The cloudless sky spread out for miles before him. From the edge of the cave on the mountain top he could see a great distance. He was briefly reminded of the beauty of creation and thankful, in that moment, that he could experience a reprieve from the nagging fear that was welling within his soul.
As he stood waiting, in obedience to the word he had received, a strong wind came. So strong he had to grasp the side of the cave mouth for support. The wind blew mightily and rocks tumbled down the mountain side. He stepped back, just inside the opening, and continued to observe.
As the wind began to subside an earthquake began. Shaken and uneasy, he continued to observe the occurrences, unsure what they were intended for. What he had been looking for had not yet appeared.
Then as the earthquake abated, a fire appeared, the heat immense enough that he could feel the sweat beginning. And, as the fire gave way, a gentle blowing wind. The most peaceful of all that he had thus experienced. The peace beckoned him forward, and as he wrapped himself and stepped outside the cave, he found it. What he had been searching for, watching for, listening for. A still small voice.
“What are you doing here?”
1 Kings 19:9-14 tells a fascinating story of one of the great prophets of the Old Testament. Elijah had challenged the prophets of Baal and proven that the Lord was God. However, soon after this mighty victory we find him afraid. He has run in fear from the threats of the enemy. Fear has taken hold of his soul and lied to him. It has convinced him that he is alone.
Fear, or anxiety (they tend to be the same thing), is a liar. It speaks to you like the serpent spoke to Eve. It makes you question what you believe, what you know to be true, and what God has spoken to you.
And just like Elijah, regardless of what great victory the Lord might have brought in our life previously, we seem to quickly forget and listen to the enemies lies. We take it in. Our fear grows, our faith shrinks, and we go hide. We are afraid to move forward. Afraid of failing, making the wrong choice, losing face, feeling foolish. So we stop and we hide.
It’s okay. We all do it. But while you are standing still, listen. Do you hear Him calling? Resist the enemy. Resist listening to his fear tactics and his voice. Instead, listen for the voice you know you can trust. He’s probably asking you the same question He asked Elijah, “What are you doing here?”