Quiet – The Faith Momentum Maker

April 8, 2011 — 1 Comment

Lately, I’ve been reading about Elijah. This guy may be my new favorite Bible character. I think his swagger is cool. I think his prophetic nature is cool. I think his reliance on God is cool. I think his integrity is cool. I think his not backing down attitude is cool. Basically, I really like this guy.

In 1 Kings 18, Elijah takes on 850 prophets of evil. They have swayed the hearts of the people away from God. Elijah returns the volley of their rebellion with a robust suggestion, “Let’s take two bulls, place them on altars, and we’ll find out who the true God is. How? The true God will send fire on the bulls.” As the story goes, God sends fire on the bulls, and the prophets of Baal and Asherah (i.e. false gods) are destroyed. The people of Israel turn their hearts back to the Lord.

Then Elijah goes up on a mountain and asks God to make it rain. There has been no rain for three years. Actually, before he asked God to make it rain, Elijah told Ahab “I hear the sound of a heavy rain.” (1 Kings 18:41) When Elijah says this, there is not a cloud in the sky. But his faith lets him hear it before he can see it. Then Elijah prays on the mountaintop with his head between his knees. Elijah tells his servant to go look out at the sea, and to bring a report back. His servant says, “There is nothing there.” Seven times, Elijah said, “Go back.” On the seventh time, the servant said, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” Then the rain came down.

Elijah at this point has a lot of momentum of faith. Through faith, he showed God to be the one true God of Israel through his bout with the false prophets. Then he asked God to make it rain after telling a guy it would rain and it did rain. Clearly, Elijah has momentum. Things are going well for him.

In the midst of this, Jezebel, the queen of Israel who just happened to be psycho, tells Elijah that he is going to die. So Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. Read this story here. After God took care of his needs, he fasted for forty days and forty nights.

At this point in time, Elijah was worn out. But what he didn’t realize was that God was preparing him in these moments for his greatest ministry yet.

Yes, I believe taking down 850 prophets of Baal and Asherah was key. Showing God to be the Lord of Glory by making it rain was key. But Elijah was about to take it a step further than both of these.

Elijah was about to begin passing his faith on to the next generation. Elijah was about to give the banner of faith to the next generation. Elijah was about to share not just his faith, but share his life calling with another, and this would help advance the Kingdom of God. Elijah was about to pass it on to Elisha.

Before he did though, Elijah needed the faith momentum maker. You would think that the big events of fire from heaven followed by a rain that ended a three year drought would be just what Elijah needed. A lot of times though, the big events are not where we know God the most. Rather, it is in the quiet with God that we understand His power, presence, and provision for us.

Here is what happened to Elijah after the 40 days of fasting and praying. (1 Kings 19:9-16, emphasis added)

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, torn 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, torn 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 to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.

What Elijah needed wasn’t a big miracle. Sometimes, we desire that for momentum within our churches altogether. For personal momentum, Elijah needed to hear from God specifically, and to know that God was there in the quiet. In a whisper. In the silence.

The greatest faith momentum maker you have may just be when you turn off your phone, your computer, your tv, your noise, your answers, your books, your ideas,

and simply listen to God. In the quiet. For a whisper. In the silence.

The presence of God in the quiet prepares us for a future that may have hearts turning to the LORD louder and stronger than we ever dreamed.

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One response to Quiet – The Faith Momentum Maker

  1. 

    I really appreciate your thoughts on this story. It has helped give me peace during a storm of life.

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