To Follow Jesus
My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
May/June 2016 Issue – The Presence of God, ‘You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.’ Psalm 16:11
The text set for today’s reading and meditation (the key verse is highlighted):
1 Kings 19:9-18 (NIVUK): ”There Elijah 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. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel – all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.’”
Selwyn continues to discuss the importance of spending a few minutes’ reflection every day on our experience of God during the waking hours, so that we may increase our awareness of God’s presence in our lives.
The point he makes today is that we often restrict ourselves by only searching for God in the big events of our life. Selwyn recommends that we should ‘close our eyes and sit quietly and listen to what the Spirit was saying during moments of quiet reflection‘. It’s developing an expectant attitude that is expressed through a prayer, such as, ‘Speak Lord, Your servant is listening.’
In the reading today, we see that God’s voice was heard by Elijah as a gentle whisper, not as a loud voice in a fierce wind, earthquake or fire. And it’s the same with us, God will speak to us, even during quiet times of reflection and meditation.
Selwyn concludes, as follows: “Have you ever prayed that prayer and sat still for a while in God’s presence? There is nothing more wonderful than not only feeling His presence but hearing His voice in your soul also.”
Now, that a suggestion to consider.