We've all had them. Those persistent thoughts, feelings or even voices inside your head that warn, "Don't do this," "Check that," or "Something isn't right!" Many dismiss these as merely the product of paranoia or the tricks of the mind. But maybe there's more to them. Just maybe, their source is something divine.
Recently, I almost made a very costly mistake when I decided not to listen to one of these voices of caution. But thankfully it stubbornly persisted, nudging me into obedience. What's humorous now taught me a powerful lesson then. Allow me to elaborate.
A Nearly Expensive Mistake
First, I must begin with a confession. I have a weakness for technology. I often crave the latest gizmo or gadget just as soon as it's released (or before, if possible). So accordingly, every year I sell my phone so I can upgrade to the newest model. This year, I decided to sell it on eBay. And when the day came for me to ship it, I packaged everything nicely and planned to bring it to my office to send that afternoon.
But this day was garbage-pickup day. So on the way to my car, I decided to add a bag of trash to the bin at the curb. With a garbage bag in one hand and a bag that contained my phone in another, a voice popped into my mind: "Don't throw the phone bag in the trash." I laughed at the notion and went on my way.
A minute later, with my hands emptied of the trash, I got into my car, drove to the office and began the day. Within a couple hours, I suddenly remembered I needed to bring my phone in from my car to mail it. But I couldn't find it in the car or in the office. I drove back home and couldn't find it there either. Then, I came back to the office and searched again, but I still couldn't find it.
After a frantic hunt of almost 30 minutes, an insistent thought kept nagging: "Check the trash."
"That's foolishness," I muttered under my breath. "There's no way I threw it away!" Still, with no success in my search, appeasing the voice in my head was my last option. So I drove back home and reluctantly opened the trash bin at the curb. Sure enough, there it was. My phone lay there atop all the other bags waiting for the garbage pickup, which thankfully had not yet happened.
Two Lessons Learned
Certainly, I could rationalize my thoughts as coincidental. But I believe they are evidence of the Holy Spirit prompting me to protect me. Through this nearly-expensive incident, God taught me two powerful lessons. First, it was a demonstration that God cares even about the minute details in our lives. There's nothing too trivial or seemingly "un-spiritual" with which He doesn't want to involve Himself. This includes your route to work or school, a pet, your daily goals or yes, throwing away a perfectly good phone.
Second, it taught me to listen more closely to those voices I might otherwise mistake as mental nuisances. Many times we ask God to speak to us. But frequently what we expect is something overt or sensational, such as a word written in the clouds or a dramatic vision. As Elijah learned, however, God's voice is most often a gentle whisper (see 1 Kin. 19:12). In his case, it was the whisper, "Why are you here?" (v. 13). In mine, it was, "Check the trash."
Is God Getting Your Attention?
Is there a voice in your head nudging you to do or not to do something? Don't be so quick to dismiss it as merely the firings of random electrochemical signals in your brain. Remember, the Bible assures that when you "Draw near to God ... He will draw near to you" (James 4:8). This means if you're in relationship with God, you should expect to hear from Him, especially in the subtlest of ways.
So keep your ears and mind open. The Holy Spirit just might be trying to get your attention about something. And often He doesn't shout; He whispers.
Kyle Winkler equips people to live in victory. His mobile app, Shut Up, Devil!, is the #1 spiritual warfare app; and his recent Scripture confessions album, Experience Freedom, has helped thousands identify with the truths of God's Word. Kyle holds a Master of Divinity in biblical studies from Regent University. Get daily encouragement from Kyle on Facebook and Twitter.
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