The Spirit's Surprises

Friday, November 5, 2021
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "A Shelter In The Time Of Storm"1 (Lyrics)

1 Thessalonians 5:19 – Do not quench the Spirit. (NRSV)

Authors cannot agree on whether writer's block is real or a myth. We all struggle with our words sometimes, though.

Not long ago, my church assigned me to write a series of devotionals based on the lectionary readings for the season. I was working on a devotional using verses from Psalm 126 about "sowing in tears and reaping with shouts of joy", which was published yesterday on PresbyCan. It was an awesome concept, but I struggled with exactly what to say. Eventually, I came up with a list of practical ideas for cultivating joy in today's world. My readers were to rejoice, sing, pray, give, and express gratitude.

But still, the meditation didn't seem quite right. It didn't come full circle and have punch. I decided to move on and work on another devotional, then come back to this one.

I read through the rest of the lectionary Scriptures for the umpteenth time for other ideas, and when I came to 1 Thessalonians 5, my mouth fell open. What did verses 16 through 18 command? None other than to rejoice, pray, and give thanks — exactly matching the practical ideas that I had come up with for cultivating joy. I began to scribble, tying the two Scriptures together.

I cannot take any of the credit for that connection, though. I am certain that the Holy Spirit whispered the inspiration in my ear — and I listened! I did not quench the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit doesn't speak only to writers. The Spirit could whisper an important message to any of us at any time.

For today's Scripture, I quoted the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. Other translations say that we are not to "suppress", "smother", "turn away", or "stifle" the Spirit. What beautiful revelations might the Spirit surprise us with if we obeyed this command?

Prayer: Holy Spirit, speak to us. Help us to listen to Your whispers on matters large and small. We are ready. Amen.

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About the author:

Kim Sheard <>
Fairfax, Virginia, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Amen sister!

    Thanks for sharing, Kim.

    Thanks, Kim. I had the same experience recently…it was awesome.

    Thank you, Kim, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us.

    Hi Kim
    It is amazing how the Holy Spirit does things!!!! Thank you for listening and therefore, able to share this message.

    Dear Kim,
    Thank you for another special devotional today. You do have an excellent way of relating words of scripture to our daily life encounters and thoughts. Blessings for these most meaningful writings.

    YES, Kim! It sure comes through clear as I read it and rejoice that through your writing this message has given me hope and peace at the beginning of my day! Thank you for sharing your understanding which is undoubtedly inspired by the Holy Spirit as it touches me.

    Thank you, Kim, for sharing both devotionals. We are so blessed to have the power of the Holy Spirit working through us in everything we do. It is so exciting when the Spirit whispers in our ear. Scripture is clear that we are not supposed to ignore the Holy Spirit. I appreciate that you made this clear.

    Good Morning, Kim,
    Isn’t it amazing as we wait on God, He always gives us revelations beyond our comprehension! He continues to bless me when I am preparing something to share, He brings another related article, words, or confirmation at just the right time (even though I may wait awhile for it to come!)
    We have been watching the election in Virginia very closely and pray for all people there especially Christians to stand for biblical principles which bless all people!
    Thank you, Kim, for what you have shared, and I pray God’s richest blessing on you and your family!

    Hi Kim,
    Well I am sure all the wonderful responses that you received yesterday encouraged you to know that the Holy Spirit helped you to touch many others just as God wants us to. Yesterday my friend remarked to me on your devotional and the importance of JOY in our lives. We need the Holy Spirit to guide us for our self, and also for reaching out to others in many different ways throughout the day – with a smile, with a kind word, with sharing our journey of faith and trust, with money, with a suggestion on what might help, with an experience that helped us.
    Thank you for being persistent and following through so that many others can learn to listen to the Holy Spirit in their lives. May you continue to be inspired and share your thoughts. Blessings.

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