Following the death of Solomon, Israel spent many years floundering with a series of mediocre and wicked kings. One particularly bad dude was named Ahab, and as bad as he was, his wife Jezebel was even worse. During this time, God raised up a prophet by the name of Elijah to call Israel back to the Lord. He secured some incredible victories along the way, including the Mount Carmel event -- a must read [1 Kings 18].
Elijah was fearless in chapter 18. Then we read chapter 19.
When Jezebel found out what had happened on Mount Carmel, she made a death threat against Elijah that sent him running. Elijah wasn't afraid of Ahab or the wicked seers of Baal, but Jezebel got to him. She got in his head, and it lead him on a journey of self-doubt and fear. He was so depressed that he wanted to fall asleep and not wake up again.
An angel showed up and made him some bread (the original angel food cake), giving him the strength to walk from Judah to Mount Horeb (also known as Mt. Sinai -- the place where Moses met with God!). It was in that special place that the Lord 'passed by'...
There was a terrific wind, a violent earthquake, and a consuming fire...but God didn't show up in any of these forces of nature that usually accompany the presence of God [Revelation 20:11, Job 9:6, Hebrews 12:19]. The Lord, instead, spoke through a whisper. It's really interesting to me that God chose to meet Elijah in the whisper, not in the fury, or chaos, or violent forces of nature. God carried a big stick but spoke softly.
Elijah was in the middle of tremendous torment. We call it the 'battle of the mind'. He was crippled by fear and manipulated by an enemy that wanted him dead. He was overwhelmed by his own limitations and perceived inadequacies, and it consumed him. Why does the enemy consume us with fear? To keep us from being the kind of parent and partner He has called us to be, to keep us from serving God fully, to squash and destroy the purpose of God for your life. He strategy is to keep you distracted, fearful, condemned.
I was in my head earlier in the week, sitting on the couch in our living room, probably staring out the window. Coming from his room, my seven year old son stood in front of me and said, "Daddy, fear is a liar." Now I know he was quoting the popular Zach Williams song getting a lot of play on Christian radio at the moment (and he had no idea what was going on in my head), but the Holy Spirit spoke through him to me at that moment.
God knew what Elijah needed: the voice of the Whisperer -- not violence. Why did God meet Elijah this way? Because He wanted to restore him, renew his mind, tune his ears to His voice, and redirect him back to his mission & calling. The whisper of God can drown out the screaming accusation of the enemy.
So let's run TO God and know His voice. He is the God who restores.