Today’s Scripture: Acts 16:6-10
6 Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time. 7 Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there. 8 So instead, they went on through Mysia to the seaport of Troas.
9 That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” 10 So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there.
When I was in my last church, we had a staff member who had a sign in her office that read “Never Ignore A Prompting From the Holy Spirit”. I thought about that sign last week as I was working on Pentecost worship. And that got me thinking about her. So, I took the sign to heart and reached out to her.
Turns out things have not been going great. She now has a business that was severely impacted by the pandemic. Her health is not great. She just needed some encouragement which I was happy to give.
This is the way the Holy Spirit sometimes works. We receive a “prompting” – a nudge to do something. It’s not in your face and it’s usually easy to ignore it. If we do ignore the prompting, the world is not going to end. But if we recognize it and follow it some amazing things tend to happen.
Promptings usually involve other people – but not always. Sometimes it’s a prompting to take care of ourselves or to take a break from what it is we are letting run our lives at the moment.
Promptings are little pushes that help us navigate the world we live in. We sometimes call it gut instinct – and I believe the more we listen to the Holy Spirit, and act on what we hear – the more promptings we will get. Promptings are real and we need to pay attention to them.
Of course we have to be discerning. Sometimes we think we have a prompting when in reality we just want some gossip. So maybe we don’t go around saying “The Holy Spirit told me to call you” or “The Holy Spirit told me to take this afternoon off.” Instead, just follow the prompting and see what happens. The more we do this the more we will learn what is from the Holy Spirit and what is not.
So keep your Holy Spirt antennae up this week and see how God might use you!
Holy Spirit, we are open to any promptings you might give us. Help us to discern what is from you and what is not. Help us to act instead of ignore. Give us wisdom to know what is from you and what is not.