Edited by Robert V. Rakestraw

Gentle stillness on lake
Gentle stillness in breeze

“The angel [in 1 Kings 19] did not give Elijah a vision, or explain the Scriptures to him, or do anything remarkable; he told Elijah to do the most ordinary thing, viz., ‘Arise and eat.’ The ministrations of God come over and over again in the most commonplace manner possible. We look for some great big alteration, something marvelous, like the wind, or an earthquake, or fire; and the voice of God tells us to do what the most ordinary voice we know might tell us to do. ‘And after the fire a still small voice’—i.e., ‘a sound of gentle stillness’—the one thing the Lord was in. Then came the command—‘Go, return . . .’ God sent Elijah right back, after giving him an extraordinary heartening, to do what He had told him. The haphazard may tumble about as it likes now; Elijah has learned that God’s order comes that way.

“The experience of being baffled is common to us all, and the more religious and thoughtful a man is, the more intensely is he baffled. With regard to your own baffling, recognize it and state it, but don’t state it dishonestly to yourself. Don’t say you are not baffled if you are, and don’t tell a lie in order to justify your belief in God. If you are in the dark, don’t take refuge in any subterfuge which you know is not true. Never take an answer that satisfies your mind only; insist on an answer that satisfies more than your mind, an answer that satisfies by the ‘sound of gentle stillness.’ Jesus describes it as ‘My peace,’ the witness of God that goes all through you and produces a complete calm within. The first thing to do is the most obvious commonsense thing possible, the thing that is absolutely natural. When God has produced the ‘sound of gentle stillness’ in your spirit, you will hear Him speak. ‘What I tell you in the darkness, that speak ye in the light.’ Then with renewed strength you go and do the thing God had already told you to do, but with the realization that you are backed by God.”

From Oswald Chambers, The Place of Help (Grosset & Dunlap, 1936, pp. 129-130). The above quotation may be found, along with other articles and essays, on Dr. Rakestraw’s website, gracequestministries.org, where you may sign up to receive postings such as this automatically in your inbox, at no cost. You may write to Dr. Rakestraw at bob@gracequestministries.org