Yesterday as I was leaving my office for the grocery store, I felt in my spirit that I should not go. It really wasn’t anything dramatic like a sound from heaven or a bright light shinning into the car. I just had the slightest impression that it was not something I needed to do. My routine every other week is grocery shopping during lunch for all of my non-perishables and then finishing up with the perishables on the way home. I know, it sounds a bit much, but I like for the stop on the way home to be quick and easy! So when I initially felt led not to go, it would have been easy to shrug it off in order to follow my pre-planned schedule. I have no idea why I wasn’t supposed to go and probably will never know. Maybe He was diverting me from an accident, or maybe He just wanted me to obey Him because He said so. All I know is that I had to change my plan.
But I have to admit, it doesn’t always flow that perfectly. Last night as I was getting ready to check my work email to see if there was a response to an email I sent earlier that day, I felt that I should not check it because there would be something I would see that I didn’t need to deal with at that moment. But I decided to take a quick look anyway. Sure enough, there was an email with something aggravating that I had no grace to deal with that time of night! Had I obeyed the prompting, I never would have had it crowding my thoughts. God cares about even the details of our life. He knows that it is hard for me to start something and not finish it, so he was trying to keep me from bringing unnecessary stress into my relaxation time. By His grace, I was able to shut it out of my mind so that I could deal with it today.
Being led by God’s Spirit is so important. These events reminded me of the story in 1 Kings 19:11-12 where Elijah was listening for direction from God. “Then He said, ‘Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.’ And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” Many times we miss God listening for the spectacular. I can’t say that I’ve ever heard the audible voice of God. The usual way we are led is by an inward witness in our spirit. I like to call it an impression. The events yesterday were not major life events, but I believe “practice runs” like these are exercises to keep us in tune to hearing His voice. I’m thankful that He gives me opportunities to sharpen my sensitivity. God is always speaking. We just have to make the decision to listen to what He is saying…and obey!