Does any of this sound familiar?
Your emotions are pushing you in one direction, but you’ve learned you can’t trust swirling emotions. They’ve misled you more than once. Yet, in the middle of your wrestling, you feel a stronger-than-usual nudge. You wonder whether it’s the Spirit or Satan. On one hand, you’re tempted to believe you should give up something you love in order to focus on another priority. On the other hand, you know if you toss it aside, your spirit could deflate. You’ve been deflated before and you have no intention of falling flat again.
Determined, you do what you know to do; you brandish your Sword – the Word of God. You’ve been reading the Psalms, and that seems like the perfect place for such a time as this. Psalm 4 proves that King David understood our frustration.
“God, you are my righteousness, my Champion Defender.Psalm 4:1, TPT
Answer me when I cry for help!
Whenever I was in distress, you enlarged me.
I’m being squeezed again—I need your kindness right away!
Grant me your grace, hear my prayer, and set me free!”
You’ve learned from past experience that God has never failed to answer you when you cried out to Him in complete surrender. So, you cry. You ask Him for an answer so clear that you can’t miss it.
Have you ever been there?
So many times, I’ve missed God’s answer because I wasn’t paying attention to Him. I was listening to Satan’s lies. When I do listen to the whispers of the Spirit, answers come in a variety of ways – most often in unexpected ways. Please know that every whisper gets filtered through Scripture to keep me between the ditches. Sometimes, my help comes through a particular passage of Scripture, sometimes it’s a voice I hear in my head (not the spooky kind), sometimes it’s in the timing of a song, and sometimes it comes in a comment from an unsuspecting messenger who offers just the right words at just the right time. It’s a sweet, sweet Spirit that sends such encouraging friends to us when our confidence sputters, and our purpose takes a hit.
Sunday, I continued to wrestle with whether I should take an extended break from Perfection Road or maybe even give it up all together. I thought that maybe after 11 years I’d finally run out of gas. I questioned whether my time and energy could be better spent taking a different road. Was I doing what God called me to do? Did He have another assignment for me? Or, was Satan trying to shut me up? I didn’t know, but my head fastened on a swivel searching for a sign.
As I made my way through the foyer to our worship service, I bumped into a sweet friend that I’ve grown to love more and more. We connect in some way most every week, even if it’s just a passing pat on the shoulder. But Sunday, after I’d cried out for a sign the week before, she said something she’s never even mentioned before. “I just want to let you know how much I look forward to your blog every week.” She went on to tell me the specifics of what she liked about the last one. I couldn’t help but grin. After briefly telling her how I’d been struggling, she smiled back and confirmed that the Spirit must have nudged her to say that.
I went on into the auditorium, found Ron, and sat down to worship with a slightly different spirit than the one I’d come in with. (I really do love Sundays!) As the day’s message unfolded, we were all reminded that each of us have been given certain gifts that come with a passion to use them for the glory of God. God WANTS us to use the desires and gifts He’s given us so that we can do what we’re most passionate about! Passionate people are the most magnetic. The Spirit personally fed me that message one spoonful at a time. His timing in using my friend’s encouragement and the pastor’s message was the sign I needed.
God gave me a love for stories. I am certain it was He who enabled me to see life through the lens of analogies and metaphors. I now know who breathed the idea that I should stop writing. I surely won’t ever trade my story for Satan’s rewrite.
The only other thing that would have perfected last Sunday would have been singing my grandmother’s favorite song, “Sweet, Sweet Spirit”.
“There’s a sweet, sweet Spirit in this place filling us with Your love.
And for these blessings, we lift our hearts in praise.
Without a doubt we’ll know, that we have been revived
when we shall leave this place.”
You’ve come to the end of today’s blog, and maybe you’re in the middle of making an important decision. Or maybe you’re dealing with some other kind of frustration. If so, you know what to do. Cry out to God. Listen. Go to the Scriptures. Pay attention. Determine where your greatest God-honoring passion lies. Rest for a while in the comfort of the Spirit. Let Him revive your soul. Just do what you know to do. Answers will come sweetly when you least expect it. Then, go forth full of purpose – confident, and unafraid.
“Now, because of you, Lord, I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once,Psalm 4:8, TPT
for no matter what happens, I will live unafraid.”
I hope you take the time to listen to this version of “Sweet, Sweet Spirit” by Doris Akers. She actually wrote the song. Who knows better how a song should be sung and led than the one who wrote it!