When we pray to God the Father, his response may be through The Holy Spirit also known as the Holy Ghost. He can use many forms of communication with persons who know him and those who are about to learn of Him. While “the presence of the Holy Spirit” may have a physical sensation at times, such experiences should not deafen us to the many opportunities of learning and direction that the Holy Spirit offers.
Let’s start with a personal testimony as to the timing of the Holy Spirit and then proceed to other forms of communication that may more commonly occur.
A man on social media expressed deep despair. A person then started praying for the man, “Thy will be done.” After praying weekly, two months later while praying, a thought suddenly occurred, “Be a friend.” Not having seen the man in years, out of faith the person appeared at the man’s door step that next morning not knowing what to say or do. The man did all the talking, stating he had handed his problems over to God that prior evening. The issues were so overwhelming that the person listening had no answers, but simply invited the man to church. The sermon happened to be on love, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, which initiated the first step of the man’s life being rebuilt within Jesus Christ and his marriage later restored.
The more determined our will is to locate God’s direction for us, the greater our ability to proceed with an “open obedience” in following His will. With such a degree of submission, the Holy Spirit may send us “clues” for our initial “moves” that may develop additional trust or overcome other factors within our personalities that hold us back from learning at a faster rate. When looking back, we can appreciate the love shown by choosing to work on us first. As we grow in his grace, opportunities for effective service may be blended in. Our prayer may change to asking for “guidance not to stray from His path” so that we do not delay God’s progression of events.
It is rather like a game of chess. Each potential move has a number of options which affect ongoing moves. Those experienced in seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit may not initially get their questions answered. However, they are open in seeking out the clues that result in more beneficial moves along the way. Those of us without patience to follow His guidance may “assume” they have received their answers from God without doing the degree of listening that is required. This “mismove” may cause delays in achieving the destination God desires for us.
A recent set of “clues” occurred in my own life:
At first, I thought this booklet was complete at six pages in length. However, when I went to translate it into another language, I immediately ran into a mental block. Why could I not proceed with this routine and simple task?
Previously in my walk with the Holy Spirit; when a “statistical unlikelihood” confronted my path, I began evaluate whether or not the a clue was alerting me to something?”
Several things were going on in my life:
A man from Africa had e-mailed our ministry regarding his struggle in receiving Christ.
A friend had recommended a certain book on Christianity for me to read.
I did not quite grasp the conversation I had with a man who was experienced in campus ministries.
Because of “guidance” from the Holy Spirit,” I followed up on all three options with extra care since I was unsure what my next “chess" move was. As time progressed, my earlier conversation with the campus minister promoted new learning and additional insight which helped to extend this booklet.
As in the life of Peter, our effectiveness in serving God corresponds with our ability to listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Next Chapter: Why Might This be Important?