Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Holy Holy Holy"1 (Lyrics)
John 10:4b – His sheep follow him because they know his voice. (NIV)
Those words may cause us to wonder how we recognize the voice of God. How do we know when He speaks?
God speaks to us clearly through the words of the Bible. He also can speak to us through the action of His Spirit contacting our spirit with specific direction in a particular circumstance.
I believe that God recently spoke to me by His Spirit, surprising me with specific guidance.
How I wanted to go on a trip to Israel advertised on Christian television! I sent away for the pertinent brochure and pored over it. I told my husband, Eric, about it, and he urged me to go. As Eric spoke, a profound, wordless impression impacted my spirit with a definite "NO". I was not to go.
Later, Eric asked if I had set up the arrangements, and I mumbled something about the trip being too costly. I didn't know how to explain the spiritual message. As I had thrown away the brochure, he told me to send for another, and I did. When the matter was raised again, the same deep impression of "NO" came. I explained how I felt, and the matter was abandoned.
At the time of the trip to Israel, I found myself hospitalized in great pain. Surgery was necessary. How blessed I was to be in my hometown and not far away for this medical emergency!
In hospital, my room had two beds. The lady in the other bed had come in for gall bladder surgery. As we chatted, her surgeon came in and pulled the curtain between us. He told her that the surgery had revealed that she had incurable cancer. He could do nothing to help her. He left. Soon after, her family doctor came in and repeated the same message. He left.
I pulled aside the dividing curtain and reached for her hand. We held hands, and we wept.
Over the coming days, we chatted often. I told her about Jesus Christ. After discharge, I went to visit her from time to time. One evening, I took her to a Christian fellowship meeting. There, she received Christ as her Saviour.
As time passed, my friend's face grew whiter and whiter as the cancer had its way. Then one day, I learned that she had passed from this life into the next. She had gone to be with her Saviour.
God speaks to us through His Word, through the words of others, or by giving us an inner communication through the action of His Spirit.
He invites us to pay attention to His messages, however we receive them, and walk in the direction that He reveals. As we walk in obedience, there can be times when we are amazed at the kingdom work that He accomplishes! Moreover, we receive much joy through His presence and His guidance.
Prayer: Loving God, create within us a hunger for Your Word and a heart of obedience, ready to do Your will. Enable us to have ears to hear and a spirit willing to walk in the light that You shed upon our paths. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
P.S. I did go to Israel in a later year.
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An inspiring story, Joan. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks, Joan. Praise God that you listened!
Oh, the Lord in his wisdom is always so right!! Blessings.
Thank you for your inspiring message.
Thanks for a good word today Joan, l appreciated it.
A wonderful witness, Joan. God works in amazing ways.
Joan, Don’t you just love it when God does something special in our lives? Thanks for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Blessings.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful experience with us. Glad that you listened to the Holy Spirit. And… I am sure that you enjoyed your visit to Israel.
Good listening. Thanks for sharing. We need to hear these stories even though some might think we were a little crazy! I hope you had a wonderful trip.
Yes, Joan, everything comes to fruition to those who wait on the Lord’s perfect timing. I enjoyed your message today.
Blessings this day and always.
Thank you for your beautiful example of listening and following God’s direction. Not only were you greatly blessed but brought another to Christ. May the Lord continue to bless you as you serve him.
O Joan, what a useful message yours is today, just telling us what happened! I had a triumphal laugh at your last line; ‘I DID go!’ You didn’t tell us, you SHOWED us, all the way! What a blessing to read your story this morning. Love to you on the Christian Way today.
Oh my, what a moving message! Wow, how good that you heeded the words of the Holy Spirit. Bless that lady who you befriended; what a comfort your friendship gave her and how wonderful that she came to know the love of Christ before she went to be with Him. It is so amazing how God works. I am also glad to hear that you made it to Israel in another year!
Thank you for writing this very touching devotional. The Lord nudges us with His word in ways we don’t realize until a situation arises, and we look back on it and realize the Lord was in charge. The timing of your hospital stay was perfect for you to be there at a time that the other patient needed to come to know Jesus. Praise the Lord!
Blessings to you and great that you got to go to Israel at a different time.
Thank you for sharing your experience of listening to God even though you really wanted to go to Israel. You are also blessed with a caring husband. How wonderful you know that your friend found Jesus as her saviour before she passed away. How wonderful that you understood it was God telling you not to go because he had another purpose for you. I am glad that you did make it to Israel as some time. May we all hear God’s voice and know it is him guiding us. May many more blessings come your way.
Thank you for your message.
I’m glad you listened to the message from God, and I’m very glad about the way you were God’s person leading the “end of life” lady to hear the Lord, to attend church, and to have fellowship where she received Jesus as her Savior.
Praise God for giving you this experience of being used in her end of life experience in this way.
And I pray that God will continue to use you for his glory.
Thank you for your devotional today.
I recently learned that one of my elders is going to be leading a workshop in a church where he regularly does lay supply preaching – it’s on dealing with grief when you, as a believer, lose a friend or loved one who is a non-believer. I read your story and found myself thinking about how so many of today’s non-believers reject faith when it is jammed down their throats, but perhaps would be more open to it if only more Christians would “come alongside” them when they are in need!
I think you may have actually impacted the conclusion of my sermon for an upcoming Sunday. I’m thankful for the example you have set and sent out of taking what God gave you and finding a way to still be a blessing!
What an amazing story, Joan. What a gift you gave to her. Blessings!
Hi Joan. Good to see your thoughts on the PresbyCan Devotional Site.
It is really great to report those sorts of experiences.
It helps build the faith of others.
And you realize you are not nuts when you hear such things!
The Lord speaks to us in the way we hear best.
I have friends who have had very vivid dreams of guidance and assurance.
Joan. God is amazing! Listening is always a challenge. Is it me or is it Him? But you heard. What a blessing! Thanks for sharing!