Thursday, March 2, 2017
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I hear a lot of wives complain about communication being a problem in their marriage. It sure was for my wife and me on a trip we took one summer. We had a lot of miles to cover in our van in one day - one very hot day. The day the air conditioner decided not to work, which meant we had to travel with all the windows down or have a sauna on wheels for the next 12 hours. I had a lot of work to do on this trip, and my wife enjoyed driving, so she was in front where it's really good for the driver to be, and I was in the back of the van with my computer. Now, about communication? No way. No matter how important the information was, we couldn't possibly yell loud enough to overcome the wind. All you could see was lips moving; it was like a silent movie. So, we had to save up anything we wanted to say for toll booths, traffic jams, and any place where we had to slow down. Those were the only times we could hear anything!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Slowing Down So You Can Hear."
Our word for today from the Word of God, we're in 1 Kings 19:11-13. God's prophet Elijah has been on a fast track of activity and now he's hit this time of deep emotional turbulence. He really needs to hear from the Lord. He does, but not in the form he might have expected.
Here's what the Bible says, "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." That day, in a quiet whisper from heaven, God's servant received just the word he needed from God.
God often whispers. And you've got to be quiet to hear what He has for your heart. We like the dramatic spiritual experiences – the winds and the quakes and the fire. And sometimes God does speak to us through the high-octane spiritual moments. But often what our heart most needs to hear comes in His gentle whisper. And like that day of the roaring wind in our van, you can only hear what He's trying to say when you slow down.
Which you may not have done much lately. Which may explain why your soul is getting so dry and brittle and why there's confusion instead of direction, why there's weakness instead of power, more frustration than peace. You've been traveling too fast to hear the whisper of God.
God's message to you is, "Be still and know that I am God" (Ps.46:10). You've just got to find some time when you and the Lord can have some quality time. You've got to get back your daily quiet time with Him. You've got to get those Sabbaths that you've been losing or neglecting.
And it may be that God has brought some of the difficulty of recent days into your life for the express purpose of slowing you down so you can hear Him. God uses a lot of instruments as brakes on our overheated lives like an illness, an injury, the loss of your job, a financial crisis, a crisis in your family. When we won't put on the brakes, the Father who loves us will. If He has you in a slow down zone right now, don't fight it. Don't just endure it. Open up your heart to your Lord to hear what you might never have been able to hear at 70 MPH.
In our high speed lives, the times to slow down become very important. They might be the only times you can really hear what God and others who love you have to say.