Closing the Gap 8.3.18

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Week 30 Day 5

Pray:

Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.

Read:

1 Kings 19:2-14 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the LORD came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

Reflect:

What was the whole point of the wind, the quake, and the fire?  What was God trying to show Elijah – and us – about himself? What do we learn about a conversational relationship with God from this experience?  It’s not a parable. It is a historical account of a real event. But the event was designed by God to teach us about him, so we must try to pay careful attention and learn. There are certainly many things that can be learned, but let’s try to isolate a few.  First, it is easy to see, hear, and feel a great wind, the earth quaking, and a blazing fire. It is much harder to pay attention to a gentle whisper. This explains why it may be getting harder and harder for people to hear from God because the noise around us is constant.  We do not live in an age where hearing from God is going to be easy. Not because God is slow to speak, but because our lifestyles make it hard to hear. What will you do to break from the spirit of these times and hear from the timeless God? Second, when we only hear and pay attention to the noise, we will likely mistake the wind, quake, and fire for the voice of God.  When we cannot hear the whisper, we will think we are hearing God in the noise. What we will hear is the voice of the current culture telling us what we want to hear. It will not challenge our thinking or our way of living; it will confirm them. It will tell us that times have changed and so has God. The noise of contemporary culture will speak a loud lie if we are not still long enough to hear quiet truth. Finally, when our physical ears have been bombarded by too many decibels, they lose their ability to hear the more quiet sounds.  The noise can train our ears to only hear that which is loud. The same is true for our spiritual ears. When we live in the continual din of the loud, the proud, and the busy, we will lose our ability to hear the quiet voice of God. Thankfully, though at times it is impossible to regain lost physical hearing, there is a way to regain spiritual hearing. This way is through repentance of self-trust and a return to trusting in God. “This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15).  God, forgive us for living loud and proud and quiet our hearts so we may trust in your strength.  

Pray:

(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)

Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.

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