Anglican Morning Devotion, 9 July 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“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? 10 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. 11And 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: 12And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” (1 Kings 19:9-13; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
There is a sad tendency in the modern church to opt for sensation more than truth and reverence. Congregants are often told to demand of the Lord and He will have no choice but to grant our prayerful petitions. When did He stop being Sovereign? The louder one proclaims his desires, like a spoiled brat, the better the Lord can hear it seems. What unimaginable error! The modern church has, as well, adopted the music of the world that does not lift the soul to a higher plane, but is sensual and worldly. The songs of the modern church are not usually classical hymns that reinforce biblical doctrine, but rather light and puffy jingles that are not at all reverent and less proclaiming of biblical doctrine.
Maybe you will accuse me of being old fashioned and, if you do, you would be correct. I want to be as old fashioned as Moses and Abraham; the Lord Jesus Christ and Paul; the early Church Fathers of the Roman catacombs; and the great Reformers of England and the Continent who were willing to be burned at the stake rather than deny truth. I wonder how many pulpit dandies of our day would do so?
There is a still, small voice at the seat of judgment in each soul created by God – it is called the CONSCIENCE! Even those who may be alien to the Kingdom of Heaven are imbued with this instrument of the Holy Spirit to govern the behaviors of both believers as well as those who are without the law. “(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. 14For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) 16In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” (Romans 2:13-16)
That still, small voice cannot be heard in the midst of drunken orgies, or even during irreverent worship and chaotic so-called music – but it is most often encountered in the early dews of the garden, or in some solitary place where the world has less rule on one’s conscience. The Christian believer, being fully conscious of the Word of God, is able to hear that voice with clarity and decisiveness. When an action of doubtful right is considered, the doubt itself is the voice of conscience against that act. Some can no longer hear that voice because they have denied the Holy Spirit too many times. “1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” (1 Timothy 4:1-3)
Elijah stole away to a mountain cave and in his solitude there, heard that small, still voice of God which spoke more loudly than all his fears and doubts. The sensational thunder of the voice of God is far less likely to be heard at the appointed hour of a tv evangelist’s program than that moment of the still, small voice of the cavern in which Elijah was blessed to hear it. God is able to thunder His Law from the heights of Sinai, but most often comes to the individual in the moment of solitude and meditation. God makes no great show of His speaking to us. In the case of Elijah, God did not speak from the mighty wind that tore the mountain rocks; He was not in the earthquake; and He was not in the consuming fire. He was Master of all these forces, but those forces are most often not the voice of God to us. He is in the small, still voice that is informed of truth and love in the heart of the believer. After the witnessing of all these mighty signs on the mountain came, “. . . and after the fire a still small voice.”
You may hear that voice today, even NOW! But not in the noisy thoroughfare of life – not in the drunken music halls or card tables of Las Vegas – no, we must seek Him in our private caves and closets. Get still in our hearts and souls – and LISTEN!