For a good part of my life, I've wanted God to speak to me. I guess I thought it'd be genuinely cool to be able to say that "God said..." I figured it'd be easier to do the right thing if He would just tell me what that "right thing" was, and take the guesswork out of it! I was always jealous of Samuel, because he got to hear God talking to Him when he was just a little kid. And here I was, obviously older than Samuel when he heard from God, but I'd never heard a peep!
I'm older now, but that doesn't mean I don't want to hear His voice! I've often wondered what it sounds like, or what He'd say to me. And I've been noticing something. This week I finally realized that the Holy Spirit often speaks to me by pointing me to Scripture I've heard and stowed away. Now I know that's not going to be an earth-shattering observation to you. But I think there's enough people out there who haven't heard it before, and that's why my new book "God spoke to me and said..." is going to be a national bestseller anyway.
Really, though. I got to thinking about the idea that the Holy Spirit "guides us into all truth." And I started realizing that when I stray away from God, I'm often called back to Him with a verse that speaks right in the face of my temptation, or calls me back from what I've already indulged in. Sometimes that truth comes from another person telling me truth straight, or if comes as a quiet reminder to my thoughts. That's why, as I told God I was too sleepy to read His Word, and even as I drifted off to sleep, He reminded me of the plant that was choked by the "cares of this world." (Luke 8:14). And why, as I made another excuse today, the words from the song "Do you love the Lord? Are you makin' the time to be readin' His Word? ... Do you love the Lord?" carried a clear meaning as I hummed them.
(That whole verse about the Word dividing bone and marrow, soul and spirit? I think it shows me so clearly that the Holy Spirit knows how to deliver truth, full strength, to where I need it most. He knows the place that's becoming infected, the open wound I'm allowing to fester, or the appendix I'm foisting things into. And He knows the treatment that I need. He's the surgeon letting me know in a calm voice "It's bad, it's real bad. But there's something I can do...").
As I thought about other times that I'd been straying from God, I remembered how often my thoughts had been arrested, and the sheriff had been the Holy Spirit. Of course, He didn't read me the Miranda rights. But He did remind me of what He'd already told me, gently, but clearly. Softly so that only I could hear, but unmistakably so that I wouldn't die.
Thank you for speaking to me, LORD. Please help me listen, and obey, and live.