Friday, December 01, 2006

How Did Elijah Know?

Let us get back to the basics today. Let us go back to the things that really matter. Let us talk about God. I can see someone almost looking away. How is it that when everything is cool and nice we forget about God, but when it gets sour we all become religious all of a sudden? Try visiting a funeral and see what I mean. I have never come to the point of understanding why churches only get full on Easter and Christmas days either.

You are not one of them folks, are you?

I am not a very good Bible scholar, but I will courageously share my questions and thoughts. If I get something theologically wrong, I am welcoming corrective comments.

I am fascinated about God. That is because I have experienced his power and goodness. That is a personal experience that I cannot clearly articulate. See, experiencing God will never come to you by looking for a scientific or a logical way of proving his existence. Scientists have done a remarkable job, but at some point they hit a wall. When they hit a major wall, they resort to this nice little word – nature - as their explanation. That is crap. Just admit it is God.

I know for sure that when it gets to that point, it is God establishing his supremacy and his infinite wisdom, as He has confirmed in Isaiah 55: 8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord”.

See, I am convinced that knowing God changes everything about one’s outlook in life. A true knowledge of God, which is not of a religious routine, is such a powerful experience. Folks who have experienced that tend to exude an aura of confidence. My favorite verses, which shows such an aura, is an account of three young men Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego when faced with a death sentence for holding on to their faith are Daniel 3:17-18. This is what these dudes said: “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up

Talking about gangster love for God? Talking about mad love for God? Talking about a deeper knowledge of God? You got it in those verses.

I am convinced that we sometimes miss the mark because we have our own idea of how God operates. When God reveals Himself to us in a certain way, all of a sudden we want to build a tent on it (even some disciples of Jesus tried to do that). As a result we build denominations and religious practices out of just one experience. I believe that our God is deeper and higher than we think. To be honest, I believe we have not seen anything yet.

In 1 Kings 17: 11-12, the Bible reads “The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.”

This story really fascinates me. Looking at this story, we can clearly see how quite often we have construed certain religious experiences to represent God’s presence. While it is true that all the physical evidences – powerful wind, earthquake, and fire – have been associated with God’s presence before, how did Elijah know the true presence of God in this particular incident?

I really don’t have an answer to that, but my conviction is that Elijah had an intimate relationship with God, which enabled him to move when God moved. He knew God personally and not religious. Out of that relationship, he was able to distinguish the true voice of God from “noises”. Just think of all the religious experiences (“noises”) we think represent God today. It is insane.

I don’t know about you, but I desire to attain a spiritual sanity by getting to the point of knowing God intimately the way Elijah did. So the question is: do I personally know God or I am just having a fruitless religious experience?

I guess the fruits that are coming out of your life will tell. But the greatest obstacle that stands on your way is sin. But you knew that already, didn't you?

12 comments:

luihamu said...

I man a Rastaman i man believe in I and I,I for true God,Black Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Amen Bruh! Amen! Keep on Preaching !

I ll suggest reading a good book by Deepak Chopra "How to Know God "

The Topic of Bible (Collection of Books) is very deep and controversial i will steer away from it often times we will never know the real truth !

Msemakweli

Maiki said...

Jaduong, this is what I gathered:

I was not churched to Hear or listen for God's voice, but to listen to the sermon (actually, the Mass). I was told God stopped talking because the Bible was with us. I was taught that by people that weren't listening for His Voice at all, because the Written Word had replaced the Spoken Word. That was not true, and it is not true. I do not hear Him because I am better than anyone else, I hear Him because I listen. Besides, how can you have a personal relationship with anyone if you don't talk back and forth?

To Recognize someone's voice, you need to hear it and hear it often. I have twin friends, when I first started to communicate with them via the phone, I could not tell them apart. Nevertheless, over the years, I was able to tell who is who as soon as I picked up the phone. I was wrong at times, but this is no longer the case today. I can clearly tell which one is on the other end of the line. That is because of repetition and listening. Wouldn't it be great if I did the same thing for God's Voice, so that I can tell it is God talking? People ask me often "How do you know it's God talking, and not Satan?" My answer is practice. Keep working on the relationship and it will work out. Besides, don't forget, God will help you!

To Understand a speaker today, we must do more than learn their language. If you talk to me in Chinese, or any of the other hundreds of languages I do not understand, we shall not communicate well at all. I must learn your language to understand you. Not just the grammar and vocabulary, but the culture, the sayings and quips, and more. The more I understand where you are coming from, the better I can understand the meanings of the words you use. The same for Understanding God. Read His letters to you, learn about the people known as "The Children of God" and the cultural setting in which He spoke to them. It is very easy to go astray if you don't use the written word as a guide to understanding the spoken word. Too easy. There are two common problems here: Some people have "book knowledge" of a language, but they are unable to communicate in it. Others, try to have their relationship be one-dimensional: either reading only, which is not personal, or talking only, which is not logical. You will benefit from using both to communicate in this most-important relationship.

Responding is a nice word for obeying. My daughter is getting better at speaking Swahili because she is actively interacting with her grandma. Grandma is working on what my daughter is ready to learn and my daughter is eager to please her coach. The same goes for you and me in our relationship with God. If we want to please Him, we will take our medicine like an eager student, with gratitude and determination to do better.

It is up to God to do the talking, which I am convinced He has never stopped doing. It is up to us to do the Hearing, Recognizing, Understanding and Responding.

However, I would also like to point out that God is God and he doesn't have a formula....He spoke to Moses through a BURNING BUSH! Now...not all burning bushes symbolizes the presence of God.

Jaduong Metty said...

@Msemakweli,
I will try to check that Deepak Chopra book out and discover what's in it.

Thanks for sharing.

@Maiki,
The last point - "not all burning bushes symbolize the presence of God" is such a powerful observation. Unfortunately, and as I have hinted earlier, we have religions practices and denominations built on ONE and ONLY ONE experience with God.

The bottom line, as you have described, is to build a relationship with God. That way, we will be able to hear and understand Him.

What sucks is the fact that religious doctrines have stood on the way and have hijacked access to God.

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Anonymous said...

yeah, when you come to talk about God,is comfusing a lot of people...
well,i'm conviced that knowing God changes everything about one's out look in life. a true knowledge of God , which is not of religious routine is such powerful experience...I experienced it,it changed everything in my life
well, i do believe that,the God we are serving is the loving God,
we are all "man of God". in his book genesis 11:8,God gave man spirit from the begining,i believe the spirit he gave is himself, so we all have him in us,he reviel himself to us once we change our mind and make decision to follow him and do what he command us to do ,so as we can live a happy life.
"What you set in the morning it is what you want" God want us to enjoy our lives john 10:10.
metty, i think you know God,if you happen to feel him and see what he is doing in your life, to know him better is also to practise his words in your everyday life and live with it
talking about God's love, he want us to enjoy what he creats
BLESS YOURSELF
God says "behold i created new heaven and new earth, and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind BUT be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which i create" our future can not be blessed until we let go of the past.. so experienced God you need to change your mind and make the decision to follow him.
i believe if you make the decision you will feel him and have that faith "he WILL, he CAN" absolutely you will hear his voice,.... how?.... so many ways you can hear GOD others by dreams,spiritual voice...because God sees things before you...
we need to strengthen our self to the lord, even if we lost everything...
do not change God with wrong,God loves us, as JOB , was tempted by devil but he strengthen himself to the lord, do not give up.
sometimes,God send devil and allow him to come to strengthen your faith and remind you that we got short life and earth is just a way.....

metty, speaking about how is it that when everything is cool and nice we forgot about God,but when it gets sour we all become religious all of sudden.... I agree!
well, it is true, i visited funerals , i saw it, this is something, percentage of people miss ,we suppose to remember God every time..thats why those people who always remember God, they always live a happy life even if they faced the huge problem.
back to the point is not bad to run to God when you have problem or like you said "when it gets sour" because God is everything, he hold our future..as he speak "for i know the plans i have for you,says the lord plans for welfare and not for evil,to give you a future and hope"
so when "sour time" comes people remember life is too short, we need God in our life thats why you find all of sudden they become religious, i believe only God can give anybody HOPE.
according to msemakweli,the truth is already there, you cant get away from it, you will read a lot of books like i did, but the truth stands there.....
"let your heart hold fast my words ,keep my commandment and LIVE.

HIKI

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