A DIFFERENT KIND OF WHISPER Andy Hollifield 6-30-18
1 Kings 19:12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
When I wrote the post, “It Started With A Whisper” I planned on including this story with the story of Hannah. It didn’t take long to figure out that both stories are way too good and to have done that would have not done either of them justice. I started to title this one as Part 2 but then I realized that the main focus should be on the person doing the whispering and not a continuation of my previous post. In the first one, we talked about a whisper from a believer to God but in this one I want to talk about a whisper from God to a believer.
We often do our most earnest praying in our hardest trials. It is our nature to be that way. Even as a little child, usually when we ran and climbed up in our parent’s lap for no apparent reason, it didn’t take long for them to figure out that we wanted something. It’s sad to say but we often do God the same way. We often don’t take the time to talk to him like we should when everything is turning up roses, but when there is nothing left but the thorns it doesn’t take but a minute for us to get real serious about our prayer life.
I have written extensively in the past about Elijah so that isn’t exactly what I want to write about but I will recap his life for you. God had preserved his life before but the circumstances that brought Elijah to this crossroads in his life, came on him as a direct result of him being perfectly obedient to God’s will. That is hard to comprehend but it sometimes happens that way. This false notion that everything is going to be hunky dory in your life if you are just obedient to God is a bunch of hogwash. Sometimes God gives us good to prepare us for the bad. This was how it happened with Elijah. He sent word by Obadiah to Ahab that he was still alive and he was prepared to end the drought according to God’s will. He also issued a challenge for a contest between himself and the prophets of Baal. He wound up calling fire down from God and consumed his soaked sacrifice. After winning the contest, Elijah slew the false prophets, declared an end to the drought, and outran a horse and chariot to the bottom of the mountain, and then his problems started. When Jezebel received the news about all of her false prophets, she sent word swearing to Elijah that by the same time the next day she would have destroyed him. After the great victory on the mountain and the miracle of him outrunning a horse not to mention slaying the false prophets, Elijah got scared and discouraged and went on the run. God fed him twice by an angel while he was on the run and he still wound up hid out in a cave pouting and that brings us to our next story about a different kind of whisper.
God, being as longsuffering as he is with us, allowed Elijah to pout and also to complain to him about the position he found himself in. He then commenced to shoot down Elijah’s complaints with the facts. Afterwards, he began to give instructions to Elijah about how he was going to honor his request and allow him to die but not before he had accomplished a few more tasks that he had for him. He wanted him to anoint kings for both Israel and Judah. He also wanted him to anoint a prophet to replace himself, a young man named Elisha. Keep in mind that before Elijah had received these instructions, he had what we would call a heart to heart in which the Lord had just called him out of the cave. As mentioned above, not by anything but just a still small voice. Just one soft whisper from the Lord changed not only Elijah’s life, but also that of Elisha.
Because of the rough way that Elijah had been treated, he was anxious to leave the ministry. Now, all because of a still small voice speaking to Elijah, a young man was about to get his world changed forever by a whisper to someone else. We always think about the impact the still, small, voice had on the remainder of Elijah’s life, but we don’t stop to think much about the impact it had on Elisha. Here was Elisha, just a farm boy out plowing the field, and Elijah walks by and throws his mantle on him and Elisha follows him immediately. Based on the scripture, I am led to believe that there were no words even exchanged at this point. Elisha, not even knowing what was fixing to happen in his life, kissed his parents good-bye, boiled a yoke of oxen and fed the people there, and then he left. If I read it right, he didn’t even take time to eat himself.
Elisha’s life got better as he watched and listened to Elijah. He saw the ministry, prophesies, and even some miracles while traveling with Elijah. Elijah had offered Elisha any request he had if he seen him actually depart. They were together when the chariot of fire and horses of fire came down from heaven and divided them asunder. Elisha instantly received a double portion and from that point on his life would never be the same. As a matter of fact, if you count them, Elijah did eight miracles and Elisha performed 16 in their respective ministries.
Without getting into a lot more detail about Elisha’s ministry, I want to point out a few things that might not have happened if Elijah hadn’t of listened to that still small voice. For instance, the valley that the Israelites made full of ditches that the Lord filled with water and when their enemy looked at the water and thought that it ran filled with blood and were afraid of Israel. The bears devouring 42 children. The prophet’s wife that poured oil in all of the vessels and sold it to keep her sons from being sold to the creditors. The barren Shunamite woman that birthed a son that Elisha later raised from the dead. The prophets that were eating the poison pottage. Naaman being healed of his leprosy. The man who lost the borrowed axe head that wound up swimming. All of these things may have never happened had Elijah not hearkened to that still small voice. I know that God could have accomplished the same with anyone that would have been obedient. But, he did it with Elisha. Someone heard that still, small, voice and obeyed is why that your saved and I am saved. Little did pastor Les Edwards know when he bowed down in the backseat of that old car over 50 years ago and led my pastor Bruce West to the Lord; that I would get saved and wind up preaching the gospel. He couldn’t have known any of that when the Lord spoke to him in that still, small, voice to witness to Bruce. Bruce couldn’t have known what the result would be when New Hope Baptist Church in Barnardsville was praying for my dad who was out of church in 1972. My dad would not only rededicate his life to the Lord; but would wind up being a deacon and raise four kids in God’s house. Two would be preachers and one of the girls would be a pastor’s wife and the other girl was at one time an incredible pianist and organist. No way that Bruce or my dad could have known that all those times that they listened to that voice. My mom couldn’t have known any of that when she got us ready and drug us to church and prayed faithfully for my dad until he got back in.
Who do you have to thank because they listened to that still, small, voice? Who made that kind of impact in your life? Who might you be making that kind of impact for? When you hear that voice, what will you do? Yes, God could use somebody else but he chose to use you. He chose to give you the opportunity to make that kind of difference for someone. It’s a different kind of whisper when the Lord speaks to your heart. I am glad that I heard him speaking to my heart as a kid and I’m glad he still does. He has a voice like no other. His whisper thunders in the souls of the lost. It’s a different kind of whisper. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!
A DIFFERENT KIND OF WHISPER Andy Hollifield 6-30-18