January 14, 2013:
Paul preached a good sermon yesterday about Elijah, about how Elijah had fallen in love with wind, earthquake, and fire – signs of God’s power and presence – more than with God Himself. Being able to call down fire at will, Elijah started to think he could control God’s responses. Then God withdrew for a time and took the wind out of Elijah’s sails.
God visited Elijah later in the wilderness:
A mighty wind blew, but God was not in the wind.
An earthquake shook the mountain, but God was not in the earthquake.
There was fire, but God was not in the fire.
And then there came a whisper…the Word of God.
This struck me as a great parable for my life over the last how many years. As a youth, I got used to romantic religious feelings and loved these more than God. When God took those away, I started loving thoughts about God more than God. Then he took those away. When it was all gone, God was still there.
A rush of emotions may come and go, but God is not in the emotions.
Brilliant theological insights may come and go, but God is not in the insights.
He is in the still small voice we hear when all else has been stripped away.