I have always loved a story in 1 Kings about Elijah the prophet. After God used Elijah to dramatically bring down the false prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel, he ran away and hid in a cave. He ran because he was threatened by the evil queen Jezebel. God came to him at that cave.

Here is what happened:

“The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:11-13 NIV

God was in the whisper. Elijah just had to stop being distracted by the noise (wind, earthquake, fire) and be quiet to hear God’s whispers.

I have been working on that. I am setting up times to be quiet and listen to God prayerfully. I read His Word (the Bible) and try to pause before moving on to what is next—waiting to hear for His Whisper. Over the past weeks, I believe I have been blessed with several “God Whispers” that I would like to share with you

1. “Large doors swing on small hinges.”

I recently watched a recorded session from a conference where two veteran preachers were being interviewed. These faithful retired preachers had over 80 years of ministry experience combined. Bob Russell and Alan Ahlgrim shared their insights and wisdom regarding ministry and living faithfully for Jesus. In the conversation, they were asked how they ended up at the churches that they served and saw grow into the thousands. Both shared that it was their obedience to what they thought were small prompts from God. That is when one of them said – “Large doors swing on small hinges.”

God’s “big” work in us and through us always involves the small. Faithfulness in the small leads to the blessings in the big. Jesus said it this way in talking about how we operate with money in our day-to-day.
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? Luke 16:10-12 NIV

Again Jesus used this imagery of small being used for big by God in talking about faith.

He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. Luke 17:6 NIV

This brings me to one of my favorite Bible verses, Proverbs 27:23:

Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds;

In following Jesus, pay attention to the small things of life. Be faithful in the details. Be obedient in the small day-to-day stuff. Large doors swing on small hinges.

2. “Heal is in Health.”

After I read a book that my friend Jason Carmack recommended, this statement came to me. In Chris Beat Cancer: A Comprehensive Plan for Healing Naturally by Chris Wark, Chris shares how he radically changed his diet to recover from colon cancer in this book. After my recent ordeal with illness, I have been convicted that I need to be a better steward of my health. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Our bodies are designed to heal if we live according to the health plans God has created. This involves what we eat and drink, getting enough sleep, keeping destructive stress out of our lives and relationships. Body, mind, emotions, spirit – all facets of who we are can find health in the ways revealed in God’s Word and in what we know from His creation. So I have changed the way I eat. I have changed the way I plan my days. I have set up talking to a wise Christian counselor regularly. I am working on living my life rhythms that honor God.

Heal is in health. Remember the example of Daniel. When Daniel and his friends were taken into the court of the Babylonian Emperor, he refused to eat the food from the king’s table. The food of the kings then is very much the like food we eat today. So Daniel set up an experiment for the court, testing the benefits of the food from the king’s table versus eating to honor God.

Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days. At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. Daniel 1:11-15 NIV

3. “We can’t guarantee success (in this war) but we can do something better. We can deserve it.”

This is a quote from John Adams’s letter to his wife Abigail during the Revolutionary War. I read it in The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For by David McCullough. McCullough makes the observation that we don’t say things like that anymore. John Adams said that it is more important to deserve to win the war than win. Character is more important than success. This statement does not make sense without the belief that one day we will all face a judge. To deserve to win implies that there is a God we must answer to. In this world of “win at all costs,” where cheating to get good grades is the norm, cutting corners is the practice, and getting ahead because it’s my “right” is the expectation, John Adams’ statement reminds us of the truth of God’s Word:

The perverse in heart are an abomination to the Lord, But the blameless in their walk are His delight. Proverbs 11:20 NASB

4. Live not by lies

This is a phrase that is the title of a book I read not too long ago, Live not by lies: A Manual For Christian Dissidents by Rod Dreher. Dreher took the title from a paper written by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Solzhenitsyn was a Christian who stood up to the communist machinery of the Soviet Union. It is the title of the sermon series and all church study we are about to go into at Mount Carmel. I love this line because it is a reminder of what the Bible tells us we will face in this world. Christians will face opposition. That opposition will come in the form of systems of thought, ideas, and philosophies that will seek to neutralize the truth of God’s Word. We as Christians must, with wisdom, faithfully resist living by the lies. The lies that would reduce individual human beings into units of profit (you exist only to consume), units of production (you exist only to be a cog in the economy), and units of political gain (you exist only to provide the votes to keep the powerful in power).

The message of Jesus goes against the systems of the world. The good news message, the truth, is that you are valuable to God no matter who you are. He created you. He paid the price to buy you out of death – the life of Jesus. You have value, and you have value to give. The Spirit of God in you means you have “God-gifts” to share that will bless others. The truth is that wherever Christianity has taken root, people’s lives have been bettered. Jesus is the ultimate releaser of human potential. So don’t live by the lies of the world. Live by the truth.

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,  but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. Psalm 1:1-2 NIV

So those are my God Whispers. I pray that they were blessings to you.