Summary: Last week we talked about Elijah on Mt Horeb and the wind, earthquake and fire demonstration by God and then the gentle whisper of His voice. This past week I became angry in a way that was sinful. My experience was similar to Elijah's. Hear my confession
Please open your Bibles to 1 John 2:1-2
"My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father - Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world."
Doesn't that just fill your heart with gratitude that we have an Advocate with the Father and that Advocate is none other than Jesus Christ the Savior of the world?
This is a beautiful Scripture. We should not be sinning, but, if we do, there is hope!
This not only applies to Elijah after he ran from God's appointment but it applies to me as well as we will see later in the message.
Do you remember how the past couple of Sundays we’ve been taking a look at the record of Elijah’s life in 1 Kings 17-19 and how when he finally arrived at the cave on Mount Horeb the Lord demonstrated His power through the wind, the earthquake and the fire but only spoke to Elijah in a still, small voice or a gentle whisper?
This past Sunday and Monday I lived a graphic illustration of that situation.
This past Sunday I lost my temper with someone. It was not a holy anger and
I said words that were hurtful. It was a sin.
I have confessed this sin to those who were present and asked forgiveness.
I am ashamed that this happened and it has happened in the past.
I would not confess this publicly but it is an example of the situation with Elijah.
As soon as I let my anger overflow I knew that what I had done was wrong in the sight of God and those present.
At that point I felt a heaviness in my spirit and I knew that I had displeased the Lord as well as my brother and sisters in Christ.
That heaviness of spirit lasted through the afternoon, the evening and into the night. To me, that heaviness of spirit was like the wind, earthquake and fire of the Lord demonstrated to Elijah. It was not a remedy but it certainly opened me to what the Lord would say in a still, small voice.
As soon as I woke up Monday morning my mind went directly back to that situation and the Lord spoke to me with this question, “Why haven’t you made this a matter of prayer?” which was the equivalent of His question to Elijah,
“What are you doing here, Elijah?”
You see, this is not a new problem for me as some in the church know.
I could try to blame the problem on genetics or “That’s just the way I am” or my upbringing or some other excuse but that’s exactly what it would be, an excuse.
I had known that this was a problem I had because I was always there when it happened, but, I assumed that as I became more mature in the Lord the problem would resolve itself and so I had never thought to make it a matter of daily prayer.
But, on Monday morning when the still small voice of the Lord said, “Why haven’t you made this a matter of prayer?”
I determined to make it a matter of daily prayer, even multiple times per day as necessary.
I also hope to connect with an accountability partner who will ask me on a regular basis as to how I am doing with this problem and who will pray for me.
Now, how did I know that this still, small voice was from God?
1) It addressed an area of spiritual weakness in my life
2) The corrective action was Biblical
Look at these Scriptures regarding the area of spiritual weakness:
Proverbs 12:18 NIV
“The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
Proverbs 15:1 ESV
“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Proverbs 21:23 HCSB
“The one who guards his mouth and tongue keeps himself out of trouble.”
Proverbs 21:23 TLB
“Keep your mouth closed and you’ll stay out of trouble.”
What should the speech of a mature Christian be like?
Psalm 35:28 NIV
“My tongue will proclaim Your righteousness, Your praises all day long.”
Psalm 37:30 ESV
“The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.”
Proverbs 25:11 ESV
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”
Colossians 4:6 ESV
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
OK. So we know that the ability of Christians to hear the still small voice of God or His gentle whisper depends on us knowing the Word of God whether it comes by reading or hearing.