Seeking the whisper

I went through some intense training during my time in the Navy and something I learned early on was that you don’t fear the loudest instructor. There were always instructors who loved to yell and throw their weight around. A lot of times, these instructors were just high on the attention and power and there wasn’t much they could or would follow through with.

Then there was the quiet one. The one who controlled himself but got his point across. And he didn’t have to yell to make you fear him. Instead you feared his quietness. Then, with time, you respected his quietness.

We often think that God only gets His point across and reveals Himself by visible, earth shattering acts of His might and power. But, although He is perfectly capable of all of these, these aren’t always the most effective ways He reveals Who He is.

Consider the story of Elijah found in 1 Kings 19:9-18. Leading up to this encounter with God, Elijah has already seen God work mighty miracles.

So far, God has

Spoken to King Ahab through Elijah to prophesy and bring about a drought.
Fed Elijah by ravens.
Miraculously fed Elijah, a widow, and her son.
Raised the widow’s son from the dead.
Sent down fire from Heaven to consume an offering.
Fed Elijah again by an angel.

At this point Elijah is afraid because Jezebel wants him dead and apparently God has not commanded him to call down any more fire from Heaven. To Elijah, God seems uninterested in delivering him from death at the hands of Jezebel. God has allowed him to flee to a mountain and here Elijah is complaining that he is the only one who has faithfully served God and now he is being hunted for it.

I imagine after all Elijah has seen God do, he is wondering why God has not sent fire from the sky to devour his enemies. Or sent a flood to sweep them away. He knows God is mighty and probably feels cheated that God is not revealing Himself in overt and powerful ways.

I wonder if you have ever felt this way. I know I certainly have. I know God is capable of acts beyond my imagination and sometimes I feel like He should show off a little more for my sake. To confirm my testimony of Him. To verify to the world that He has sent me. More conversions. Healing people through my prayers. These would be so simple for Him and we can fall into a trap of feeling cheated when God doesn’t open the sky to display His might for us.

So God sends Elijah to stand on the mountain. And then it happens. What Elijah has been waiting for. A strong wind that is so powerful and so forceful that it tears the mountain and breaks the rocks. “But the LORD was not in the wind.” And then a mighty earthquake that shakes the ground and moves the earth. “But the LORD was not in the earthquake.” And then a roaring fire that consumes everything in its path. “But the LORD was not in the fire.”

“And after the fire, the sound of a low whisper.”

There was the LORD.

There is a valuable lesson for us here. How did God’s enemies know Him? Through disaster. Through earthquakes. Through fire. How did God’s child know Him? Through the whisper. This is the blessing of the child of God. We have the privilege of knowing the voice of our heavenly Father. We have the privilege of hearing His whisper in our inner being. Yet, often we seek Him the same way the world does. We pout and despair because He is not shaking the earth or flashing lightning for us to see.

It is significant that after He met God in the whisper, Elijah obeyed God and returned to face his fears. Our greatest comfort in times of trouble should not be mountains moving. Our longing should not be for fires from Heaven. Our greatest strength should be the whisper of our Father. To know Him, to recognize His voice, and to know He is present should hold greater value for us than all the miracles the world demands.

Disciple Someone:

How do you seek to grow as a man or woman of God? Do you try to be involved in as many mighty acts and big campaigns as possible? Do you evaluate God’s involvement in your life by the results He provides to your projects and ministries? Or do you do all you can to seek His whisper? Do you retreat away from the busyness and “earth-shaking” to hear His voice call you child?

What do you look for in the spiritual leaders in your life? Do you demand the pastor that draws the biggest crowd, has the smoothest speech, and biggest platform? Do you believe that evidence of God’s blessing on a person’s ministry is only seen in their ability to summon fire and wind, and shake the ground? Or do you look for the man who knows God’s voice and hears God’s whisper?

Gabe Martin Written by:

Gabe is a pastor living in San Diego, CA. Before becoming a pastor, he served in the United States Navy and earned his MDiv. from Southwestern Seminary.


  1. Wanda Kay
    June 6, 2023

    I am a visual learner. Reading your blog helped me to see exactly what was taking place with Elijah. The closeness is not in the fanfare, but in the “whisper” just as you said. I look forward to seeing more of your blogs.

  2. June 10, 2023

    Thanks Pastor G.R. I especially like this: “ Do you retreat away from the busyness and “earth-shaking” to hear His voice call you child?” This reminds me of the importance of quiet time. In a noisy environment I find it difficult to hear a whisper. But, in a quiet place with no distraction a whisper can be heard.
    Dedicating time everyday to pray, read, and meditate on his word in a quiet place will afford me the opportunity to hear from God and get to know Jesus more.

    Thank you for this reminder.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *