Have you ever wished you had “inside information” about things you face in life?  I’m sure you have.  Investors want that every day so they’re able to make money.  Should we be so different from investors?  Indeed, we should want to be on the inside track concerning everything we do. Nobody wants to be the caboose on the train of life.  It’s hard living in reaction to every bad thing that comes up in life, and there are many that live that way.  It would be much better knowing ahead of time about trouble, and being able to avoid it.  And we CAN be.

It is written in Proverbs 22:3-5,

 3  A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

            How is it a prudent man forsees evil and avoids it.  Does someone or something WARN him?  Well, obviously God gives His children the Holy Spirit to warn us of the snares of the devil ahead of time, so we can avoid them.  The problem is, we often try to analyze things too much, such as, “was that really God warning me?”, or, “does He mean NOW??”  And by doing so, a warning often goes unheeded and trouble comes.  And like it says, “the simple pass on, and are punished.”  I would liken that to seeing a BRIDGE OUT sign on the road.  You have a choice: stop and turn around and go another way, or drive on to your own hurt.  You’d be amazed at how many situations are similar to that, and yet some people never learn.

            Here in verse 4 is an important key:

 4  By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life. 

Everyone wants to be rich, but how many actually are?  And exactly what is being rich like?  Is it only having an abundance of money, or is it having a life full of everything you need, and being free from things you DON’T need?  Humbling yourself before the LORD and having respect and obedience to Him is the foremost thing.  And that verse says when we do that, He gives us riches, honor, and life.  And that is GOOD!

 5  Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.

            Who are the froward?  It is they who disregard God, plain and simple.  Those who humble themselves before the LORD and obey Him will be FAR from the thorns and snares of the devil.  You know, If you were walking down the sidewalk and there was a section removed and a hole there, it would most likely be roped off to keep people from falling in the hole.  But let’s say you have your face in your phone as you’re walking and you didn’t see the rope, and you tripped over it and fell into the hole, you’d be pretty upset, wouldn’t you?  But if you had been aware of your surroundings, you would have walked around the hole and not suffered the hurt.

God is aware of everything that we’re going to deal with in life, and I believe He warns us of upcoming trouble, but we are so often tied up in our own little world and we’re not listening for that “still small voice” of the Holy Spirit.  And then we end up in a hurt, and wonder why God let it happen.  I’m going to give you two examples of that in my own life in just the past week.  Last Saturday afternoon after church I was going to attend a meeting of motorcycle friends who were having a picnic and were going to fish, participate in games, and target shoot with their guns.  I was invited and was going to go, but at the last minute on the way home, I felt in my spirit, “DON’T GO.”  Nothing dramatic, no voice booming from heaven, just “DON’T GO”.  So I didn’t.  I didn’t even pray and ask “why not?”, because there were lots of ministry opportunities that were going to be there. I just didn’t go, but went back home instead.

Then Wednesday, that group gets together every week for breakfast at a local restaurant, and I normally go, but this week, again I heard “DON’T GO”.  And again, I simply didn’t go.  Then I got a text message from one who was there that they had tested positive for COVID that day, and needed a list of everyone that was at the picnic, because they would need to be tested.  I wasn’t there, the LORD simply told me DON’T GO, and I didn’t.  By listening to that still small voice, I avoided a bullet.  We don’t always know the “why”, but if we’re willing and obedient, we don’t NEED to know why, we just obey.

There is an account in 1 Kings 19 about how Elisha had just killed the prophets of Baal and now Jezebel was out for his life:

 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.

 2  Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.

 3  And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there.

 4  But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. 

 5  And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.

 6  And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. 

 7  And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.

 8  And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.

 9  And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

 10  And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

 11  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:

 12  And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

 13  And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?

 14  And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

 15  And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria:

 16  And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. 

            Verse 12 tells us the LORD wasn’t in the strong wind, or the earthquake, or the fire. He wasn’t in the spectacular stuff, He was in the “still small voice”; the one that would be easy to ignore and easy to miss if you weren’t listening.  It’s EASY to pick up on the strong wind, or the earthquake, or the fire, that kind of stuff doesn’t have much trouble getting your attention.  Everyone can pick up on the spectacular.  Only a few catch the still small voice.

It isn’t because the still small voice is so hard to distinguish.  Elijah heard it, and so can you.  But if you’re so tuned in on the big things, all the “noise” of life that is always struggling for your attention,  you’ll miss the small things, and one day, if you’re not listening, it could cost you your life.

Many of you know that I don’t hear very well in the natural realm anymore.  I miss out on a lot of what the world is doing, and feel somewhat cut off, but I’m very attuned to the Spirit.  In fact, anymore I consider it a asset that I can so easily hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit.  He NEVER shouts or yells, even in case of emergency, all He has to do is whisper, and I’m on it immediately.  I’ve avoided car and motorcycle accidents by heeding that still small voice, and recently He told me there would be four deer in the road ahead just after I crested the hill. I had been going 60 mph, and slammed on my brakes, and topped that hill at about 5mph.  Sure enough, there were four deer standing there, out of sight from where I had just been, and they spooked and ran in different directions.  But if I had not listened and obeyed IMMEDIATELY, there is no way I could have avoided hitting them, and I’d be dead or injured right now.

Listening to that still small voice has been a way of life for me for many years now, and the LORD has saved me out of trouble more times that I can even count.  When someone tells me they think the LORD doesn’t love them, I just have to laugh.  If He didn’t love me, He wouldn’t go to so much trouble to keep me safe.  And He does the same for all who will pay attention. Now, God won’t MAKE you listen to His still small voice, but He will speak to you anyway.  Whether you listen and obey is up to you, but if you learn to shut up and listen, He will keep you out of a lot of trouble.

I remember early in my walk with the LORD, I was talking to a Catholic neighbor next door, telling him how I prayed a lot, but never really heard from the LORD.  And the neighbor gave me some of the wisest counsel I have ever received.  He asked, “DO YOU LISTEN?”  WOW!!  Three words turned my life around!  In a conversation, one talks, and the other listens.  In my prayers, I talked, but failed to listen.  Once I set my heart to say what I was going to say, then shut up and stay quiet till I heard the response, my whole life changed. Actually, the LORD had already been talking much to me, He said, but I just wouldn’t be quiet and listen.  That day, I set my heart to listen, and that has been the greatest blessing of my life.

I have written thousands of articles about the LORD, and go back and read them after 20 or so years and realize what I wrote came from the Holy Spirit, not my own intellect.  I’m not that smart, but I’m good at hearing that still small voice because I exercise myself in doing so.  The more I listen, the more He speaks to me.  And if you really want to hear from the LORD, I’m telling you, the only way it will happen is if you set your heart to hear His still small voice.  It won’t be in the spectacular, it won’t be in the wind, or the earthquake, or the fire.  You’ll have to listen for His voice, and then you’ll hear it.  He’s not hiding information from you, He’s trying to GET information to you to help you, if you’ll only learn to get quiet and listen!

Want to avoid a lot of your problems?  Sure you do!  Then listen for God’s still small voice, and immediately OBEY what He tells you to do!  You’ll be so glad you did!