I’m thankful and humbled. It appears the Lord literally paved each step of the way as we focused day and night since January 6, 2011 on the planting of a life-giving church in Oklahoma City. Excitement overflowed as the right leaders and financial gifts showed up at the right times. Emotional challenges have been evident too as we sacrificed financially and had friends leave the journey we committed to together. This has been the most difficult and rewarding thing we’ve done in our lives.
Over the past few years, I’ve spent significant time trying to learn how to hear the voice of God.
In I Kings 19, Elijah found himself at a spiritual low point. He needed to hear from God…just to hear his voice, to hear him say something… anything. Here’s what he experienced:
11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. – I Kings 19:11-13
How can we hear the “gentle whisper”? It is possible to allow God’s soft voice to cut through the noise.
Being authentic before God has helped me hear from God. When I plan, strategize and run confidently down the road God gives me, sometimes I don’t hear from Him. When I’m broken and honest before Him, it seems I can hear His voice clearly.
This morning, I started to jump right into planning my message for this Sunday, week six of Elevate Church. I’ve wrestled with my passage of scripture and also the application from it. Before jumping in, I was reminded that I needed to spend some honest face time with Jesus. Here’s what I wrote in my journal – just three sentences, “I feel covered up and inadequate with the administrative details of doing church. I feel thankful and positive about the way everything is going. Thank You for letting me serve You.”
I turned to my scripture for the day, 2 Corinthians 2:14 “But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume.”
As I read that verse, I’m reminded that it’s not about me. I’m involved in the work He’s doing here. I’m just one of His laborers. For today, my burden is lifted. I commit it all to Him.
Note: This post was written circa 2011 and migrated over in 2017. ~ Steven Earp, 2018/11/12