Hey guys. I’ll be off the map for the next week. Anyone want to take the reigns and post a few things while I’m out? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to.
Hey guys. I’ll be off the map for the next week. Anyone want to take the reigns and post a few things while I’m out? Email me at email@example.com if you’d like to.
The surest way to make ourselves apathetic toward spiritual things is to make ourselves as comfortable as possible in this life.
God tells us that as Christians, we’re pilgrims here. Strangers in a foreign land. But do we live like it?
If you knew you would die today, would giving up your life be inconceivable, due to all the people and things you would miss so dearly?
Or if you knew you would die today, would you be relieved and joyous? Can you say with Paul that to die and be with Christ would be much better than what you have going on right now (Phil 1:23) and that your longing to stay in this world is strictly because of the work you have left to do for Christ (Phil 1:24)?
We’re called to have shallow roots, to live as aliens, but there has never been a more comfortable civilization in the history of mankind. Comfort rocks us to sleep, singing us a lullaby of conformity.
My advice — to you and myself as well — is to get uncomfortable, intentionally, that when our final day comes, we might be able to say, “Ah, yes. Finally!”
It is often posited by “cultural Christians” that radical, gut-level faith in our unseen God is illogical. That a biblical lifestyle of serving Christ is irresponsible. They wouldn’t use those words, but we can speak frankly.
Think about this. How much sense does it make to try to dedicate your life to building the “American dream”, instead of casting trust on the One from whom everything comes? Does it make one bit of sense to toil like a maniac in your attempt to make money, find security, and ensure comfort and safety, instead of using your life to serve the almighty God who decides whether or not you take another breath? And on top of that, to give God our leftovers after we’re done getting our own affairs in order?
It makes no sense. It’s completely illogical.
In fact, I’ve never heard it phrased quite like this, but I have begun to realize the truth of the following statement:
To be radically dedicated and devoted to Jesus Christ, whatever the cost, is the only LOGICAL way for a Christian to live.
Sounds weird, right? The world doesn’t ever use “radical” and “logical” in the same sentence. To the world, those words are polar opposites. But consider…
In Luke 9:22, Jesus reveals to His disciples that He will soon be humiliated and murdered:
And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”
Then He says in verses 23 through 26:
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
It’s not a coincidence that the Lord gave this statement right after telling His disciples that He was going to be mocked and murdered. He’s basically saying, “This is it, guys. I’m going to suffer and die. For you. It’s going to be terrible. And if you really want to be my followers, you have to be willing to do the same for my name. You have to be willing to lay down your very lives for me. And you can trust me, if you do that, what I give back to you will be unfathomably better.”
This is a pretty intense declaration! Yet so many Christians live as if Christ had commanded something like this: “Whoever wants to follow me only has to claim to be my follower. Pray a prayer. Once you do that, you can kind of tuck me away in your back pocket until you need me again. Just use all your energy, time, and resources to make yourself and your family as comfortable as possible. And don’t worry about sharing the Gospel if it makes you uncomfortable. Please, don’t inconvenience yourself on account of me.”
In light of Christ’s actual words, written clearly above for everyone to read, what is truly logical for the Christian?
Is it logical to be lukewarm and half-hearted? Clearly not! We are to lay down our lives for Him. That’s what Christ means by His declaring that His followers must be “born again”. Not an “improved version of their former self”, but a new birth, a new person, a new creation!
Read the passages. Deny yourself. Pick up your cross. Lose your life. Be unashamed. This is the reality of what Christ expects of His followers.
For those who call themselves Christians, the only logical response to our Savior’s universe-tilting love is to gladly obey His call to a radical lifestyle of serving Him.
I wrote this post on a different blog about two years ago:
Here’s a profound quote by Francis Chan I recently came across:
“Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”
Anyone else wake up one day to realize that something other than God has become the primary recipient of your limited energy and brain-power? (Shhh…don’t say the “I” word…)
When it happens, it’s startling. It happened to me, recently. I woke up one day and realized that I devote a significant amount of time and energy to work and money. And by “significant”, I mean, excessive.
Perhaps it’s because my wife is now a stay-at-home-mom, and I’m a 26 year old with a 1 year old at home and a bit of an anxiety issue. Perhaps it’s the sense of “security” it gives me to acquire money; it makes me feel like I’m protecting my family and “doing my job as a man”. Seriously…I have to ask myself…is that a joke? Am I playing a joke on myself?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to provide security for your family, and to be financially stable. But when it crosses over to the realm of “need”, as in, you “need” to have money to feel secure…well, that’s not OK. Security comes from God, not some stupid little thing like money. God provides and protects. God gives wealth and takes it away. If God trusts you with money, do you think it’s prudent to allow that money to become your focus? No, not for a Christian. Seek FIRST the Kingdom. God will not stand for anything other than Him to be the focus of one of his chosen children.
Some time ago, at my church, the pastor said something to the effect of:
“Your primary focus in life is what you think about when you’re not prompted to do so.”
That stuck with me, and I’m glad it did. If that “primary focus” is not God, something’s off.
I love Christian rap. Love it. Tim Challies, a Canadian Christian pastor/blogger/book reviewer did the world a favor and put together this infographic. Read. Ponder. Enjoy. Click twice to enlarge. (Lecrae & Trip Lee are my favorites, FWIW).
“Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” (ESV)
“Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” (NIV)
“You cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.” (NLT)
“None of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” (NASB)
“Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” (NKJV)
“Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” (KJV)
“Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can’t be my disciple.” (The Message, paraphrase)
Jesus is speaking to us, by name.
“Adam Ford cannot be my disciple without giving up everything he owns.”
“If Dave Riddle does not forsake all that he has, he cannot be my disciple.”
“Vinnie Bosscher cannot be my disciple if he does not give up all his own possessions.”
“[Insert your name here], you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.”
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: ”Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Big lesson here that we can’t miss.
The self-righteous religious man is claiming his merits, listing them to God, patting himself on the back:
I fast twice a week! I give tithes of all I get! Thank God I’m righteous, and unlike these filthy people!
Self-righteous (which is no righteousness at all), bombastic, elitist, superficial.
Read between the lines and you can see these words:
God – look what I am! Look what I do! You owe me!
In stark contrast is the tax collector.
Standing far off, he wouldn’t even lift his eyes to heaven.
Reverence toward God. Shame toward his sin.
He beat his breast out of gut-level regret and helplessness.
“God!” he begged, “be merciful to me, a sinner!”
He’s coming to God with no payment in his hands, just truth on his lips. He’s not trying to bribe the Judge; he knows he’s guilty, and he’s crying out for mercy to the only one who can give it. He knows there is no hope for him other than grace from God, given because of the love of God.
We can learn so much from this parable.
Oh Lord, may we never come to you with a worthless human payment. May we always see you as the one who justifies freely those who will simply admit the truth, and may we live in that grace forever.
In light of the gospel, what’s the Christ-like way to raise our children? This is a question I ponder regularly.
Here’s a gut-check for all of us (myself included):
Are we doing right by our children by raising them to be safe, moral, proper, responsible members of society? When we’re chiefly concerned with their self-esteem, inclusion, fiscal responsibility, and civil productivity? Even if Jesus/church is a part of this equation? Even a big part?
Would doing right by our children entail teaching them the hard truths of the gospel, training them in holiness, never assuming the gospel but preaching to them like Jesus taught people, showing them how many (even “proper”) people do not have salvation, and, when they’re old enough, strapping them up with the armor of God, praying over them, and sending them off to the worst, most dangerous part of the battle, even if it cost them their life?
Which is really the best for them?
Which is really safe?
Did you grow up in church?
Have you been a Christian as long as you can remember?
Are you the product of a loving Christian home?
Did you go to Christian school?
Have you never indulged in the “hard sins”?
Have you not missed a Sunday service in decades?
Can you quote scripture like a pro?
Cool. Those are all wonderful things. But here are the more important questions:
How’s your heart today?
Is it utterly in love with Jesus the Messiah?
Are you baffled daily that He saved you from condemnation?
Is your heart’s desire to see God glorified?
Will you deny yourself for His sake?
Will you carry your cross daily?
Would you give everything you own for Him?
Can you worship with the Psalmists when all is right?
Can you worship with Paul when beaten and in chains?
Is God your portion and passion?
Answer these for yourselves, by yourselves. Not the churchy answer, but the honest answer.
If the honest answer leaves you worried, then go to God and tell Him that. Plead with Him to make Himself the passion and joy of your heart, and don’t stop asking until He does.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? — Psalm 22:1
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” — Matthew 27:46
In my current cover-to-cover journey through the Word, I find myself in the Psalms. The Psalms are an emotional roller-coaster. The highs fly through the clouds and the lows dig under the canyons.
Psalm 22 stopped me as I was reading through. I’ve read it many times, but it’s never struck me as it did today. In all the high highs and the low lows, what could be more desperate than crying out to God, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”? It’s pitiful. The writer feels as though God Himself has utterly left him to destruction.
And what a picture it paints when God in the Flesh, Jesus Christ, echoes those same words while hanging from a Roman cross, beaten, bloodied, tortured, and dying. He was bearing the punishment for the sins of the world. God the Father – HIS Father – was crushing Him under the full force of His wrath. Christ cried out to the Father, with Whom He had eternally existed in the most perfect harmony, revealing that He was utterly alone. Forsaken. The weight of the sin of the world ground him to powder. The cup of the wrath of the Father was poured on Him like Niagara Falls onto an ant.
The Psalms are a gift from God, for wretches like you and me. They allow us comfort and empathy, they relate to us in our spiritual and emotional highs and lows. And as we read and relate to them, our Savior is in the background, saying to us, “I understand how you feel. I’ve been there.”
It’s not by accident that the Savior would repeat some of the lowest lows of the Psalms. He came not only to triumph over death, but also despair and hopelessness – by tasting the worst of it Himself.
I’ve been asked on more than one occasion about the blogs I read personally, many of which have content that reaches The Spillover. I always try to link to the sources of everything, but I thought it would be helpful to have a list of them all together. So here goes – a list of some of my favorite Christian blogs. Some are better than others; they seemingly each serve different purposes. And just because a blog is listed below definitely does not mean that everything on it is good, or even 100% theologically sound. On the whole, though, they are great resources for various reasons.
Check some of these out when you have the time. Or just keep reading The Spillover and you’ll keep getting the best of the best from these blogs and others.
Long ago, even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure. -Ephesians 1:4-5 (NLT)
Has God brought you to a place of genuine faith and repentance, filling your heart with a desire to please Him? Do you know beyond doubt that you can trust Him, your Heavenly Father? Do you glory in the fact that He chose you worthy?
Isn’t it the most incredible feeling in the world?
Pondering the grace of God can be difficult. It’s overwhelming.
Why would He choose to save me? Or you? Why would He choose to love and rescue a creature that didn’t know how to do anything other than offend Him?
You might have a date or a year in your memory, on which you “got saved”. This is what you tell people when they ask how long you’ve been a Christian. But God did not choose to save you on that day. The Creator of the universe chose to save you before He created the universe.
“Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us”.
That’s when He chose us who were filthy and wretched, that we would become clean and righteous through Christ. Before Christ was nailed to the cross for our sins, we were chosen; God made us a part of his “unchanging plan” that has “always been to adopt us into his own family”.
His plan wasn’t just to make us clean. It was to adopt us into His own family. Ponder the implications of that. We’re not just “not going to Hell”; God made us to be a part of His family. Forever.
It’s 8:23 pm and I just came down the steps, grabbed my netbook, and sat here at the kitchen table after tucking my two-year-old son Michael into bed. We just had a special moment, though I cherish every moment I spend with that boy. That God gave him to me and entrusts me with his upbringing is a continual source of wonderment in my life. I love him so deeply that it hurts.
We were praying together, which is the last thing we do before I turn the lights out. I was laying next to him, our faces inches apart, and we were looking into each others’ eyes as I prayed, thanking God for giving Michael and me the father-and-son bond that we have, even at his young age. It was a precious moment; the “sunset time” of the day when his tenacious energy gives way to sleepiness and he’s gentle and docile and affectionate. I was overcome with love for him, when a notion arrested my mind, mid-prayer:
If I really love him, I’ll never let my love for him come anywhere near the love I have for God.
If I really love him, I’ll teach him to give his life away for the gospel, even though my instinct is to shelter and protect him at any cost.
If I really love him, I’ll ferociously seek to purge sin from my life and my heart as I live as his flesh-and-bones example to follow.
These thoughts flashed through my mind in an instant. The way I must raise him is not the way the world tells me to raise him. It’s not even the way my instincts tell me to raise him. If I really love him, I have to raise him by the standards of the life-infusing gospel of Jesus Christ, without compromise.
As I looked into Michael’s eyes, I quietly begged God to grant me proper perspective and to emotionally equip me to lead my son into a life that is difficult. I asked Him to help me lead Michael toward the way of life everlasting, that I might prime him to treasure Jesus above anything and everything else. And I realized — for the first time in living color — that if God should answer my prayer, by His perfect grace and sacrifice, I’ll be able to spend eternity with my precious little boy.
Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Beautiful scripture, isn’t it? That is, unless we allow pride to make ourselves the sole character of the verse:
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
If we render this text with the accent on ourselves, it changes the meaning. The attention goes to self. I, me, I can do all things. Isn’t that great? Instead of this:
I can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens me.
When we emphasize Christ in this text, what are we saying? We’re pointing to Jesus and saying, Him! right there! He’s the reason I can do all things through faith. He’s glorious!
Of course, the latter is correct. The emphasis is on Christ. As in all areas of life, the emphasis should be on Christ. Not us; never us. But pride wouldn’t have it this way. Pride will tell us that God is a genie in the sky, one who we go to only when we need something, only when we desire a hand to help us through a tough stretch. Pride will tells us to glorify ourselves, and even worse, to use God as a means to do it.
Pride is the root of every sin, because pride places self in the most ridiculous place imaginable – above God. When we allow ourselves to buy into the lie of pride, sin is allowed to creep in. We begin to imagine that we “know better” than God, or that God “didn’t really mean that” though His word so clearly says so. Preposterous!
As we’re down here making an absolute mess of everything in every way imaginable, the perfect God of the universe takes our disease upon Himself that we might be saved. And in response, we attempt to place ourselves above the Holy Christ Himself!
It is no wonder at all when our Lord says
The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. –Proverbs 8:13
I don’t know about you, but when the Being who controls whether or not I take one more breath decides to reveal to me that there’s something He hates, it makes me believe I ought to listen. The thing itself – pride – is so scary because it can be so subtle. Much like a chemical addiction, it is often the victim of pride who is the last one to realize his condition. So let us be on the offense against pride. Let us seek it out in our own hearts to destroy it at any cost. This evil thing called pride wishes to set our hearts in direct opposition to God.
Consider the following:
Kind of a long list, eh? Lucky for you, I happen to be an expert on pride. You can trust me when I say, it’s nothing to fool around with. It’s a disease.
Since pride is such a sneaky vice, it would be wise to ask another person in our lives about our current state of humility. Seriously. Let’s each seek out a coworker, spouse, pastor, friend, acquaintance…and just ask them if we seem prideful, and if so, in what areas. Maybe even offer some of the above points as a possible checklist. Tell them to be 100% honest – and listen – don’t talk, just listen!
It would be safer to risk embarrassment than to continue to possibly swim in a cesspool of sin that God hates. It would be more intelligent to take a chance that might sting a little than to let pride keep you from seeing God. As C.S. Lewis said,
A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you’re looking down, you can’t see something that’s above you.
Won’t you ask someone today?
And if you will not…won’t you ask yourself why?
To be one of God’s children means to have an eternal Father bestowed upon you by adoption, through no merit of your own, for the purpose of the Father’s glory. It also means that things will always go well for you for the rest of your life.
Yes – things will always go well for you if you’re a child of God.
How can I say that? Am I getting all “best-life-now” on you guys this morning? Nope. The truthfulness of this statement is not dependent upon semantics, but perspective. God’s perspective is far superior to our own impotent, sin-marred, self-centered perspective. And God has told us something very important about our life’s events: no matter how difficult, how confusing, or how painful things may be, they were allowed by God, and…
We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. –Romans 8:28
No matter how badly things may go, things are going well for us. That’s such a difficult concept for us to grasp, but thankfully God’s wisdom is not squelched by our limited capacities.
We can allow this truth to manifest in our lives and in our hearts and by God’s grace, within the most difficult situations, we can trust our loving Father, knowing that He has an ultimate plan that is perhaps well above our understanding. We can embrace our weaknesses, for as the LORD has told us, “…my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
My prayer for each of us (and for myself) is that our circumstances will not dictate our joy nor our trust in God. Through Christ we have affirmation that God is working things out for our good, for His glory.
May we all be able to join Paul in saying:
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. –2 Corinthians 12:10
The old me was a mess.
The old me feigned confidence.
The old me sought fulfillment in things that could never deliver.
The old me was terribly concerned with the opinions of those around him.
The old me was so conceited that he wrapped his deep concern with others’ opinions in the fake cloak of really not caring about others’ opinions.
But that old me, boy did he care about what other people thought.
The old me cared a lot about with how things and people could serve him.
Even his family.
The old me took the real God and made Him into a fake god that suited his comfort level. His idea of what “God” should be like. As if he was in any position to make such decisions.
I’m still ashamed of the old me.
The new me has new thoughts and new desires.
The new me is proof, to me, of God’s existence.
The new me strives to find my identity in Christ, not things. Or people.
The new me understands that my job is to lose my life in order to gain it.
The new me realizes that my actions are an inheritance I’m leaving for my children. For better or worse.
The new me realizes I’m called to love my wife as Christ loves the church.
The new me strives to seek after God’s glory.
The new me still fails miserably at all these things, all the time.
But the new me has access to the One who can make me newer and newer each day.
I was unable to make it to the service this morning.
So I didn’t get to hear Dave’s sermon.
So I can’t write a post about it.
I need someone to write a blog post with some insight, ideas, thoughts, feedback, or anything else on your heart regarding today’s message.
Don’t be shy!
Who’s it gonna be?
Email me at TheSpillover@gmail.com.
It doesn’t have to be anything electrifying…just honest.
The world is full of religions. Religion isn’t worth a whole lot; it and $1 will get you a McDouble at McDonald’s.
The trouble with religion is this:
The religions of the world were founded by a person, or people. Those people instituted ideologies and schools of thought, and initiated other people to follow.
Then, those people died. And stayed dead.
Jesus, on the other hand, did not introduce a new “religion” into the world. No, not at all.
What He did was this: He claimed to be the Son of God; equal to the Father; the propitiation for the sins of mankind; Lord of lords and King of kings; and the only path by which any man can come to the Father.
That’s entirely different than purveying a life philosophy.
Jesus came as the fulfillment of every great and glorious promise made by God to men.
And to prove it, He displayed His power in various ways.
And for goodness sake, He walked out of the grave after dying a public, heinous death.
There is more proof for the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth than there is for most events pre-Christ that you learn as fact in Academia.
But this truth is infinitely more important than anything you learn in the history books. This truth changes everything.
Jesus made statements. He claimed credit. He wrote a check.
And He proved them true.
The check cleared.
Pastor Dave’s words moved me yesterday. I can’t stop thinking about his sermon, and about Calvary Baptist Church in general. Not the “institution”, not the “building”, but the FAMILY. Calvary Baptist Church is a group of people who are my family. If you’re a member, the same is true for you. God has placed on my heart this idea that yesterday was some sort of “turning point”.
You know, one way or another, that CBC is in the process of navigating through some hardships.
Instead of talking, speculating, gossiping, wondering, and worrying about our issues, I have a better idea. I’m going to PRAY for Calvary, like I’ve never prayed for Calvary before. And I want you to join me.
Together we’re going to draw a line in the sand. Like Dave talked about yesterday – there is no half-stepping in this Christian walk. None. Therefore, there is no half-stepping in supporting our church family in prayer. NONE.
I repent for my lack of prayer for my CBC family, and I invite you to do the same. In Jesus’ name.
If you are “all in” for Jesus Christ and you are a member of Calvary Baptist Church, I need to know no other detail about you to know that you are my brother or sister, I love you, and I want to join with you to shape the future of our family. Age, race, appearance, sex…nothing. I don’t care. We’re in this together.
Here’s what we’re going to do:
Commit to praying for Calvary Baptist Church for 15 minutes per day, every day this week. Let your commitment be known publicly by leaving a comment below saying “I’m in”.
We’re on the right path. We’re moving forward as a family. Satan must no longer get the joy of seeing us quarrel over pettiness. He’s nervous about what he’s seeing. Dave’s sermon yesterday terrified him, I guarantee it.
Calvary Baptist Church in Canton, Michigan, belongs to JESUS CHRIST.
Help us reclaim our family, for His glory.
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
When I read these words, I’m reminded of how vital it is to stay close to God. It doesn’t happen by accident; staying close to God is usually a result of intentional action in our lives.
Like, on Monday mornings. How’s that going for you today?
As for me, I find it easy to focus on all the other things a Monday morning brings. It’s a noisy time. There is a lot to think about, after all. Getting situated for the week at the office. Planning this week’s evenings. Worrying about those issues with my parents, or my siblings, or my friends, and how they may play out this week. And oh yeah, I still have projects around the house that I haven’t finished though they’ve been on a to-do list on my fridge for 2 months (sorry hun).
Monday morning is “planning time”. It’s like the team huddle before the game begins.
But giving all the attention to the details of life is like spending all of our time gathering ingredients for a recipe, without ever cooking the meal. We must bear in mind the purpose of our lives. What’s the ultimate goal?
What’s God doing with us? What’s He trying to communicate to us? What’s He saying to us, and how is He saying it?
Sometimes God speaks to us loudly and clearly, grieving our hearts for a cause until we come to tears, or throwing us in the middle of a situation with an obvious purpose for us to carry out. Other times God speaks to us using repetition. The same message will find its way to us several times, from several sources, within a short frame of time. And then there are times when God speaks to us like He did to Elijah in this passage.
Elijah experienced hurricane-force winds, an earthquake, and a great fire while waiting on the Lord, before God’s voice came as a gentle whisper.
In the midst of all the noise of life, sometimes God will speak to us in a gentle whisper.
When you’re in a noisy place and someone speaks to you in a low voice, can you hear what they’re saying while also listening to and looking at all of the other crazy, loud things in the room? Nope.
The only way you can hear what they’re saying is if you’re close to them, intently focused on them, and listening to them at the expense of everything else around you.
Strain to focus on Him; strain to hear each whisper from His mouth. Spite the noisiness. Be still and listen.