High school students taking geometry class have no concerns as to whether or not they’ll come up with the right answers for these math problems. Oh, they’re no good at formulas, theorems, and postulates, because they either skipped class or perusing Facebook during class, but it’s no big deal! Why? They have every confidence that to get the answers all they have to do is ask Google!!
That sad scenario was passed on to me from a long-time geometry teacher recently. He said that his students don’t study or put time into learning the in’s and out’s of geometry when they feel sure that Google can give them the answers for homework or tests. He reminded them that they are sadly mistaken. In order to do well in his class, they need to spend some time alone with their book, their notes, assignment their homework.
Before we get too hard on those failing freshmen, perhaps we need to check and see how we go about getting our answers. Oh, we might not need formulas for geometric shapes, but how do we go about getting directives from God? When we need to know His will, aren’t we often eager to just find the quickest way to hear it?
I think of Elijah when he was on the mountain. Do you remember the story? He had been running from Jezebel – the wicked queen who was hunting his life. God told him to go stand out on the mountain.
And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks 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.
13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?
Elijah thought he would see God in Big ways – a wind, an earthquake, a fire, but no. God didn’t speak to him in BIG ways – he spoke in a still, small voice.
What truth does this show us? We might want to know God’s will so much, and we think (or even say!),
If God would just show me what to do, I’d do it! Can’t He just tell me what I’m supposed to do?
But God doesn’t write it in the sky. He doesn’t thunder His voice to us while we’re sleeping. So, how does God reveal His will to us?
It comes when we do what Elijah did.
- Get alone with God. We must take the time regularly to set ourselves apart with the Lord so that we might be still.
- Don’t do all the talking. We need to open His Word and read. What to read? Start with the psalms and pray them back to God. Praise Him. Love Him. Sing to Him. Ask Him what/where you should read next. Be still and listen for the Spirit of God to direct your thoughts. Read after asking God to illumine the Word to your heart.
- Pray about what you don’t understand. One day when I was studying the life of Elijah, I got to the part of the story that we’re talking about today. I didn’t understand it. So, I prayed and asked “Lord, what does this mean? Why did you tell Elijah to go out on the mountain? What about the wind, earthquake and fire?” Then I sat still and listened. I continued to read the passage silently. It was then that God showed me…
In order to hear my voice, you must seek me in the Quiet Place – not in grand miracles or loud demonstrations of my power. Listen for my voice, still and soft.
Maybe that passage has always been easy for you, but when God showed me that Truth, I wept and rejoiced over its understanding. How simple. How profound. There are no 1,2,3 steps to get an answer from God. God loves us enough that in order to show us His will, He wants to have a relationship. We draw near. We read His Word and come to know Him. We listen. Then we learn. We get up from our Quiet place after who knows how many hours, or days, not just knowing His will, but also being so close to Him that we’re not afraid to go do it!
Elijah got his marching orders from God that day. So will you and I, when we do what that geometry student needs to do – take time to draw near and listen to the Teacher.
If you’re seeking God’s will, don’t go ask people. Don’t look for a quick way to find the answer. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.