And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:12
The man ahead of me at the carwash was on a mission. He purposefully strode to the back of his pickup and removed the hitch, so it wouldn’t snag the high-powered rolling brushes. He paid the attendant then pulled onto the automated track—where he left his truck in drive. The attendant shouted after him, “Neutral! Neutral!” but the man’s windows were up and he couldn’t hear. He zipped through the car wash in four seconds flat. His truck barely got wet.
Elijah was on a mission too. He was busy serving God in big ways. He had just defeated the prophets of Baal in a supernatural showdown, which left him drained (see 1 Kings 18:16–39). He needed time in neutral. God brought Elijah to Mount Horeb, where He had appeared to Moses long before. Once again God shook the mountain. But He wasn’t in the rock-shattering wind, earthquake, or raging fire. Instead, God came to Elijah in a gentle whisper. “When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out” to meet God (1 Kings 19:13).
You and I are on a mission. We put our lives in drive to accomplish big things for our Savior. But if we never shift down to neutral, we can zip through life and miss the outpouring of His Spirit. God whispers, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Neutral! Neutral!
How do you slow down to spend time with your Father? Why is time in neutral necessary for driven people?
Father, I am still because You are God.
Elijah, whose name means “my God is Yahweh,” was a prophet to the Northern Kingdom of Israel (1 Kings 17–19) during the twenty-two-year reign of Ahab, who together with his wife, Jezebel, led the Israelites to worship Baal and murdered God’s prophets (1 Kings 16:29–34; 18:4; 19:10). Elijah’s perception that he was “the only one left” (19:10, 14) was incorrect, for he had ignored the one hundred prophets that Obadiah had hidden (18:4). God later revealed that there were seven thousand who were faithful to Him (19:18). Paul commented on Elijah’s experience in Romans 11:1–5, when he said there’s a faithful “remnant chosen by grace.”