11/14/18 – Pastor Brian’s Blog
On Sunday I watched the Patriots play football with a friend. The Patriots really stunk up the place, and lost bad. My friend and I spent most of the afternoon talking to the TV. I have to admit, we were not whispering either!! We were complaining about the refs, we were giving advice to the players, we told Tom Brady how inept he looked, it even got to the point where we were telling the announcers how bad they were. There was a lot of noise coming from two supposedly grown men, voicing their opinions about a game that in the grand scheme of their lives, is very insignificant.
Yet in real life, we all have many voices to listen to. There are many voices telling us what to do. We have bills yelling at us, telling us they need to be paid. We have children telling us that they have an activity to go to, or a homework project that needs to be done by tomorrow! We watch TV and listen to voices telling us what to buy or what we should drive. We have voices in social media telling us all the social and political ills of the day and the best way to address them. We can go to work and have multiple voices telling us what our priorities should be for that day. We can even go to church and hear voices telling us what activity we need to attend or what project we need to get involved with. Listening to all these voices can be very exhausting!!
Our youngest grandson Micah was admitted into the hospital last week, and he is still in Strong Memorial getting ready for an operation as I write this blog. (For those of you that are friends with Heidi and or David on Facebook, and want to, you can follow Micah’s progress.) Last Friday, Heidi called Judy and asked if she would come out and help, so on Saturday, Judy flew from Manchester NH to Detroit MI back to Rochester NY to help the Baguma family.
If you know geography, you know that isn’t the quickest path from one point to another, but the voice of Delta Airlines told us “it was the only way” from one point to another. So Judy is in Rochester NY right now, very happy to serve our family in any way she can.
Yet with so many voices to listen to, so many different voices to follow, one can quickly become overwhelmed and at times fearful. This is what happened to Elijah. In 1 Kings 18, God tells Elijah to call down fire from heaven to demonstrate to the prophets of Baal and to all those present, that Elijah’s God was the true God. As exciting as that event must have been, it wasn’t very long before God’s voice was replaced by another.
In 1 Kings 19, Elijah hears the voice of Jezebel… “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of (the dead prophets of Baal.)” 1 Kings 19:2. Elijah’s response to Jezebel’s voice? … Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. 1 Kings 19:3.
With so many voices to listen too, Elijah had chosen to listen to the wrong voice, and became afraid. Elijah’s hearing had shifted from the voice of God to the voice of Jezebel. Elijah allowed his circumstances to overwhelm him, and instead of listening to God, he chose to listen to the screaming voices of circumstances, of opposition, and an evil queen.
Has that ever happened to you? Things are going well, you are encouraged, life seems to be going as planned and then all of a sudden everything changes? Could it be at that moment you are listening to the wrong voice? Could it just be that your circumstances or your situation has you disoriented and you have confused God’s voice with another?
Please understand that if you are living in fear right now, if you are confused or disoriented, then God says that you are not listening to His voice… For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
Maybe you are exhausted listening to and trying to follow all those voices that are trying to control your life. Maybe it is time to take a moment and reevaluate where you are and what you are doing. Voices can be loud, voices can be demanding, and voices can have us running in all kinds of directions. Voices can be many things, but only one voice can be God’s.
What did God’s voice tell Elijah to do? … 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. 1 Kings 19:11-12
With all the loud noises in our life, with all the voices out there telling us what to do, where to go, and what to think, maybe it is time to just step back and listen for that gentle whisper. Remember, one word from God and everything changes!