it struck me as i listened to moriah talk about quiet influencing and saw the lightning flash on the other side of my window.
the story came back to me, about elijah looking for God in the mountain.
a fierce wind comes, splitting the mountain and shattering the rocks. an earthquake comes to shake any part of the mountain that thought itself safe. and when that’s done, a fire swathes the mountain.
but God is not there. He is not in what destroys.
instead, He is the still small voice, probing our need and revealing our purpose. elijah pours his heart out, and the Lord tells him what to do.
sometimes i wonder if we missed the flashy God, the God who as a cloud entered and filled the tent of meeting with His glory. the God who plucked the head and arms off the idol dagon while the Ark of the Covenant sat in the philistine temple. the God who sent plagues racing across egypt to set His people free.
i forget that we have baby God in the manger, teenage God teaching the pharisees, grown-up God healing on the Sabbath and eating with prostitutes and tax collectors and sacrificing His human body to be whipped into shreds and nailed as a curse.
but there’s still a difference, i think, in how we understand the God of the Old Testament and the God of the last 23 books in the New and subsequently our own lives. i’m not saying the God of obvious, inexplicable miracles does not show up. He absolutely does.
but i think we start on a different foundation of knowing God.
our fathers in the faith, they knew God by His audible instruction and by His law. i’m not saying they didn’t know His love, because they did. but the status of their relationships with God were measured by their obedience of His instruction & law.
we who are alive today know God by His Spirit as sent by the Son after the provision for salvation was made. i think this is more personal, but it’s also messier. it’s not as easy to know how best to navigate the tricky situations where God might once have been quite clear. what does extending grace look like and where might it turn into relaxing God’s standards? we have to follow the Spirit closely to know best how to navigate questions like that.
it’s a quieter way of knowing God, i think. a quieter way of practicing faith.
He has not often been the lightning flashing and thunder crashing in our walk together. He is more often the whisper urging me to trust, to hold faith, to keep on.
how does God manifest Himself to you?