That is the condition of hearing God. His message comes not in the earthquake, not in the fire, but in the "still small voice." That voice speaks to every man, whispering within the innermost shrine of his being. It is the voice of Intuition, the voice of Reason, the voice of Love, saying: "Be still, and know that I am God."
But it is only in rare moments, or at crises of experience that many of us listen to that inner voice. We are too busy; we live at high pressure on the outward plane of hurrying excitement. We are hunting for profitable investments, and in the fever of our lust for gold only the blatant voice of Mammon is heard luring on his victims. Or we are panting after success, straining every nerve towards achievement, honor, fame; and the bugle call to victory rings in our ears drowning every other sound. Or it may be that our quest is of a nobler kind, and that our whole being throbs with the agonized longing for "Light, more Light!" "O God, give me wisdom!" may be our cry. And we try to answer our own prayer by rushing from place to place, by sitting at the feet of this one or of that, by a feverish drinking in of the latest philosophy or the newest science; by crowding after popular preachers, or piling books on our library shelves, and all the while the still small voice whispers: "Be still, and know that I am God."
Be still. That is where we fail. We do not enter into our closet and shut to the door—we forget that, as it has been said, "God is the only Teacher," and that while philosophy and science, and the accumulated wisdom of men, are all revelations of Him, He—the Supreme Wisdom—is within the Holy of Holies of each man's life, waiting to harmonize all knowledge, and to give "above all that we can ask or think" of that only wisdom which lifts the soul into conscious communion with its Lord and God.
For all light, all wisdom, all love, are within each one of us. In the hidden place of our being they are the Reality of our life waiting to rise up into consciousness, and to be manifested forth in the degree which is at that moment our ideal. There is no wisdom in the whole Universe but God's Wisdom. There is no love but God's Love. He is Light. He is Love. And He is the truest, deepest, only real self of each one of us. How vain, therefore, to seek the water of life at this pool or at that, when the only water which can quench our thirst is within, constantly springing up into everlasting life, try how we will to choke its course. The Light lighteth every man, not one here and another there, but we close our eyes, and then complain of the darkness. Be still, O fevered, hurried, anxious heart, and know that I am God, that I am within thee, not outside thee, and that I will never leave thee nor forsake thee, until thou knowest even as thou art known.