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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
August 10, 2002

He said, "Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by." Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces 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; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
1 Kings 19:11-13 (NRSV*)

How is the Lord manifested? Because God is so great and awesome, we may expect Him to be manifested in ways such as hurricane-force winds, earthquakes and great fires. Indeed, sometimes God may be manifested in such ways. But often God speaks out of the silence.

In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we may often miss the voice of God. God is not absent, but we are distracted by so many activities and worries that we don't sense His presence. We need to withdraw from these activities regularly, put all the distractions of our lives aside, and listen to God in the silence.

As faith communities, we also need to be careful that we open space to truly listen to God. Not that singing praises to God and other activities that are not silent can't bring us closer to God. But we also need to make time to sit quietly together, putting aside all distractions, to hear God speaking out of the silence. When we do so, we can be bound together as believers in a special way and we can corporately receive direction.

If you want to hear God's voice, have a discipline of daily times of silence waiting on the Lord. And meet with other believers to quietly wait on the Lord together.

Bill Samuel

* New Revised Standard Version © Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.

©2002 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 27-Dec-2003 12:00:48 EST