He came to a cave there, and camped there; and behold, Yahweh’s word came to him, and he said to him, “What are your doing here, Elijah?” I Kings 19:9
Can you imagine hearing the voice of God asking you what you were doing? That is exactly what the Old Testament prophet Elijah experienced.
He had just been in a showdown with the 450 prophets of Baal, one in which they all died in an instant when fire came down from heaven. Because of that, Elijah was on the run from an enraged Queen Jezebel who was out for his head. On his way to the cave, where he had his encounter with God, he made a brief stop under a juniper tree and asked the Lord to go ahead and take him. Can anyone else relate?
Forty days later, he was hiding in a cave in Mt. Horeb, God’s mountain. This is where Yahweh met him.
“What are you doing here Elijah?”
Elijah explained his predicament and the Lord responded by telling him to come on out of the cave for a meeting. I Kings 19:11-12 describes the encounter. There was a great wind, an earthquake and fire but Yahweh was not in any of those. He came in a still small voice to give Elijah his marching orders.
I’ve read this many times before, but recently the question jumped out at me — What are you doing here?
If the Lord had asked me that question 32 years ago, I would have answered “I’m teaching Junior High school students one of my favorite subjects, American History.”
If the question was posed 25 years ago, I would have answered “I’m taking care of the babies I prayed to have.”
Twenty years ago, I would have answered, “Lord, I’m training these children you have blessed me with. I’m trying my best to grow them into people who will serve you in their adulthood.”
If I was asked the question 10 years ago, I would have answered “I’m trying to help these young adults navigate the college years.”
Things changed around four years ago. No more babies to care for. No more children to train up. No more college students to mentor.
“What are you doing here Kim?”
“I don’t know God. I want to be significant. I want to matter. What am I supposed to do?”
Now, I’m no different than Elijah. I’m most likely not going to get an answer from God in a mighty wind, an earthquake or a fire. Probably not even a message written in the sky or a voicemail on my cell phone. Nope, it’s going to be that still small voice.
I have learned when I am in a season of waiting on God for an answer there is always one thing I can do — go to his Word. That is where I found two verses to help me know what I’m doing here.
He has shown you, O man, what is good. What does Yahweh require of you, but to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind’. This is the first and great commandment. A second likewise is this, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ The whole law and the prophets depend on theses two commandments.” Matthew 22:39-40
How about you? How would you answer God if he were to ask you the question