I want to celebrate the way the Still Small Voice impacts the depths of the human soul! Words that turn out to be pivotal often originate in gentle whispers that come unheralded, before crystallizing into powerful words that echo across sea and land as if amplified by a megaphone.
God speaks not only because He wants us to know what is going on, but because He has already planned solutions for the dilemmas that we face. Call them ‘nudges,’ ‘words of knowledge,’ or ‘prophecies’ – may we be constantly open for the Holy Spirit to sharpen our ability to know things we could not be aware of without His direct impartation.
When crosswinds blow, what the Lord was saying usually feels as though it is fading out of sight , yet somehow, like frail saplings, it can survive the storm and emerge to fulfill all the Lord had in mind.
I am sure you can testify to many occasions when the Lord’s prompting has opened doors for you – and may well have saved you much time and expense into the bargain. Moreover, following one of God’s ‘love nudges’ often leads to other doors opening.
There are two key principles to bear in mind: ‘Consult before Acting’ and ‘Obedience preceded Understanding.’
I think of a man who was well into his seventies when the Lord called him to serve the Church behind the Iron Curtain. As he approached a border checkpoint on one of his trips carrying urgently needed supplies, the Lord told him to move a package from its hiding place and to put it somewhere else.
When the border guards came into his car, the only place they checked was the place where the package had been.
It reminds me of how the Lord showed Elisha in great detail what the king of Aram was planning to do to Israel. The information was put to such good use that the king was forced to conclude he must have a traitor in his midst.
We are not psychic if we hear such things: we are simply in touch with the Lord who loves to speak to His children. It is not only about matters of state, therefore, or when someone is going astray, that the Lord speaks.
I can think of various occasions when we have arrived on people’s doorsteps having felt a clear check against telephoning them first to see if they were free. Since the people only returned home minutes before we arrived, we would have assumed that they were out – and something precious or important would have been missed. This is not to make a ‘doctrine’ out of not phoning before visiting. It is normally only courteous to do so.
Likewise, when we were staying with some friends on holiday, we had more or less promised to take them out for a meal one evening, when the Lord told me to stay in instead. At the risk of appearing stingy we stayed put, only to have a most useful time with someone who dropped by later that evening.
If we do not act on some nudges immediately, the opportunity passes by and is gone forever. If we do pluck up courage and reach out to the people the Lord is directing us, it can prove really beneficial to make a note of their contact details, so that the Lord can alert us at any time to get in touch with them again. God can alert us at any time then if He wants us to get in touch with them again.
Never underestimate how much God can accomplish through even the briefest word! One day, a famous guru was startled to hear the Lord say to him, ‘You are not God. This simple but far-reaching word began the process that led first to his conversion and then to a wide-ranging ministry, alerting young Westerners to the perils of eastern meditation techniques, and to the parallels between them and certain mind-altering drugs.
What examples have you had recently of God’s leading and nudges? Pray to be quicker at recognising them and having the courage to act on them.