This post is part of our Sunday Series titled “Articles of Faith.”
We investigate leadership lessons from the Bible.
See the whole series here. Published only on Sundays.
Several years ago I was attending a revival meeting in a neighboring church a few miles down the road from the church that I was pastor of. The speaker was a great pastor/evangelist by the name of Donnie Farmer.
In a message he preached, during that meeting, an illustration was given that has not left me to this day. He asked everyone if they could hear “THAT.” As he held his cupped hand up to his ear, people, looking at each other, wondered what he was talking about. He asked the congregation the same question a second time. He acted as if he was frustrated with the rest of us as we shook our heads signifying that we could not hear what he was hearing. He then made his point by stating that people were singing and talking about all kinds of things and that their voices were traveling through the air. Furthermore, in order for us to hear what was going on, we had to be tuned the right way.
We had to be tuned in with a radio set to the right frequency so that we could hear everything loud and clear!
His point was well taken and goes to show you and I that if we are to hear certain things, then we are going to need to be “TUNED IN.” Whether you are hunting, playing music, or a host of other things, you have to be able to discern the voice or sounds of things. If we are cluttered about with various distractions, then we will not be able to act accordingly to what we should be hearing. This is the difference in hearing and listening.
(1 Kings 19:9-13) “And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?” (KJV)
Elijah of the Old Testament had an issue with discerning the voice of God. Running from Jezebel, he was discouraged thinking he was the only one who really cared for the things of God. As only a tender Heavenly Father can, great care was taken to nourish the old prophet and to get him into the right place for a teachable moment. Elijah was looking for God to show himself in various ways, but when He heard that still, small voice, he recognized it immediately. When the man of God heard the voice of God, business picked up!
It is amazing what can happen as a result of us being able to discern the voice of God in our life!
Just as the great prophet Elijah had to be in communication with His Sovereign, so do each of us. We need to be able to discern what God is saying to us. I do not believe that God speaks to His children, in our day, in an audible voice. I guess He could if He wanted to, but 99.99% of the time we are going to learn of Him through His infallible Word called the Bible. We, of course, speak to Him through prayer. As you and I read and pray, God will speak to us. That still, small voice which Elijah heard can be discerned today; if only we will listen for it.
Take This a Step Further
When we communicate with other people, can they discern what we are saying? Yes, people hear our words, but do they actually discern our voice? Whether pastor or CEO, leaders must communicate their message, and do it effectively. I am glad when God speaks to me, but I also like the fact that I have His Word on it as well. We can employ the same methodology. Oral communication should be backed up by written documentation. This clears up matters when there are distractions about you.
In conclusion, every child of God must free themselves of distraction in their quiet time with the Lord so they can discern the voice of God. It is also helpful to remind yourself that no matter how loud the storms rage in our lives, we can hear the voice of God as if we were in a small room alone with Him. Remember also that we should communicate with others in much the same way. If we are so blessed and helped by the way God shares with us, then wouldn’t it be in our best interest to employ the same methods in communicating with each other?
Pastor Anrew Schank is Church Planter with Macedonia World Baptist Missions, Inc.
He has a servant’s heart for missions and church planting
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Blog | 701-870-4176
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