Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
(Matthew 4:1; Acts 13:1–3)
Hearing from the Holy Spirit is one thing, but having the courage and willingness to actually respond can feel too scary. We have to be willing, as Jesus was, to be led by the Spirit to show up in the ways God is asking us. This can be uncomfortable. We might face rejection, feel awkward, or come off as strange. But God is faithful and present. He will meet his children wherever he sends them. So, you might be rejected, laughed at, or embarrassed. You might never know the impact of your words or actions from a kingdom perspective. Yet, in the midst of your response to the Holy Spirit, you will encounter the very presence of God.
- Reflect on the last time the Holy Spirit prompted you and you said yes. How did you feel as you stepped out in faith to act? How did you experience God as you acted?
- What most often gets in the way of you saying yes to a prompting from the Holy Spirit? Ask God to fill you with what you need to push through whatever holds you back and to help you trust you will encounter him wherever he sends you.
- Is there anything the Holy Spirit has been nudging you about that you haven’t yet responded to as you’ve been prompted? What is it? What is one step you can take to respond and exercise your faith?
God, thank you for the invitation to participate in your restoration of this world. Forgive me for the times you have prompted me to action and I’ve failed to respond because of fear or insecurity. Fill me with courage and send me out to share the good news, love the lonely, and extend grace and compassion into this hurting world. Amen.