To Whom Are You Listening?

Cathy Hurtado

"Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."  Psalm 139:23-24

The other day, I went to the store.  It was early and I was in task mode.  As I sped to pick up a shopping cart, I observed a lady struggling to walk across the parking lot.  In a split second, I had the thought to bring a cart to her.  That speeding though was counteracted by another, followed by another, followed by another.  By the time I got around to a decision, she was already at the carts.

Later that day, I reflected on the incident.  I recognized the first thought was the love of God, the prompting of the Holy Spirit within me to act counter to my selfish nature; the others were obviously not, they were focused on self.  I grieved that an opportunity to show an act of kindness and the love of God was lost.  More scary was pondering what my heart and life might look like if I never took the time to let the Holy Spirit examine my heart, to see my hurtful ways so that I could change them.  Also scary, what if my response to the nudging of the Holy Spirit became more and more dull until I didn't hear His voice at all?  What would my life look like?  As I Corinthians 3:3 points out, I would look no different than those in the world without Christ.

In John 16:7, Jesus told His disciples, "But I tell you the truth:  It is for your good that I am going away.  Unless I go away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you."  Jesus knew that apart from the Comforter, the Holy Spirit using the Word of God to prompt us to act differently, our sinful nature would rule.  Take a moment and thank God for sending the Holy Spirit to live in us.

Now take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit to examine your life.  When was the last time you recognized the nudging of the Spirit in your life?  How did you respond?  When was the last time you sat down by yourself, away from distractions, and let the Holy Spirit examine your heart and life?  What changes do you need to make so that you recognize and follow through on the promptings of the Spirit of God living within you?

Father, thank you for the gift of Your Spirit.  I am so sorry that I don't always hear or respond to Your leading in my life.  Please continue to search my heart.  Show me what I need to change.  Help me to recognize the prompting of the Spirit in my life today and to choose to act quickly.

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