Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. – 1 Kings 19:11-12 NKJV
Everybody is searching for something or someone, in the world, but how do you know when you have found what you are looking for?
In our full text for today’s message (1 Kings 19:8-18) we see a troubled, frustrated, and depressed Elijah following the contest on Mount Carmel and the end of the three and a half year drought. We would think that Elijah would be happy, but we know that Jezebel had put out a death threat on Elijah’s life. After what we would consider a great spiritual victory, we find Elijah at a low point.
Elijah, you see, was in great need. He felt that he was all alone in the world and especially on the battlefield for the Lord. Elijah had a very severe case of “loner-ism”. How often do you feel that you are alone? The Lord saw how troubled Elijah was and sent him to Horeb, down to Mount Sinai. I want you to understand that the Lord not only knew, but He also already had an answer for Elijah, but God had to take Elijah away from the mess! Elijah had to get away from all that was going on around him in the northern kingdom of Israel so that he could find what he was looking for.
What are you searching for?
We are all like Elijah; we are all seeking something out of life, and we especially start seeking something when we are troubled. Some people seek: happiness, a high, or to forget whatever is going on when they are troubled. Others are in search of: treasure, prosperity, or love when they find themselves troubled. Then there are some that search for: knowledge, spiritual enlightenment, or God, especially when they are troubled.
Everybody is searching for something or someone, but how do you know when you have found what you are looking for? Most people will tell you that “it’s a feeling” that you get. That kind of reasoning worked for me when I was in school, but I’m the kind of guy that needs more than that. You see, as an adult, I am all about certainties nowadays; feelings come and go – I need certainty!
I’ve learned that happiness can be troubled (disturbed), therefore happiness, when dependent on the world, doesn’t last forever. I have also learned that you eventually come off of the high that some folks are trying to reach. The ones that be so busy trying to drink away their memory seem to also forget that memories don’t just go away, they will return.
I’ve learned that treasures can be fake, empty, or moved so that you never find the treasure. Prosperity, like treasure, is always on the move and is possibly the most unstable foundation that people try to build on. Love, especially nowadays, for most people, is not really love anymore but is a game, isn’t real, or fades because it wasn’t real.
I have asked, and will ask again, what are you searching for? What is that instinct that causes us to be in search of something, even when we believe we have found what we are looking for? Many people don’t realize it, but what they are actually doing is soul searching. I spend a great deal of time focusing on the soul because it is the major facet of what we call life; without the soul, we are dead.
Sadly, many of us spend a great deal more time providing nourishment for the body and the mind, and we choose to forget our soul. I have said it before, and will say it again: our soul is searching for nourishment, but that nourishment cannot be provided by the world! So, I ask you again, what is it that your soul is searching for? We are so troubled today because the soul lacks proper nourishment.
Are you like Leroy Green, in the Last Dragon, searching for the Master? (If you have never seen this movie, definitely find it and give it a watch). Many of us are constantly searching for our role, our place, and our purpose – so we turn to the spiritual to start searching for answers. However, I tell you today, there are very many deceiving spirits in the world; we must be weary of these deceiving spirits. Many promote peace, prosperity, blessings, and even their own heaven but there is no truth in their teaching. This is why so many who turn to these other spirits come away feeling nothing or empty – their soul has not been properly nourished.
There are some who are looking for the Master, but they are looking for the wrong kind of master. I must mention another movie character here – Luke Skywalker. Luke was in search of Master Yoda, and when he was in Yoda’s presence he could not see the real master before his eyes; because Luke was looking for a great and mighty warrior. There are many people looking for God but can never find him because they are looking for the big eye catching sign. Maybe this is a product of living in a world where everything happens quickly, and must be big and flashy. We believe the blessing is in the big pay check, how find our husband or wife is, or how big of a house we live in, but I got something to show you.
When you have found God
When Elijah got to Mount Sinai, we notice a few things happen at the sight. Elijah witnessed a mighty wind that tore into the mountains and broke open the rock. Elijah was looking for God to be in such a wind, but scripture tells us that the Lord was not there in the wind. This event cause the ground to shake, another mighty phenomenon in which Elijah just knew the Lord would be in the quaking of the earth, but God was not present in the earthquake. Then there was a fire, something Elijah seen the Lord in at the contest on Mount Carmel, but this time the Lord was not in the fire!
You see, Elijah was used to those great and powerful acts of the Lord and so he was looking for God to be in those things – that’s us today. “Lord give me a sign,” we shout out, and then we start turning around looking for something extravagant to happen. What are you looking for?
I want you to pay close attention to where Elijah found the Lord. Scripture (1 Kings 19:13) tells us that Elijah heard a still small voice, and wrapped his face in his mantle when he heard it. Notice, he does not wrap his face in his mantle because he was afraid, but because he knew it was God! I again want you to notice that Elijah did not experience “a feeling” but instantly knew it was God – it was certain!
I tell you today you can find and hear the Lord still today. Some will say: preacher, I have never heard the Master’s voice; what are you talking about? But I tell you that Jesus said (John 10:27), that His sheep hear His voice and follow Him! Jesus also said (Matthew 7:7) that if you seek, you will find. If your heart (soul) is in the right place (actually looking for God) you will not have to look hard to find Him! Have you gone to your Mount Sinai? God will show you the way!
Jesus also said (Matthew 7:7) if you knock, it will be opened to you. I want you to pay close attention to the fact that God showed Elijah the way, but at the same time, God came to meet him at the door! When Elijah sought the Lord, the Lord was there – waiting! I tell you that there are no maybe’s in God. We use ifs, ands, and maybes – but those words are not in the Lord’s vocabulary; there is certainty in God. You simply know when you have found Him and have heard from Him. How is this possible? Your soul has been fed and is full. Does your stomach ever guess when it is full?
Who are you looking for? I cannot give you that answer, only you know that. I do hope that your soul can find what it is in search of. I will say this: if you’re tired of not having certainty in your life, turn to the Lord. If you want happiness and love, turn to God. If you want knowledge and enlightenment, turn to God. If you seek prosperity, God has an everlasting amount of spiritual prosperity.
To find the Lord, you have to get away from the mess of everyday life. This is why Jesus said (Matthew 6:6) when you pray, enter into your closet and shut the door. You have to close the door to the mess that is going on, get away from it all, so that you can hear the still small voice of the Lord.