Okay, so I’m not the best driver in the world, but I’d be even worse if it weren’t for my wife, Susan. She has probably (well, actually) saved me from more than one accident. When I’m ready to change lanes or heading up an onramp to enter the traffic on the 5 freeway, she frequently says, “Signal! Signal!”
She’s been doing this for quite a while and it’s working (or at least starting to work.) The proof is when she’s not in the car with me, do I remember to signal? Now, here’s the interesting thing: I’m beginning to hear her voice in my head even when she’s not in the car! So when I’m ready to change lanes or pull onto the freeway, I hear “Signal! Signal!” in my brain as though she were actually in the car. Interesting, to say the least. Now, and this is the hard part, I can ignore what I’m hearing in my head, or do the obvious thing and signal.
There is an incredible lesson here for me. As I spend time reading, studying, meditating and memorizing God’s word (which I’m strongly admonished to do in Psalm 119), the Holy Spirit can then take the words of scripture and bring them to my attention any time he wants. This is one of his roles.
“But the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” John 14:26, ESV (Underlining is mine)
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak and he will declare it to you. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” John 16:13-15, ESV (Underlining is mine)
Someone told me years ago that the Holy Spirit can’t bring anything out of a vacuum; for him to bring something to mind, there needs to be something there; hence the value of bathing my heart and mind in His word, anticipating that the gracious Holy Spirit will bring it to mind at the appropriate time.
Here’s a practical example of this:
Quite a few years ago I memorized Proverb 4:25 in the Amplified Bible: “Let your eyes look right on with fixed purpose and let your gaze be straight before you.” I memorized this asking God for grace to not sexually lust after other women that cross my line of vision.
I run 4 times a week. There is, as you can well imagine, plenty of opportunity to look around and allow my eyes and heart to wander in the wrong direction.
I have lost track of the times the Holy Spirit has graciously and gently brought Proverb 4:25 to mind at just the right moment. It was not that I was trying to remember the verse or think about the verse. It was just there ready for me to pay attention to. At that moment I have a choice to listen to what the Holy Spirit wants to say to me, or to ignore it.
Victory is mine in Jesus when I listen and respond in God-empowered and God-honoring obedience and defeat is also there when I ignore the simple reminder and prompting of the Holy Spirit. This idea applies across the board for me in all areas of life: family, finances, serving, investing in people, etc.
Lord Jesus, I thank you for your word; for the power, authority and practicality of your word. Wonderful Holy Spirit, when you bring your word to mind, help me to exercise responsive obedience to what you are showing/telling me.
Fellow leader, what has the Spirit of God been whispering in your ear lately from the word of God? Are you paying attention? Are you listening? Or are you ignoring his voice? Are you spending consistent time in His Word so the Holy Spirit has something to work with?