Psalm 95:7b-8a “…Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…”
One thing that I am constantly trying to do is to listen to that still small voice that stirs my Spirit. I’m trying to be attentive to its’ whispering. I’m trying to keep a tender heart that is willing to obey.
Do you want to hear a “true confession”? Before I became a Christian, when I heard someone say something about the Holy Spirit, I thought they might be just a tad on the crazy side. It all sounded a little too far-fetched for me. Even early in my Christian life, I never fully understood the Holy Spirit because I leaned too heavily into the rules and the law. They were black and white. I could understand them easily and they left little room for interpretation. Honestly, I was a little uncomfortable with the freedom the Spirit gave me. I didn’t trust myself enough to let go of all of the rules and rely on the Holy Spirit.
The longer I’ve been a Christian, the more I’m learning to listen to, to appreciate, to trust, and to obey that still small voice that stirs my soul. I’ve learned that it isn’t about trusting myself, but about trusting Him. I’ve also learned that it is very easy to harden my heart because those little promptings of the Spirit nearly always push me outside of my comfort zone.
My friend Jodi Snider at www.Overwhlemedwithgrace.com and I always tease that we are going to have t-shirts made that say:
“Jesus always got me like 😳”
I’m not sure I can even begin to count the number of times that I’ve felt the Holy Spirit asking me to do something that feels a little uncomfortable. Writing is a good example. It’s a little bit awkward to just type out your deepest thoughts about what Jesus is laying on your heart and throw it out into the world for anyone to see. Leading groups, teaching breakout sessions, participating in ministry; they are all things that push me a bit outside of my comfort zone.
I’ve learned something, though. Every time I obey the Spirit’s prompting, I am blessed. The blessing may not always look like I expect it to, but listening to that still small voice helps me to trust, to press in to Jesus, to rely on Him instead of on myself, and it usually blesses me in an unexpected way.
One example of that was this weekend. I was teaching a breakout session at a women’s conference. After my second session, I stood in the room as the women filtered out. I chatted with them as they headed into the last session of the conference. When the last woman left, I pulled out my phone to quickly check in with my family.
After the call, I didn’t put away my phone. I checked Facebook for a minute or two and then was going to log into Instagram when I heard that still small voice. “You aren’t here to be on your phone. You are here to build relationships. Go out and talk to people.”
Honestly, I would have rather just stayed in the quiet room for a few minutes. I knew very few people at the conference and was content to stay tucked away for a little longer. That’s not what the Holy Spirit was prompting me to do, though.
I put away my phone, grabbed by bag, took a deep breath, and headed out into the main area where everyone was browsing vendor tables, getting snacks, and socializing before the last session. There were three ladies standing in a group talking and one stopped me to comment on my session. That comment led into a discussion that lasted long enough that we missed nearly all of the closing session.
We had a deep and much needed conversation for both of us. We prayed together and had a time that really ministered to both of our hearts.
I am a relationship person. Quality time is a love language of mine and connecting with people in a meaningful way fills my heart.
I would have missed that opportunity if I would have hardened my heart and been unwilling to get just a little uncomfortable. I can tell you story after story like this one. I could share how I met some of my dearest friends by obeying the Spirit’s prompting to reach out or be vulnerable. I can tell you about time after time that He asked me to get a little uncomfortable and the result was a beautiful, unexpected blessing.
Unfortunately, I can also tell you about time after time that I hardened my heart and was unwilling to step outside of my comfort zone. I wonder how many opportunities have passed by or how many unexpected blessings I’ve missed because I didn’t listen to the Spirit’s prompting.
Maybe you can relate? Maybe you’ve felt your heart stirred or have heard that still small voice, but have been afraid to trust it and obey it? Maybe getting a little uncomfortable isn’t always easy for you either?
Will you join me today in praying for an attentive and tender heart that listens and responds when He speaks? It’s worth it. Obeying that still small voice is always so worth it.
Give me a heart that is attentive to your voice. Keep my heart tender to the Holy Spirit’s stirrings. Help me to recognize your voice, to listen, and to obey.
In Jesus’ name. Amen
Love and blessings!