The Holy Spirit is purposeful in prompting us to pursue our part of God’s plan.
Devotional for March 16th
So many thoughts run through our minds. Throughout the day, images, sounds, concepts, ideas, and so on flood our minds. We experience all kinds of thoughts. Good, bad, and ugly. It’s a wonder that we’re able to keep all together. The National Science Foundation says the average human brain produces 12,000 to 50,000 thoughts per day. Other neurologists say that the number could be as high as 70,000. In any case, these are just the conscious ones. They’re not even dealing with unconscious thoughts. The ones that handle heart rate, digestion, breathing, movement, speech, etc. The are so many things that occupy our minds. Including messages from the Lord.
How do we filter out these messages amongst all of the other thought-spam that our minds are consumed with? First we must recognize that the Holy Spirit does communicate with us. It could be through images, a feeling in your gut, audible sounds, or any number of other ways. The key is to ask the Lord how He speaks to us. Then wait for the answer. Henry Blackaby’s book, “Experiencing God”, outlines a great process of taking walks to listen for God’s “voice” when we’re trying experience our burning bush moment. There will be a moment when it’s apparent that some thoughts or impressions are completely different from the others. When that happens, ask the Lord if that was from him and to confirm it by doing it again. For some, you may need to walk more. Others may just need that first step. In either case, you have to settle yourself while you’re walking and resist the temptation of taking a random thought down a rabbit hole to wonderland.
We have such a powerful, creative tool in our minds that our thoughts can overwhelm and distract us. Don’t give up trying to intentionally filter God thoughts from our own. A helpful tool in determining the difference is to remember that Godly thoughts are affirming and encouraging. Even if the answer to our request is no, God doesn’t leave us crushed, embarrassed, or ashamed. He never makes us the outcast or center of anyone’s abuse or ridicule. Jer. 29:11 reminds us that God has a plan to prosper us and not destroy. The Holy Spirit is purposeful in prompting us to pursue our part of God’s plan. Keep seeking God. Keep walking. Keep listening quietly. There’ll be that moment when your bush is set ablaze. And you’ll discover how your Creator speaks to you.
Do you know how the Holy Spirit speaks to you? If not, ask the Lord right now show you. Then, listen quietly.
Lord, I thank your for this burning bush experience. I desire to know how You speak to me. I thank You for showing me. I believe that You constantly speak to me. I thank for the great and small ways that You show your love to me. In Jesus name, amen.
Exodus 3 NIV
Moses and the Burning Bush
1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
And Moses said, “Here I am.”
5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
7 The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
“This is my name forever,
the name you shall call me
from generation to generation.
16 “Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’
18 “The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God.’ 19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go.
21 “And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. 22 Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.”