The Fire and the Whisper of God

…And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks 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. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper 1 Kings 19:11-12

A lot has been said (and sung) about the fire of God falling. There are many contemporary songs calling on God to send the fire, or that God’s fire is falling. Though on the day of Pentecost the Bible does tell us that the Holy Spirit manifested himself in tongues of flame over the heads of the disciples, it was not the same. The fire Elijah saw both on the mountain of God and at Mount Carmel was a fire that fell and burned everything up in its path. It was a manifestation of the Holiness and the Judgement of God. Anything that fire fell on was consumed.

But in fact, the revival we need is not in the wind, it is not in the earthquake and it is not in the fire. The revival we need is in listening to the quiet voice of God. I recall back when I was younger working long hot days in the woods, cutting trees. At lunch time on the hottest days, I liked nothing better than to take off my heavy work boots, and sit on a rock in a stream letting the cool water flow over my aching feet. The strangest thing wSept-Oct 2013 014as the power of the gentle sound of that stream. When lunch hour was over one of the other guys working with me could call my name over and over again, but unless we made eye contact I couldn’t hear a sound. The whisper of the stream carried away all other sounds and filled me up with a quietness all its own.

In the same way the revival, both in our church and in our own personal life comes only when the sounds of the earthquakes, the windstorms and the fires are washed away with the gentle whisper of God. He longs to draw us to Himself, fill us and send us on our way with a new hope and purpose. We need to take off our shoes, sit in the holy presence of God and open our heart to that low whisper from heaven. That is true revival and that is the heart of God.

Listening to God

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The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10

During long hot Summer days, one of my favorite places to sit is on a rock in the middle of a stream. Hearing is such a strange thing when seated among the quiet sounds of water gently running over rocks. Though the sound of the water is small,  it fills our ear wells so much that a word spoken from even a short distance is somehow carried away.

In the same way we can often be like little Samuel. God was speaking and all he could do at first was to run to Eli and ask what the words meant. Eli wasn’t listening. Eli had no more communication with God because he had long ago stopped his ears to the Spirit’s quiet voice.

God was still speaking. God was still close but Eli was seated in the stream of the world’s voices and couldn’t hear. So God began to speak to the Samuel. Samuel didn’t yet know the Lord so when he heard his name being called, he didn’t recognize that it was God’s voice. In confusion, Samuel went again and again to Eli. Samuel’s repeated requests finally awoke a memory in Eli’s heart and he knew that God wanted to speak with Samuel. Eli may have sadly remembered too late for himself that he should have been seated in another stream. He should have found a rock in the midst of the stream of God’s voice. But he knew what Samuel had to do, so he gave him this instruction.

“Go back and lie down, and when the voice comes again, say, ‘speak for your servant is listening”.

Samuel did as Eli instructed and then God came again calling his name. In the same way, if we want to know God’s heart and direction we must , like Samuel be listening and ready to serve. Maybe today God’s voice has awakened something in your heart that no one else can hear. The only sure way to know is to wait on him. He will pass by again. When you hear His voice passing by then like Samuel say, “Speak for your servant is listening!” He will bring you to the stream of His presence and seat you on His rock. There in the stream of the Holy Spirit’s presence your spiritual ears will be filled with His voice. All other voices will dim. All other faces will fade. There in His presence you will know what only He alone can tell you. My prayer is that you will be blessed today, come and sit before Him and be a listener to the voice of God.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.        Helen Lemmel

The Power of Grace

The greatest beauty of the stream is only fully seen when it yields itself to the pull of gravity down and over the rocks. In the same way the power of God’s grace is always present yet it waits for the moment when we yield our hearts to His power!

IMG_4365 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.  Luke 15:20

Winter Woods

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers Psalm 1:3

Winter woods

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They are like an army of children marching down to the stream to see who can first get their toes in the cold water!

Whose streams Make Glad

Whose streams Make Glad

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High. Psalm 46:4

When I was younger I often worked in the woods. On hot Summer days I loved it when I could find a small stream. I would take off my shoes and socks, then sit with my feet in the water and listen to the gentle sounds of God’s little river. It seemed that no sounds could penetrate the stillness of those quiet waters unless someone came close. That is the same quiet gladness I still need and that God gives us in His city!