“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: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” (1 Kings 19:11-12, emphasis mine)
This is Elijah’s encounter with God.
But look again at all the activity going on in the top passage. I’m sure there some sort of order and structure to the things, the pandemonium that happened after “the Lord passed by”. Nahum (1:3) says that “the clouds are the dust of His feet”. In other words, the clouds are a symbol that God has already come and gone. I find that if you really want to see God, you have to wait. Stand where you are and make a conscious decision to follow Him. And God will take you at your word and put you through the paces required to actually see Him. Because He’s coming. He’s coming for your prayer or desire or what-have-you and the only thing you can do to stop Him is doubt. Don’t worry about committing a “sin”. Doubt and unbelief happen far below any actual un-pleasing outworking in our behavior. It’s that kind of meticulousness you need to build up in order to see Him and not get distracted with any details you might think are Him but aren’t really. This isn’t to say Elijah was hoodwinked by the “wind” or the “earthquake” or the “rocks”. I can’t say Moses had any less a quality encounter than do we when we seek the Lord’s face.
“And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the Lord saw that He turned aside to see…” (Exodus 3:3-4a)
There’s a bit of a difference to the two men’s interaction with the Almighty. Elijah encountered God only after the activity ceased whereas Moses spoke to God in the midst of the fire. I don’t really have anything to say on the matter except that it’s how God chose to do it. This isn’t to say that all the things you feel are God speaking only to you, aren’t. Quite the opposite actually. They most likely are indeed God. But until you know how He’s already spoken–both through men like Moses and Elijah and also Jesus–it’s hard to discern His voice through all the activity. Don’t stop. God will calm the storm of input if you hold out for His voice only.
“Seek the Lord, and His strength: seek His face evermore.” (Psalm 105:4)