Posted by: Jo | November 6, 2015

Inside Voices

“The quiet voices of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools.”

(Ecclesiastes 9:17)

image We have a wild, noisy friend, who is Italian by birth, and I had to laugh at the caption she posted at the bottom of a picture posted on social media. It read, “Italians don’t have inside voices” We agreed with her that the description fitted her exactly. The phrase, “inside voices”, suddenly transported me back to my school teaching days when I used it to encourage a roomful of noisy kindergarteners that there were voices for the playground and inside voices we used in the classroom. In the playground one could be loud, but in the classroom we all needed quiet voices.

It is interesting to see that the Lord uses his quiet, inside voice to get our attention and if we are not listening carefully we will miss out on a close intimate relationship with him. I love the story in the book of Kings where the prophet, Elijah, is totally burnt out and cries out to God that he feels he is the only one left who is trying to follow him. God tells him to go outside because he is going to meet him there. The sequence of events is surprising;

“…Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire came a gentle whisper” (1 Kings 19:11 – 12)

The Lord speaks to Elijah in a gentle whisper;

“…Then a voice says to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”” (1 Kings 19:13)

We all know all too well that the voices of the world are loud and compelling. We are bombarded with messages from the media that entreat us to try all manner of activities that consume our time. Prayer time, which is often referred to as “quiet time” gets lost in the shuffle of everyday living. No wonder we sometimes don’t hear that gentle whisper from the Lord.

Jesus reminds us in the book of Revelation how important it is to keep our ears open;

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20)

image I find it fascinating that Jesus doesn’t ask us to hear the knocking, it is his voice we need to hear. Then the next big step is to invite him in. No use just telling him that we hear the knocking and his voice, we have to open the door and fellowship with him.

The other wonderful advantage of constantly listening to that voice, is that we have the assurance of going in the right direction;

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”” (Isaiah 30:21)


  1. As a noisy person Jo, I have to listen extra hard to hear that gentle voice. Thanks for reminding me to do so.


  2. One of the nice things about getting older is that we have (or should have!) more time to sit quietly and listen for the gentle whisper. And no need to adjust our hearing-aids! He is kind to us.
    Thank you Jo


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