Updated: Jul 9, 2020
Jesus said, “It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him, the Holy Spirit to you.
– John 16:7
Can you think of a time when you knew what God wanted you to do, but you ignored Him and did what you wanted to do instead? How’d that work out for you?
LISTEN TO THIS MESSAGE:
Years ago, I knew God was asking my husband, Dan and I to dig out of debt by sticking to a budget. We signed up for a financial stewardship class and started pointing every dollar in a “smart” direction. A few weeks into working our new plan, I went to an arts festival and fell in love with a hand-made lamp that I thought would be just perfect in our living room. Disregarding my pledge to God and my husband, I charged the lamp on the credit card I’d promised not to touch. I rationalized that “it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission,” and decided to apologize publicly at our weekly class.
Later that week, while waiting for Dan in the parking lot before our class, I practiced my apology speech. With each passing minute, my nerves ramped up and my shame grew darker… until I saw his car pulling in… with a NEW BIKE on top! Wait a minute, we never talked about him buying that! His bike had to be at least ten times more expensive than my artsy lamp.
Seeing the shocked look on my face, he hopped out of the car and fumbled with an explanation. I think my reaction surprised him. Instead of being mad, I smiled and gave him a huge hug. I was just so relieved that I didn’t have to walk into the our financial class ashamed alone. That night God sent a clear message, we still had a lot more work to do to get our financial act together.
Throughout history, God has always sent clear messages for change.
He sent Abraham, a childless man, into an unknown land and He made him the “father of many nations”. He sent Moses, a shepherd with a speech problem, to plead with Pharaoh to “let my people go”. He sent an angel to Mary, a virgin engaged to be married, and made her the Messiah’s mother. He sent a flash of bright light to stop Saul in his murderous tracks, and then sent him out to preach the good news of Jesus to both friends and foes.
Even Jesus modeled how God often sends us. When Jesus met a man born blind, He spat on the ground, made some mud, then wiped it on the blind man’s eyes. He then sent the man to wash in the Pool of Siloam, which means SENT. The man’s immediate obedience led to a miracle of sight.
These diverse people were sent by God, and they went without complaining or contemplating. They obeyed. We are called to do the same.
Where is God sending you? Are you willing to obey today?
John 16:7 reminds us that God sent His Holy Spirit, the one He calls the Helper, Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor, Counselor, and Strengthener to live inside of us. Many people refer to the Holy Spirit as “God’s still-small voice”. Maybe that’s because God’s voice often starts out small. He’s watching and waiting to see if you’ll listen and obey.
God’s voice might call you to:
Put your grocery cart back even though no one else is.
Clean up the mess without a single thanks.
Pick up the phone and ask her to forgive you.
Tackle that mound of debt and stick to the budget.
Stop numbing the pain every day.
Start getting up early to read your Bible.
Keep pressing on and trust this storm will end soon.
Whatever prompting, nudge, or encouraging message we receive from God, let’s immediately and intentionally listen and obey today.
I hope and pray others will say about us, “She was sent, so she went!”
3 O’Clock Circle - Two or more together sharing real life and relevant faith.
Read this week’s blog or listen to our podcast. Then discuss these 3 questions in your circle.
Think of a time when you knew God wanted you to do something specific but you intentionally decided to go your own way instead. How’d that work out?
Read the story of Jesus healing the man born blind in John 9:1-12. What does Jesus reveal about Himself? How would you have felt if you’d been born blind but then Jesus miraculously healed you?
We all have “I was blind, but now I see” faith stories. What’s one of yours? Share a time when God clearly opened your eyes to see Him in a new and amazing light.
Bring your real self, share your raw thoughts and emotions, and together enjoy how relevant the Bible truly is!
Thank you for being a part of The 3 O’Clock Wake Up Movement
Everyone – Every Nation – Every Day. Thanking God at 3:00pm