Still Small Voice

Elijah on the mountain:

1 Kings 19

  • Wind
  • Earthquake
  • Fire
  • distracted from the still small voice (maybe it was always there, but we weren’t listening)
  • Still Small Voice (expounded from the Hebrew
    • a whisper
    • thin, small, fine
    • sound, voice

God has it covered; peacefully, reassuringly.

Remove ourselves from the drama. Stop – be still and listen.

Psalms 4:4
Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.

Psalms 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

Mark 4:39-40
39. And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis)

Genesis 3: 1-7
1. Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2. And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3. But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
7. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons

Desire to know everything

Human Beings have a desire to know everything. Technology these days has enabled us to be able to get any knowledge at our fingertips whenever we want. We want to know details as soon as they are found out. If we know something that someone else doesn’t we are one better, we have a leg up. The competitive edge! (Cain & Abel)

There is not just knowing the information, but also knowing every single aspect of it.  And despite that, it doesn’t matter because the other person has the wrong opinion anyway !! So it’s not just a battle of information, but opinions  about that information and how persuasive it is or how you can make it!!

All this points to is our lack of being content. It is never enough. We are never satisfied. Our desire for more is insatiable, because when we speak of something new we becoming “popular” and gain attention for the individual.

1 Timothy 6:6
But godliness with contentment is great gain.

John 3:30
He must increase, but I must decrease.

Extremely appealing, but by allowing it (distractions, useless noise & information) into our lives we also become distracted.

So we are consumed by “information” that we have no need for. Knowledge where its main purpose is just to fill our mind. Self satisfying news that serves to push out any useful understanding like “How to live forever!”.

Daniel 12:4
But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

Competing for our attention

With all the information feeding our thirst for knowledge, our attention gets drawn in this way and that way. Competing and grading for our every second of consumption. And if we allow it to, it pushes out the knowledge of God and so WE can fix everything ourselves with OUR own knowledge.

Romans 1:28
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

What is happening in our life?

Elijah had a series of good runs. These periods of incredible boldness and being used to demonstrate the power and authority of God … but through all this it appears as though he had a thought in his mind that he was “the only one” (that was doing good, being used by good, going through this situation, etc etc) and there came this moment in his life where he was challenged and fear took over. And the result – he ran.

Maybe we can relate to this. Maybe we feel like we are alone and all we are feeling, seeing and experiencing is:
– The wind shaking the world around us
– Earthquakes trying to knock us off our feet
– And fire consuming everything we see

But none of these are God!

The Wind
  • Fierce strong winds can be incredibly damaging flattening buildings & trees, destroys crops
  • Makes it hard to walk and if (as in this case) it starts to moves rocks, it’s not only the wind that causes us difficulty, but the effects of that wind that we have to watch out for.
  • Once again, a light breeze can be hugely beneficial, by moving on bad weather, drying clothes, cools a hot day – but it’s a fine line.
The earthquakes
  • The things we thought were solid and unmovable
  • The noise and fear
  • The damage to things and people and daily life
The Fire
  • Looks spectacular from a distance but when you get to close it burns
  • In a small contained controlled environment it be hugely beneficial (heat, cooking) but that gives a sense of comfort and peace
  • A large fire is out of control, erratic

Maybe God is trying to speak to us, guide us, direct us, but because it’s doing it in such a quiet fashion we miss it over the glamour and glitz of us knowing everything?

… a still small voice …

I’m sure our first response is “well can’t God speak up?!” (aka Show us a sign and it suffices us – Matthew 12:38) but to seek out an answer (to pray) from God, requires us to remove the noise and allow our heart to truly seek Him out.

Matthew 6:6
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Thought:
Saul being made blind when Jesus spoke to him

Maybe part of the blindness was so that he became acutely aware of the voice of God. That it removed his default senses to allow him to actually hear ...

Job 22:21
Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.

Psalm 55:16-18
16. As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me.
17. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
18. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me.

1 Samuel 1:17
Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.
(to Hannah asking God for a son – Samuel)

Jeremiah 29:11-13
11. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
12. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
13. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Isaiah 26:3-4
3. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
4. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

Isaiah 54:10
For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.

James 3:17
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

Visiting the sick

Notes from Pr Deane Clee

General comments.

Physical Sickness

Sickness is a part of life, which comes to us all at times. In the 1930s, a Swiss physician named Tournier proposed the concept that when a person is sick, the whole being is affected – the physical, the psychological and the spiritual.

We read in the scriptures that Jesus when he saw the sick, he was moved with compassion. Likewise, we should have the same approach if we are to help others. We need to have ‘Compassionate Care’. The Gospels devote a number of references tot he topic of healing the sick. The disciples were expected to carry out this healing ministry. For instance, Mark 16 describes, as one of the signs of a believer, that “they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover”. Jesus did not set up a clinic in the temple, rather, he went to the people who were sick.

Old Age

The Bible says that Christians are commanded to honour their parents – “that it may go well with you, and that you may enjoy long life upon the earth”.

Older people are to be respected, cared for, and loved in Christ, along with all age groups. As one gets older our body runs down. We experience declining health and strength, no longer working, limited income, declining ability to think or act quickly, rejection, more vulnerable, get more depressed or frustrated, etc. This group are sick more often, and therefore need understanding by those that are visiting, and each must examine their own attitude towards the elderly to be really effective. It is hard when you are younger to relate to the things which affect the elderly. Try to be empathetic.

Pointer for visiting the sick

Visit frequently, but keep the visits brief (depending on the medical condition of the patient).

Let the patient take the lead in shaking hands, unless you know them well.

Stand up or sit where the patient can see you easily.

Give the patient freedom to talk freely, and listen carefully to there comments. Some want to discuss their feelings and concerns, others like to talk about something else.

Use the spiritual recourses at your disposal, be positive, or build up their faith, about what God can do, and has done for others. Make encouraging comments, share the testimonies of others. Quote and read the scriptures. Leave a small list of scriptures. Check if they have a Bible with them.

It is best to suggest prayer. Be aware of how the patient feels. For example, in a public ward some prefer the curtains closed. The prayer in such a case should be of low volume and kept short.

At a hospital visit, if the door is closed or with a ‘no visitors’ sign, check at the nurses station or reception.

If the sick is at home, then phone before the visit and make sure your visit is at a convenient time.

A phone call between visits helps to check on the patient’s progress or needs.

Do try and call when there are not a number of other visitors present.

Dos ad Don’ts

Dos

  • Be friendly, cheerful, reassuring and comforting.
  • Help the patient feel at ease as much as possible
  • Recognise that anxieties, discouragement, guilt, frustrations and uncertainties may be present.
  • Give reassurance of God’s love, promises and care. He never leaves nor forsakes His people.
  • Give reassurance that you, and others, are upholding the patient in prayer.

Don’ts

  • Talk about your past illnesses, unless it is a real testimony to the Lord.
  • Force the patient to talk, something, your silent presence is reassuring.
  • Visit when you are sick.
  • Talk loudly.
  • Criticise the hospital, treatment or the doctors.

Scriptures:

James 5:14-15
14. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

Psalms 34:15,17,19
15. The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
17. The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
19. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

Matthew 9:29-30
29. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
30. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.

Expectation

Scriptures

Acts 12:1-11
When God delivers, he delivers not only from that situation, but the complete expectation of those against us.

Ephesians 4:14-15

Type of expectations:

  • Cultural
  • Social
  • Work
  • Health
  • Fashion
  • Other peoples
  • Our own (self-indulging, abasing)

Isaiah 43:1-7
We have God personally defending and looking after us. We are precious in his eyes.

Romans 8:1-2
There is no condemnation (by any one or anything). The Spirit of Life has made us free (from death)

Romans 6:9-11
Death no longer has dominion over Christ, and if we determine ourselves to be alive unto Christ …
Romans 6:17-18
We have been made FREE from sin and become the servants of righteousness.

Romans 8:15
Romans 8:31
We are no longer under bondage, we have been made free and nothing can be against us.

We need to be careful that in our position of freedom we don’t allow pride to creep into our heart and rob us of our position with Christ. Psalms 10:4

Galations 5:1
Galations 5:7-9
Galations 5:16-18
Take warning that we don’t become entangled in a life that will lead to natural expectations. We are encouraged to continue in the things we have learnt and to walk in the Spirit.

Titus 2:11-14
Here we are reminded yet again that we have our salvation by the grace of God. The Holy Spirit teaches us how we should live, what we should do and the things to look for.

John 8:31-32
The truth will make us free

Hebrews 9:11-14
Christ has redeemed us with HIS blood that we should now serve the living God. Our expected end has changed.

1 Peter 1:18-21
Redeemed not with corruptible things, but with the blood of Christ, that our faith and hope might be in Him.

Hebrews 4:1-11
We have been promised true rest, and we need to give this promise of rest true diligence in working towards it, that we do receive it. God has promised us.
Therefore, the more we cease from our OWN works (expectation), the more we enter into his rest (expectation and promise).

Isaiah 55:9
His thoughts are higher than ours. We can remove our own and others expectation from our mind, that we might simply serve God.

Jeremiah 29:11-13
God thinks peace towards us. His thinks to give us an expected end – one of hope, of truth, of rest, of compassion, of joy, of peace …

Titus 3:4-7
A reminder that it wasn’t of anything that we’ve done, but rather by the grace of God that our expectation can be in the hope of eternal life.

Psalms 15

Psalms 15

  1. Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle?
    who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
  2. He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness,
    and speaketh the truth in his heart.
  3. He that backbiteth not with his tongue,
    nor doeth evil to his neighbour,
    nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
  4. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned;
    but he honoureth them that fear the Lord.
    He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
  5. He that putteth not out his money to usury,
    nor taketh reward against the innocent.
    He that doeth these things shall never be moved.

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