“We are surrounded by the opinions of others who tell us how to act, what to fear, or what to say. But as Christians, we must not let ourselves be swayed by those voices.”
In high school I was on the wrestling team. During meets, people on the other team would shout things out to me. But no matter how loudly they yelled, the voice of my coach was the only voice I needed to hear. I knew that if I cut through the bedlam and listened for his voice, he would lead me to success.
Sometimes life is like that. A lot of voices are trying to grab our attention. We get swayed by the well-meaning advice of family or friends. We can be discouraged by the comments of a boss or offended by a comment on social media. We are surrounded by the opinions of others who tell us how to act, what to fear, or what to say. But as Christians, we must not let ourselves be swayed by those voices.
There is only one voice that matters, the voice of God. In 1 Kings, we meet a prophet named Elijah. Like all of us, Elijah had experienced ups and downs, but in chapter 19 we find him in a moment of great despair. In the aftermath of what had been a tremendous victory, he now fled from the wicked Queen Jezebel, who had threatened to take his life before the next day ended.
Elijah was exhausted, depleted, and discouraged. But he was not alone. God sent an angel to care for Elijah, providing bread, water, and a safe place to rest. When God asked Elijah what he was doing (v. 9), the prophet’s first thought turned to his enemies. He was listening to their voices, even in the presence of a caring God (v. 10).
Then God spoke to Elijah, not in a mighty wind, an earthquake, or a fire. Instead, God spoke to the prophet in a whisper (v. 13). He encouraged Elijah to get back up and get back to work. In the quietness, God’s voice gave him both hope and direction.
In Elijah’s story, we are reminded of the intensely personal nature of God’s relationship with His people. He cares for us. He sees us, provides for us, and guides us. What about you? Whose voice are you listening to today? Are you caught up in worry or fear? Are you searching the internet for answers to your situation? The voice you really need to listen to is the voice of God. May we tune our ears and hearts to listen for God’s voice, cutting through confusion and showing us the way to go.