We arrived at Hebron on time this morning, which turned out to be a blessing to Flip, who was late and lamenting. "The problem is," he told me, "I hear the Lord telling me to get up because I have a lot to do, but somehow I find myself rolling over and just going back to sleep." I told him how it was a blessing to know that even he struggles with this. And I shared that one of the things God has been working on me about lately is to learn to listen to that "still, small voice" of the Holy Spirit and to obey Him.
Growing up in a very non-charismatic environment, the Holy Spirit was probably unintentionally minimized as a reactionary response. But as I've grown in my spiritual walk, I've realized more and more how dependent I am upon the Holy Spirit. We are told, after all, that "without me, you can do nothing." What makes us think that we can simply muster up enough strength or spiritual fortitude to do anything in our own power? That we can depend on our own wisdom (which is, as the Bible says, foolishness to God)? Even much of our spirituality can lead us into relying on our actions...what we DO to become more sanctified and pleasing to the Lord. We do, do, do and forget that our "doing" is impossible without Him!
As I sit here writing these words, I am reminded that I can't even write without Him! And I pray for the words to effectively communicate...for the Holy Spirit to fill me so that my words are His words and not my own.
Since going out to the abortion mill regularly, the Holy Spirit and His work has become so much more familiar to me. All the phrases I would hear about listening to the Holy Spirit and simply allowing Him to speak through us suddenly have become very real. It is one thing to hear these common Christian phrases and yet another to experience them so vividly every week. To literally not know what I will say as I grab that microphone, set aside my "notes," and pray for Him to fill me. And, just as He promises, He does just that. I open my mouth and things come out that I did not plan, thoughts and whole outlines flow into my head like a steady, dependable stream of refreshing water. And the more I taste them, the more I crave them! I want to be filled with the Holy Spirit! Not in some mystical, flop-on-the-floor showy kind of way, but in a way that is real and genuine. A way that is quiet just as is the nature of that still, small voice. I want God to be glorified and me to stand back in amazement at His presence once again.
And so it surprises me somewhat when those feelings come. The feelings that should not, logically, be there.
"I don't want to go to the mill today."
"What if I get on the mic and don't have anything to say?"
"Maybe I should take a break from ministry."
I've dealt with them often enough to know that they are usually not even true feelings, but the inevitable spiritual struggle in the battleground of my mind. I am thankful that as quickly as they come, they usually leave just as fast. Today, I had flashes of all these thoughts, but the one that caught me most off-guard was the second one. Me? Not want to speak on the mic? It is just not typical. From the first day I went to the mill, I have been speaking on the microphone. This is my comfort zone. And I have experienced amazing moments of supernatural clarity and speech. But today I felt mild apprehension, which I expressed to Flip. He prayed over me and, in obedience to that still, small voice, I grabbed the mic and began to speak. And as I read the Scripture the Holy Spirit led me to, that refreshing stream trickled and then poured. Out flowed everything He wanted me to say. And the ones to whom He was speaking walked out moments later and told Flip and the others in the driveway that they had chosen life!
That still, small voice was faithfully at work this morning and we listened. And as we prayed for faith "above all," as Ephesians 6:16 commands, we know that He was at work in other hearts, as well. We may not see results here, but we have faith that we will see them someday in eternity!