I feel so grateful for the attentive guidance of the Holy Spirit. I wouldn’t know how to live the new life I’ve been reborn into without Him.
Two different but similar experiences this week of His clear guidance.
Both had to do with sharing my testimony of coming to Jesus.
In the first, I was talking with a family member who’s been very challenging for me to love. This family member claims to be an atheist and is constantly complaining to me about how unhappy she is. She becomes angry if I try to offer ideas to help relieve the things that are making her unhappy. She accuses me of being selfish and insensitive, and of not understanding. I do understand that she feels hopeless, but I don’t share her sense of hopelessness, and that makes her angry. She wants me to agree with her that her life is hopeless and not worth living. She also keeps “diagnosing” me as deluded and mentally unbalanced because of my newfound faith in Jesus Christ. And yet, in her moments of greatest despair she has asked me several times to pray for her, which I am doing.
This past week when she again asked me to pray for her, my first thought was, “If you don’t believe in God, just exactly who do you think I’m praying to when you ask me to pray for you anyway?” But I could literally feel the Holy Spirit holding me back, like a safety belt on a carnival ride. I was thinking I probably should at least say something about God being a source of hope and strength, but the Holy Spirit literally held my tongue and prevented me from saying it. Later in thinking about what just happened, I realized that I did not at that moment have love in my heart from which to speak about God … I was frustrated and annoyed … and I get it now … testimony about God’s love without being able to demonstrate it myself is testimony better not given.
The second situation was when I was having a Zoom lunch meeting with a friend. We’ve known each other for a number of years, and mutually like and respect one another, but haven’t ever really talked about our spiritual lives. In this case my friend mentioned that he isn’t really very religious but that his life has been changing dramatically because he came to realize that our time on planet Earth is temporary and short. He talked about not wanting to waste time doing things that don’t matter.
I didn’t even need to think about what to say, or how to broach the subject. The Holy Spirit took the lead and put the right words in my mouth. My friend and I had a totally amazing conversation in which I spoke about my rebirth in Christ Jesus, and he asked me how – and why … I shared with him my detailed testimony of my own spiritual transformation. He thanked me profusely for sharing that and was genuinely moved. I’m pretty sure there will be future conversations. I don’t know how they’ll go, but I trust God to lead and I’m honored to be His instrument when that is His will.
It is so awesome to have the Holy Spirit at my side guiding me toward God’s will and away from my own ignorance. Praise God!