“Mom, mom, there was this super scary guy in our neighborhood that was yelling at us! He was really creepy!” my youngest son exclaimed.
Concerned, I immediately stopped what I was doing and began to ask more questions in “rapid-fire” mode. You see, my youngest son was going door-to-door in our neighborhood to sell raffle tickets for his hockey team. To be safe, I sent my older daughter with him so that he was not alone; I also trusted her judgement in case a precarious situation arose.
“What do you mean he yelled at you? What was he saying?” I asked impatiently. “Why was he yelling? Were you misbehaving?” I asked all of these questions before they could even answer the first one!
Like most parents I know, I have spent years, (over a decade actually) teaching my children to make good choices and to obey the Holy Spirit that dwells in them when they sense the Spirit warning them or prompting them to do or say something. Other things I have taught are basic, DO NOT get in a car with a stranger or go into a stranger's home, DO NOT answer the door if there is not an adult home, DO NOT tell a person on the phone that your parents are not home and the list goes on…but I sat in disbelief as I listened to my teachings, warnings, and even the promptings of the Holy Spirit that were all ignored on this evening. What could make a person ignore all of this? (I will answer this below)
My son recalled, “We went to this house and there was a sign on the doorbell that said to knock because the doorbell was broken, so we knocked and a very loud, mean sounding man demanded that we come into his house…”
Interrupting her brother, my daughter continues “and I thought that you know because first impressions are very important, and we are trying to sell him something, that we should just go in, so Tyler went in…and then I felt really scared inside my heart like we shouldn’t be doing this”
Interrupting his sister, my son, with eyes wide open and brows raised to the ceiling reassuringly states the facts… “but mom, we didn’t go all the way inside his house, we were just standing on the rug by the front door mom, so if anything bad happened we could just run back out.”
My brows were now raised but for a different reason, “so let me get this straight; you’re scared; a mean sounding man is yelling and demanding that you come into his house; and then YOU DO IT?! With your hearts pounding and thinking it’s not a good idea you still do it? Why? To sell a raffle ticket?” So then what happened?” I asked trying to contain my total shock and hopeful that the worst was over.
“So then he shouted like he was angry, ‘Come in I said’ but I couldn’t see him so I took a couple more steps and peered down the hallway toward his kitchen…” my son gets annoyed as his sister jumps into the storytelling.
“and I was thinking about grabbing Tyler’s sweatshirt so he didn’t go any further into his house, but I just didn’t know what to do,” pausing to allow her brother to finish.
“and so as I was saying, I tried to be nice and I said loudly from the hallway‘We are selling raffle tickes…’ and that’s when he finally saw us and in disgust said ‘oh, you’re selling something? get out of here’ and shooed us out like this with his hands.” Tyler said demonstrating. “then we turned and just took off out of there, it was really scary, and he looked as mean as he sounded.”
So what kept my kids from obeying the promptings of the Spirit that “said” ‘don’t go in’ and what keeps you and I from obeying God? There are some hints I am going to illuminate from their explanations.
- When we allow “man’s wisdom” to override God’s. God knew we would have this tendency and it is sinful, we are to obey God understanding that ‘His ways are higher than our ways” (Isaiah 55:9) and God also tells us: “don’t lean on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). When we lean on or depend upon our own understanding we make statements like my daughter did when she said this: “and I thought that you know because first impressions are very important,”
- When we fear man vs. fearing God. My daughter was afraid that her and her brothers’ “first impression” might be tainted if they didn’t do what this man was demanding.
- When we become more concerned with what we think we might gain by disobeying God, in this case my daughter said “and we are trying to sell him something” which was a result they knew they would benefit from.
- When we think we can escape the consequence or situation if things get bad like my son thought when he said“so if anything bad happened we could just run back out.”
Is there anything situation that you are sensing that God is telling you to leave? Ask yourself these questions:
Am I leaning on my own understanding?
Is fear of “man” impacting your decision in any way? Fear of what others will think of your decision?
Is there something you’re afraid of losing by obeying God?
Are there any negative consequences you are trying to strategically avoid?
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9 (AMP)