hearing God

The Echoes of God

echo1 Kings 19 tells the story of the prophet Elijah. Elijah reaches a point in his life where he’s depressed and frustrated - to the point where his only prayer left is asking God to let him die.

God summons Elijah to a particular mountain and tells Elijah to prepare for God’s arrival.

As Elijah stands inside a cave, awaiting the arrival of the almight, a hurricane wind arrives and literally shatters rocks on the mountain. But the scripture says that ‘God wasn’t to be found in the wind’.

So Elijah continues to wait.

Next, a great earthquake rocks the mountain. But God wasn’t in the earthquake.

So Elijah continues to wait.

A great fire rages across the mountain next. But God wasn’t in the fire.

So Elijah continues to wait.

What happens next is that God shows up. Not in a show of force and power, but in a quiet whisper.

As soon as Elijah hears the quiet whisper, he covers his face out of great respect and walks to the mouth of the cave to meet with God.

I often have people asking me how to hear from God. I believe God is constantly speaking within all of us. It simply requires us to listen to the whispers in our heart.

This voice mixed with the essence of who we are, and it sounds very much like our own inner thoughts when it arrives.

To an analytical person, it will be analytical. To an emotional person, it will be emotional.

The secret to hearing from God is simply to listen. God’s thoughts will be found within you, if you will just look for them. If you will just listen to what is flowing out of your heart as you seek him.

This quieting down takes practice. Meditating, praying, reading the scriptures, fasting, worshiping - these practices help us to quiet ourselves down and to hear the echoes of God within our own soul.

When Jesus arrived on this planet, the scriptures say there was nothing noteworthy about his appearance (see Isaiah 53).

God is secure in his greatness - he has no need to use parlor tricks to prove himself. That’s why he will speak in a gentle whisper. That’s why he walked this earth as a simple, ordinary man.

God does not shove his greatness down our throat. Instead, he fills the background of the universe with his greatness. If we choose to ignore it, we can easily do so. But if we will spend a very little effort searching for it, we find it everywhere.

Echoes are a little quieter than the sound they come from. We can only hear echoes if we stop making noise.

God’s greatness is echoing through our universe, our world, and within our own souls. I encourage you to occasionally take time to stop what you’re doing and listen.

The day will come when we no longer live in a land of echoes, but rather in the midst of the very greatness that reverberates everywhere.

But for now, we must look past the wind and the earthquake and the fire that would distract us, and listen for the whisper of the one who is greater than them all.