We like to connect don’t we? That’s why we have cell phones and spend so much time on social media. To stay connected. We can’t live without it.
But there is a problem. We are too connected. We are too dialed in, but in an unhealthy kind of way. We are constantly in download mode: information, music, movies, software, documents, books, videos (on our phones). We are addicted to the download, and it’s so constant that we’re on overload! Did you know the average adult spends more than 20 hours online a week? The average teenager, 27hours! We are so overloaded that there is little room to connect with God. We are distracted by so many other things we have minimal space for Him. Connecting with God in a deeper way is the purpose of the 21 Day Prayer and Fasting Journey. The key to being effective followers and ministers of God is connecting with Him, hearing God speak and doing what He says!
In I Kings 18-19, Elijah was a prophet who really needed to hear from God – Life was falling apart. He obeyed God, spoke truth to the King, and killed the prophets of Baal. Now he was running for his life. He needed renewed confidence in God. He talked to God, complained to God, and he listened to God.
What are some ways you can connect with God and actually hear Him speak to you? Prayer and fasting is an intentional way to break free from some of the habits and practices that distract us from connecting with God.
One: Get Away and Get Still
Elijah got alone with God and began to share his heart with God and an amazing thing happened. God spoke to Elijah. God started a conversation.
I Kings 19:9-10: And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 So he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”
But when it all happened because Elijah got away. He got alone!
What do you do to get away? Solitude is the key to connecting with God. When we get alone, no one else, no tv, no phone, computer, no ipad, We slowly begin to loosen our grip and let go! Louis Bouyer said: “Solitude cracks open and bursts open the shell of our superficial securities.” In other words, when we leave our normal patterns of activity and interaction with people for a short time, we can discover that our strength and well-being come from God alone.
God takes the initiative to speak when we get still. Psalm 46:10-11: “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” 11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
Two: Expect God to Speak
We can expect God to show up, but we can’t predict how he will show up, and we can’t predict how he will speak.
Vs. 11-12: “Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.”
I’m sure Elijah didn’t understand all that God was going to do when he was told to stand on the mountain before Him, but had he not listened he would have lived the rest of his life in curiosity because he would have missed the experience with Gode; but it wasn’t the experience of seeing God’s power that God wanted most for Elijah. God wanted Elijah to hear Him!
Three: When God speaks, Listen!
When you hear God speak, it may be a word of encouragement, it may be a word of affirmation, a word of caution, a challenging word or a chastening word (a strong word of truth you need to hear), a comforting word, it may be a word of direction, telling you where to go or what to do next and sometimes, it doesn’t make any sense at all! But, there is always a reason and there is always meaning behind what God says. When we listen, we get to hear God and when we obey, we will see His power! We get to see God work in powerful, miraculous and impossible ways! And when we see God work that way, it lifts our spirit and empowers us to move forward in faith.
1. Why are you where you are?
2. What do you need to hear from God?
3. What is God saying to you right now?