“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. 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; and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-12).
There was a crisis in the life of a prophet, Elijah. He had inwardly collapsed and asked the Lord to take away his life. It was human weakness and failure. But while it is true that there was a crisis brought about by the weakness of humanity, yet we see the triumph of the grace of God.
Now the point upon which I am focusing at the moment is the silence of sovereignty where the Lord’s people are involved. There are times, of course, when the Lord breaks silence and comes out in a terrible manifestation of majesty, of might, unto destruction. But that is not His normal way and specially not His normal way with His people and with His servants. His normal way is silence. It is really a matter of the Holy Spirit in relation to the covenant purpose of God and in relation to the Lord’s honour, for I take it that the still, small voice (or, as the margin has it, that voice of gentle stillness) is the Holy Spirit Himself.
In such a situation the call is to faith to act. Faith is called upon to act when all seems hopeless, just to act. Here God is not accepting passive faith, He calls for action, the action of faith. How often a new practical committal has been God’s way when all seems lost. We are so often found looking for, praying for, expecting, some mighty shattering intervention of God in our situation, the evidence and the proof that God is with us, something that we can lay hold of, something to which we can point, something that we can report on. This is a way of enlargement and God is enlarging in this way, silently, almost imperceptibly. He is going on with His covenant purpose. If you are expecting the Lord to do some extraordinary, miraculous thing in your situation, it may never happen. What God does intend and has intended will happen, if we will believe Him and act on our belief.