I am sitting here late at night and the whole family is asleep. The house is exceptionally quiet, and it is very pleasant. Don’t get me wrong – I love being the father of four, but there is not often I have a chance for a little still!
But that got me thinking about Elijah and his desire to encounter God. God wasn’t in the earthquake and God wasn’t in the fire. God was in the still, small voice.
Yet it seems to me that within the charismatic world all we do is about the earthquake and the fire. Fire conferences, fire clubs, fire meetings, shake the nations songs and worship, the whole lot. We are all looking for revival, all looking for that next explosion.
What if God isn’t in the revival? What if God isn’t in the conference? What if God isn’t in the explosion?
What if God is in the still and the small? What if God is in you baking a cake for your lonely neighbour? What if God is in the encouraging text to the discouraged Christian? What if God is in you turning off the dull insipid TV programme and reading a chapter or two of the Bible and thinking about His love and grace?
We all admire the spectacular, but what if in our search for the spectacular we are missing the supernatural. There was no healing meeting in the book of Acts. Peter healed the beggar on the way to the church, and then saw salvations. We would have taken the beggar to the meeting, and made him listen to I AM THE LORD THAT HEALETH THEE a thousand times because we think God is in the FIRE, not in the small voice: I have something, and I am going to give it to you.
Philip walked away from the revival and the joy and the healings to go and minister to one hungry man reading the Scriptures who wanted to know the Messiah.
Paul interrupted his letter to the Philippians, his favourite church, to ensure a couple of ladies were speaking to each other.
Maybe you don’t have the skills to change a nation, but you can change one person’s life. Today (or possibly tomorrow as it is pretty much bed time here) you could take a small, still, peaceful action and lead someone into a better life.
I am not against numbers, I am not anti-numbers. I was told by God to move to London and build a church of thousands. But this week we took our Living Church (house church, cell, whatever label suits you) and broke it into two groups. It went from one group of 13-15 to two groups of about 6. And the testimonies from the two groups were exponentially more than the testimonies from the one. Why? Silence. The still and the small. People could share issues, people could discuss, people weren’t afraid to share their soul.
Sometimes loud is awesome. But God was in the still. So why are our churches sometimes the least quiet places on the planet?
Today I ask you: just for a day, don’t beg God for fire or for an earthquake in your life, but just listen to the still and the small and follow that. I believe that in the long run you will see more results than just sitting and expecting an earthquake to throw everything in your lap.