Monday, December 8, 2008

Second Guessing the Holy Spirit


Well, I have another confession to make. Friday when I went to meet some friends at Starbucks, I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to buy coffee for the man standing in line behind me. I told my friend this, and then I started getting nervous, you know, second guessing the whole "conviction" thing. I felt awkward and I worried whether the man would think I was hitting on him or something. Then I saw him talking to a lady beside him and thought that she might get upset with me (you know, if he was her man and all). So, I talked myself out of buying the guy's coffee. I told my friend that later on in the day I would "share the love" with someone else. Well, I didn't. I didn't see another opportunity that day.

Last night our church had a deacon ordination service. The men being ordained were up front and their wives were seated across from them. The leading pastor requested that all other ordained men in the congregation come and pray over the men who were being ordained. While this was going on, I again felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit. This time I felt that I needed to go forward and pray over the wives (my husband is an ordained deacon). Well, once again I didn't do what I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to do. This time my rationalization was that I wasn't invited to go forward and pray over the women as the men were, so since I'm a woman, I'd better not do something like that. Instead I prayed for the women where I was seated. So why am I second guessing the Holy Spirit? I pray so often for God to speak to me, so when He does, why am I ignoring Him?
I'm currently reading through the book of Hebrews because a friend of mine, Ninfa, is reading through it as well. I thought it would be nice for us to read it together, even though she is way south of me now since she recently moved. Anyway, today I read in Hebrews 3:7 "So as the Holy Spirit says: 'Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did'." Again in verse 15 it says, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion." I feel like crud because I didn't obey Friday or yesterday, when it was my "today". I really hate that I hardened my heart. Thankfully, God is merciful and kind, and will give me another chance. I guess I shared these things because hopefully whoever reads it will be encouraged to listen and obey "today".

8 comments:

Potpourri of Praise said...

Thanks for sharing. I can think of many times that I failed to do as prompted by the Holy Spirit...always having a really rational reason for not doing so like you mentioned. Then when I finally do decide to obey, so many times the opportunity has passed. But, when I do obey just as asked, the joy and peace I feel are unmistakable. Obedience is not always easy, but it is always worth it. I'll pray that we'll both be open and obedient to those promptings and maybe that God will give each of us an opportunity very soon to obey.

Brenda said...

Oh, I've definitely felt like you so many times. It's funny though, because I had a few different thoughts as I was reading. First, I completely understand why you felt uncomfortable about buying the guys coffee. Sometimes it's easier at a drive-thru to pay for the car behind. That way, you can drive off and not feel awkward about it. And the whole concern of him and the woman thinking you might be hitting on him. LOL! Then, I also was thinking, how do you know it wasn't the Holy Spirit stopping you from doing those things that seemed like the right thing, but maybe weren't?
Also, another thought... it doesn't seem like you hardened your heart. You really did want to do those kind things for those people. But were hesitant for good reasons. I know we can justify our actions even when we know we are wrong, but I'm still not convinced you acted in rebellion. What you do think about that?

Anonymous said...

You aren't the only one (hoping to bring comfort here to you.) Another lady told me Sunday night that she really wanted to go forward to pray to over the women but didn't feel (can I say...) 'permitted' to do so. So, probably like you, she prayed from her seat. You know the tolls on the deacon's wife, so prayers are always appreciated. Wish you guys were still on the rotation!!

-tiffany

Terry said...

As for the second case, I think you made the right decision at the time. I would not want to disrupt a church service either.

As for buying the man coffee, I thought that one way to handle it would have been to buy both him and his wife or girlfriend some coffee. Then, it would not have appeared inappropriate. Unfortunately, hindsight is 20/20 thought. Perhaps next time...

Thanks for the encouragement to listen for the Spirit's directions!

Pam said...

I totally understand. There have been times I have not followed the Holy Spirit's leading either. I always say I will do better, but I find myself falling short many times.
I love your background.

Ryan B said...

Great post. I can totally relate. There have been so many times that I have felt the Spirit telling me to do something and then not doing it. I also find myself frustrated because so often I pray that God will speak to me and then when He does I don't do anything about it. There are multiple reasons why I don't (scared, lazy, etc.) but still, it's like a slap in the face to God.

Thanks for bringing this up. It is a very good reminder and I'm glad that you are able to share your experience. Keep up the good work.

Mike said...

Don't feel bad. Just learn from it.

Mork said...

Very wise words ... how many times I tell myself, "I should have!!!"

Oh, happy 40th as well ....