A summer storm brings to mind a story in the life of the prophet Elijah.
[Darris McNeely] Yesterday in my neighborhood, one of these big summer storms came up. You could see it coming. The air was really thick, hot, humid. The clouds started rolling in dark clouds. The wind started blowing through the trees, and then all of a sudden, they just dump, and a big thunderstorm and lightning and rain took place. Passed through after dumping probably an inch or so of rain. And then the sun came back out. It was cooler. The sky was clear and you kind of sense kind of just go back out and enjoy things. And the summer thunderstorms are very interesting. And thinking about that brought my mind back to a story out of the book of Kings, the story of Elijah, where there was a storm where there was an episode and Elijah came to a point where he then began to hear what God was doing and saying, and wanted him to do.
You know the story of Elijah. He was God's servant and a time of great apostasy and the nation of Israel, the prophets of Baal had taken over under Jezebel. And he had this huge confrontation, Elijah, with those prophets on Mount Carmel. And he won, Elijah called down fire from heaven after three and a half years of pronouncements about drought in the land. Mighty works, great deeds that Elijah did. Then Jezebel said, "I'm going to get you. You've stretched out your hand. You've killed my prophets." God had actually done it but she was blaming Elijah. He was there on the scene. He runs, he goes to the South, into the desert, into the wilderness. And in 1 Kings 19, there is the story of Elijah kind of sheltering himself. And he's trying to figure out, "I've done all these great things. Why do I have to run? Why is my life in danger? God, what are you doing with me through all of this?" And in verse 11, it says, "God said to Elijah," as he was on this mountain, "'Go out, stand on the mountain before the Lord.' And behold, the Lord passed by. And a great and strong wind tore into the mountain and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind, there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake," it says "there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire, a still, small voice. And so it was. When Elijah heard it," the still, small voice, "that he wrapped his face in his mantle, went out, stood in the entrance of the cave. And suddenly a voice came to him and said, 'What are you doing here, Elijah?'" God then went on to give him His next instruction. And He kind of basically gave him a pep talk, gave him back his courage and Elijah then went onto the next job that God had for him.
You know, God, wasn't in the earthquake, wasn't in the fire, wasn't in the wind, and all that tore at this mountain. But God was in the aftermath, and that's where Elijah heard the still, small voice.
That's why it kind of reminds me of a storm that passes over and kind of clears things out. Elijah had to get a lot of things cleared out of his life: disappointment, frustration, fear from Jezebel, Elijah had done big things. And sometimes after you do big things, a lot of work, a lot of intensive energy goes into things that we're into and our life. A big project. And then it's all done. There's a let down. And we recognize that there can be discouragement, sometimes even depression. Sometimes people read the story of Elijah and they say, "Hey, he's dealing with not...a little bit more than discouragement." Maybe even what we would call depression in our modern terms. But Elijah then had to kind of get back into the game. He had to pick himself up and it was after the storm of all the events of his own life and even the physical manifestation of the storm there on the mountain that he began to hear that still, small voice of God that was able then to work with him and move him on.
And so, sometimes we have to get a lot of things cleared out of our life. A lot of big events, a lot of big emotions that are impacting us and clear them out before we can hear God and see what God might be doing in our life and leading us to in the next phase, to the next step, to the next job that He wants us to do. And to be able to hear the voice of God in a sense that we are able to see a direction, read the word of God and get that focus for the purpose of our life. Then we come to really know what God is doing and what He wants us to do and we act with that type of clarity.
That's "BT Daily," join us next time.