Daily Devotion August 23, 2023

There Elijah went into a cave and stayed all night. Then the LORD spoke his word to him: “Elijah! Why are you here?” (1 Kings 19:9, NCV).

     I encountered a nudge yesterday. It wasn’t the first time she had prompted me. My wife asked me for the umpteenth time if I had spoken to a dear friend. I hadn’t. I can’t recall the last time my friend and I spoke.

     So, I called him. I’m glad I did. He informed me that his wife had been diagnosed with cancer. She has been receiving a combination of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

     After the phone call, I did two things. I asked God to forgive me for not staying more closely in touch with my friends. Then I thanked God for giving me the nudge to do so.

     I often hear people lament that God doesn’t speak to us as clearly as He once did in years gone by. I don’t believe this assertion to be true. The problem instead is that we fail to listen as acutely as we could.

     An interesting story is told of Elijah in the nineteenth chapter of 1 Kings. Following a lengthy run from those intent on taking his life, Elijah sought counsel from God. For his part, God instructed Elijah to stand in front of a cave.

     As he stood in the entrance, a gale-force wind passed by. The wind was followed by an earthquake, and the earthquake was trailed by a wildfire. Yet it was only after these three ruckus events that God quietly spoke from the backside of the cave: “Elijah! Why are you here?”

     I’m convinced that God often speaks to us in similar, low-key ways. With so many voices clamoring for our attention and bombarding our senses, God frequently chooses to speak to us in gentle nudges. God’s nudges come in various forms: a feeling, an impression, an inner voice, an insight, a suggestion, or a disturbing thought. These are the common ways God communicates with
    Christian author, Bill Hybels, writes:

          One thing is that life’s great moments evolve from simple acts of cooperation with God’s
          mysterious promptings-nudges that always lean toward finding what’s been lost and
          freeing what’s been enslaved.

To Bill’s list, I would add one more thought. Nudges are also God’s ways of calling us into action.

     On a personal note, I have recalibrated my spiritual antenna to pick up the more slight and subtle frequencies of God’s voice. Not that God cannot come and speak in overt and miraculous ways. I simply pray that I never again fail to hear God’s quiet call to action on behalf of a friend.