments. I am not sure if Elijah ran there with the intention to meet with God or if he was just looking for the most desolate place to hide…it probably was the latter. Yet, God was not offended by Elijah’s state of depression and heart filled with fear. At that mountain God met with Elijah.
Elijah encounters God’s voice
God instructed Elijah to go on the mountain and to stand before God. He was about to pass by Elijah. Then three unusual phenomena in nature took place: First a strong wind came, then an earthquake and lastly a fire. Elijah observed these events and realised that none of it represented God. God’s voice wan’t angry (represented by the wind), brought chaos (represented by the earthquake) or made you feel judged (represented by the fire). In fact, the phenomena probably scared him so much that he went to hide in a cave!
And then, in that cave, he heard a still small voice. A voice of peace. A voice that spoke in love. Elijah immediately knew that it was God’s Voice and he responded to it. He went to the entrance of the cave and communed with God.
You would think that, at that point, God must have been angry and upset with Elijah. I would have been, for sure! Elijah was a prophet who displayed the Power of God and yet he was running scared of a woman’s threat! He was immensely depressed and even expressed, at one point, the desire to die (1 Kings 19:4). Yet God approached Him with a still small Voice…the kind of Voice that changed Elijah’s circumstances!
A transformational encounter
As Elijah communed with God, God restored Him. He reminded Elijah of his identity and purpose on earth and gave Him instructions to anoint two kings and one prophetic (Elisha). God also told Elijah to return to where he came from! In one encounter the real Elijah was resurrected again.
How can I encounter the Voice of God?
This story is such a powerful depiction of what happens when you meet the true Voice of God. One encounter with that still small Voice will obliterate all emotional stress, fear, disappointment and much more. That Voice will restore you, establish your identity and give you guidance and wisdom.
It was important, though, for Elijah to recognise the true Voice of God. Even though the wind, earthquake and fire resonated with his state of mind/emotions, Elijah knew that none of it represented God. Because He knew God, He could recognise His voice. When a thought you think comes from anger, brings chaos or makes you feel judged; it does not represent God. And when it does not represent God, it surely is not His Voice!
I encourage you, regardless of what you are experiencing, to seek the true Voice of God. That Voice might not be a external voice that speaks to you. It most probably will be a still, small and peaceful thought. Remember, you have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16) and can therefore think His thoughts. Allow that Voice to enter your heart and circumstances and let it minister to you.
Like Elijah, find a place of meeting with God. Take your Bible, a pen and a notebook. This place of meeting can be in your garden, in your room or even a special place away from your home. Ask God to meet you at that place. Wait for Him at that place. And then He will come. Not only will He open up His Word to you, but He will commune with you from the depths of your inner being. He will flood you with peace, cloak you with His love and restore your purpose and identity. This is your time of salvation and breakthrough!
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