Normalizing Elijah

Author’s Note: I’ve been on the subject of sola scriptura in my last few posts, today is no exception. It’s one that I feel like is vital for any one that says they are a Christian.

you mean the one that’s telling me eat more Chinese food?

How many times have you heard someone quote to you the verse from 2 Kings where Elijah hears God’s voice in the silence, God’s still small voice? The perceived idea being God will speak to you directly the same way He did Elijah. Yet nowhere in scripture does it say that this is the normal way God communicates with us. To say that this is a normative Christian experience we would then also have to assume that it would be equally as normative for us to call fire down from heaven or have angels prepare food for us. Yet, I’ve never woken one morning to find an angel fixing me eggs and bacon. (Mmmmm…Bacon…)

Elijah’s experience was not normal nor should we try to normalize it. Yet we do, or at least we try to. In fact we try so hard to normalize Elijah’s experience that we neglect the primary means of God’s communication with us…the Bible.

If I were to wait for God to speak to my heart in a still small voice, how would I know if it was really God or my own thoughts and desires? The Bible says “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”

“Yes, but…” you say “Christ gives you a new heart” While that’s true it’s not the whole truth. Why else would Paul say “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.”? This is Paul speaking, the guy who wrote most of the New Testament, and he struggled with sin. Paul also acknowledged that there was nothing good in him. Did Paul have an identity crisis? No, sin is still a part of us, and we are not totally free from it until we die. Although we have been set free from its bondage, even though sin doesn’t consume us like it once did, we continue to wrestle with sin, we try to put it behind us, but it always lies in wait. Sin is always just outside our door ready to pounce on us. Like a mugger, sin is always ready to rob the joy we have in Christ. And the easiest way to let this sin into your life is to listen to your heart…to sit in silence, waiting for God to speak to you audibly, because you’ve been lead to believe from the misunderstanding of 2 Kings that this is the normal Christian experience.

“Yes but,” you say “I’m pretty sure the Bible says God will give us a new heart.” And yes this is true…it says so over and over, and He does give a new heart, but nowhere does it say He repairs the old nature, and it is the old nature that causes us to sin. It is our old nature that we fight, and our old nature we hate. Yet we are so deceived by our old nature that we willfully invite it back into fellowship with us. But what fellowship does darkness have with light?

While the work of regeneration is instantaneous, other parts of salvation, (progressive sanctification) are a process, and it is a process we, in our pride, generally resist. Just as we resisted the work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration until we could no more, we are so marred by sin we resist the work of sanctification in our lives as well.

When we are saved Christ replaces our cold heart of stone with one of flesh, but nowhere does Scripture say that this is now the primary means of my communicating with you, just listen for my whisper directly to your new heart that I’ve given you. As I have said again and again in my last couple of blog posts all over the Bible we see the supremacy of scripture. Scripture is called God’s word. It is how we are sanctified. Jesus prays for us in John 17: Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” And in the book of Matthew Jesus reminds us that we live on every word from the mouth of God. And in Timothy we see that scripture is called the very breath of God.

Do you want to know what God’s will for your life is? Look to scripture. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

Sometimes I think we use the story of Elijah as an excuse not to carry out what God has clearly told us to do in Scripture. “Wait for God to reveal it to you what He wants you to do…listen for His still small voice.” Why wait, when we have the revealed Word already before us. Do you honestly think the Great Commission is an optional part of Christian life? Aren’t you secretly just hoping that God would whisper something in your heart so that you can live your live contrary to scripture? Why do you crave to hear that which is not found in scripture? It is certainly because you think more highly of yourself than you ought to. You are full of pride and you are dissatisfied with what God had already revealed to you as your spiritual act of worship. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Repent of this pride, repent of neglecting to read and trust His Word, Trust the scripture is sufficient by itself to bring you to full maturity in Christ.

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7 thoughts on “Normalizing Elijah

  1. God or rather Yahweh for clarity, is talking to people all the way through the bible. Hello !
    Read Counceled by God by Virkler. for an explanitation for all the stuff goinh through YOUR HEAD !You didn’y really think all of the stuff ( voices you hear in your head) was from You did You ?
    The bibla teaches that there are many voices in this world and none without signafication. That goes to signature. The ” voice ” will put it’s signature on what they are saying. The accuser of the brethren, accuses Us. The spirit of suicide tries to get us to kill ourselves. The BBC has an article on hearing voices and their article is the only one I have found the says that this is NORMAL !
    God is speaking to everyone and everyone has already heard what He said and it is easy to peove. BobScott8888@yahoo.com YOU be the witness, YOU be the judge !
    Read Counceled by God by Virkler and get back to me. The instructions for the book are. Sit down and read the book straight through. Meditate on what you have read, look up the scriptures fort yourself. Skip a day and study on it and repeat. Read straight through and meditate on it and skip a day ane repeat. What YOU did not get tyhe first Two times , Yahweh will clear it up by the third reading.. Give me 40 hours during a week and I call it giving someone a leg up an their horse Isa. 31-3.. What You did not understand Him saying to You the first times , Her will clear up by the third.
    God spoke to Jerimiah in the womb and He is not a respector of persons.Listen to the pronouns in your head, If You are thinking it , You would think, I am going to do this or that. If someone else was talking to You, they would say You do this or that. We are to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ..1Cor. 10-3,5 . Hear Yahweh’s voive and Obey !. Jer. 7 & 9.
    I was an athiest when God started talking to me, crazy that’s all. Ha Ha ! Well this went on for four years before I believed God really talked to people today. He answered ALL of my questions and dispelled ALL of my doubts and there was no longer a reason Not to Believe.
    There was a shift in the matrix and I went into a trans or vision state for 5 days the first time. Yahweh explained everything He had told me in parables, ( war stories and cowboy and Indian stories) and explained them to me Face to Face after I believed.. Now I teach on hearing Yahweh’s voice for ones self. The bible beeters say the we DON’T HAVE A RED PHONE TO HEAVEN !
    Their full of it . religious spirits,,,traditions of men.
    Faith come by hearing and hearing by the Word. Word here is the Holy Spirit. Faith comes by hearing the Holy Spirit talking to YOU PERSONALLY ! MIXED WITH FAITH = God spoke to YOU first and then put someone in front of you to say the SAME THING , WORD FOR WORD to let You know that you heard correctly. Now every evil spirit out there can talk to you also and give you visions etc. Just like Jesus being tempted in the desert by the devil. discerning between Your voice and God’s voice and the others is the training. You need to know the bible to compare the ” other words” with the scripture. The Holy Spirit will ONLY testify of JESUS ! In Yogoslavia people would be killed for going to church or a bible study,,,they would get the word on the location 30 minutes before the bible study from the Holy Spirit and congregate. Most of the churches on the corner don’t have a clue. Three points and a poem is all they are interested in,
    Yahweh is teaching the remnant personally. The Father the Word and the Holy Spirit agree in one in heaven as the spirit the Water and the Blood agree as one in the earth, this is Wheel within a WHEEL thing. Washed by the WATER of the Word.this is a soul relm thind and blood is the natural relm. OUR SPIRIT, SOUL AND BODY agree in one in the earth.
    Cleans YOURSELF of all filthyness of the spirit and the flesh. spirit here is worldly spiritual strongholds in Your mind.
    AS LONG AS THE HEIR REMAINS A CHILD, THEY DIFFER NOTHING FROM A SERVANT, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE LORD OF ALL ! Well Lord, it’s time to GROW UP !

    THE WAY TO GET SILENCE IN YOUR MIND IS TO SING PRAISES, GOD INHABITS OUT PRAISE, the demons can’t stand it and go away, Now you can hear God better. SILENCE THE NEGATIVE VOICES IS THE WAY TO START. Heb. 11 the so called faith chapter,,,everyone of those guys, HEARD YAHWEH’S VOIVE AND OBEYED ! God counted it to them for righteousness. Want to be righteous,perfect in the eyes of God ,,HEAR GOS’S VOICE AND OBEY!
    DEMONSTRAIGHT ,the first five letters here are DEMON , a person being activated by demons in demonstraighting !
    Faith or Fear are the choices. Yahweh says , HAVE NO FEAR ! Go Forward with God !

    Remember the weapons of OUR WAREFARE ARE NOT CARNAL BUT SPIRIT !

  2. ‘ SOLA SCRIPTURA ”

    Did you know that the bible refers us to secular books and other books of scripture that are NOT IN THE BIBLE ! Nathan , Gad , Asher , Jasher …
    Isn’t the rest of the story of Mordicai told in the cronicles of the kings of the Media and Persia Esther 10-2

  3. John, You are a fascinating individual; I certainly like your brain. How do you feel the Holy Spirit interacts with God’s chosen?

    Re: quoting from above –
    “It is certainly because you think more highly of yourself than you ought to. You are full of pride and you are dissatisfied with what God had already revealed to you as your spiritual act of worship.”

    I’m surprised by your sharp rebuke here! Perhaps I am out of context?? Is there a specific individual for which you write this? I almost feel vitriolic intent; there’s heat in your words! I pray your holy indignation is directed toward apostate shepherds as opposed to the flock.

    I need to understand the context of your rebuke before I can ask the following question, but I may not need to ask it necessarily. My thirst for understanding may be quenched, based on your answer to my opening question. How do you feel your rebuke here applies to those who genuinely, without waiting, without want for anything, are given dreams, or the interpretation thereof? (choosing a spiritual gift at random)

    I am skeptical of judging the body of Christ based on experiences limited to myself.

    Please note – I am, now and always, trying to practice the art of good criticism as mentioned by CS Lewis. That is, I’m trying as hard as I can to understand your message and it’s context in full before responding. Nothing I say is personal so as to anger, rather, objective to promote intellectual discourse on the subject at hand.

  4. Pingback: Friday morning thoughts | Steak and a Bible

  5. Reblogged this on The Imago Daily and commented:
    Great word from my friend John Downey at “Dead Pastors Society”. For more on this topic, I would tentatively recommend Kevin Deyoung recent book, “Just do Something”. I have yet to finish it, but initial impressions are excellent. Full review to come.

  6. Right on. This goofy nebulous “God’s will for my life” deal is something that I fell prey to decades ago and am still trying to fully get out of my head. Kevin Deyoung’s “Just Do Something” book is on this exact topic. It’s a great read.

  7. I like this. I think a lot of one-liners have worked their way into our theology (maybe it is because we preach in to small of chunks in our expository sermons, but that is a topic for a different post.) I don’t think the preaching is the problem, I think it is cute framed pictures of verses, bumper stickers, and t-shirts that cause this problem you outlined above.

    Now for the flip side. I think there is a distinct reason why the whole ‘be still…’ bit gets a ton of traction, and part of it is almost good. Part of our problem is busyness and constantly talking to ourselves, so in a moment of stillness there is a sense of ‘other’ or holiness (however warped that sense might or might not be). I agree that waiting for a word from heaven is a mistake. At the same time I can understand why people who long for an emotional connection to God believe that they are finding it in the silence, because it is so ‘other’ than their moment to moment existence.

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