3 Ways to Hear the Whisper of the Holy Spirit
I was on a mission.
In my mind, it was just me and my mission. Get out of my way people. I’ve got places to go. Things to do. And certainly not enough time to do them in. God, please don’t let me see anyone I know today. I don’t have the time. Please help me get in and get out. I really don’t even have the time to stop, but my mission depends on me accomplishing an unattainable amount of to do tasks in an absurd record time. Noticing my surroundings and the people that threaten to block my way, I maneuver my way, zigzagging in a careful pattern as I anticipate each new roadblock before it appears I make my way through the aisles grabbing what I need without hesitation or pause. This is working, Lord, thank you. Feeling as if this mission is about to be a superior success I make my way to check out. Carefully analyzing my best options of a clean getaway. As I make my decision on the best line for my quick escape, I’m feeling victorious. I settle in for what I’m confident will only take a matter of seconds to wait for my turn. I breathe a sigh of relief.
That’s when I notice out of the corner of my eye someone very close to invading my bubble. The alarms begin to go off inside my heart alerting me that a real, close and present danger is extremely close to breeching the line. I could see she was trying to get my attention. She was eagerly waiting for me to look her way. Waiting for some kind of sign from me or any kind of opening to connect with me. All the while I’m keenly aware as I tried to avoid any eye contact. I pretend I am too busy to notice. All the while “praying” that she would go away. What do I have to offer her anyway? I’m in a bit of a hurry, God. You know the long list of stuff I need to take care of. There’s this and that and oh my, don’t let me forget that other thing. As the success of my covert operation is just within my reach and my continued avoidance of eye contact is working in my favor, I make my way through to the finish line. Woo hoo!
As I celebrated what I currently perceived as a victory. I began to feel sick in the pit of my stomach. With every hurried step to my car I fumbled with my bags and keys and one million thoughts pulling me in every direction possible. I heard it. It was just a whisper, but I heard it. That gentle sweet voice of the Holy Spirit. Oh child, why do you celebrate? I love her too. In fact, I put her there. There in your path today. She just needed a little hope. A smile. A person for me to speak through. Oh, my dear child, I wanted to love her through you. I wanted you to look at her. I wanted you to make eye contact. I saw the success of this mission differently today.
Oh God, what have I done? Oh God, forgive me.
I just painted a picture of a scene I’ve found myself in. More than once. It pains me to admit it. It breaks my heart that I’m guilty. Why’d I do it? What would a few seconds have mattered? Absolutely nothing. In fact, it would’ve mattered something. It would’ve made a difference in her day. In mine for that matter.
The older I get I’m becoming more keenly aware of how short life is. People older than me use to say it to me all the time and I scowled at them for their negative attitude. They weren’t being negative. They were being real. They were just trying to warn me that I shouldn’t be in such a hurry. “Life is too short to be in such a hurry,” they’d say. And now I find myself saying the same thing.
Have you found yourself in my shoes before? What was your reason? Busy-ness? Maybe that person just didn’t have a pleasing appearance? Maybe they were “different” than you? Maybe they aren’t “socially” acceptable in your world? Whatever that reason is I challenge you along with myself to pause, pray & practice.
Slow down so you can hear the nudge of the Holy Spirit.
Give the Holy Spirit a chance to be heard.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:7
Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
My lame prayer in the scenario I just painted was just that, lame.
I had it right to pray, but I missed it with my attitude. I would’ve made it in and out of my mission probably with more time had I not been so focused on myself. I would’ve had peace. I certainly wouldn’t have been anxious.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your mind in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Yep, it takes practice.
We must be intentional. Although perfection is not attainable in this life, I do believe we should strive for the very best and continual practice will get us closer.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16
My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? James 2:1-4
Do you have a story like this? What has helped you tune into the Holy Spirit and hear His whispering voice nudging you to slow down and love people?