God loves

The "Tug" In My Spirit Doesn't Make Sense!

As I lay down on the hotel bed to take a one-hour nap before we left for a church service in a large Midwestern city, I kept feeling a “tug” in my heart to stay home from the meeting that night.  But I wanted to go hear the special speaker that evening.  Besides, many of our ministry friends were going to be there, and I wanted to tell them goodbye since this was to be our last night in the area. As we walked out the door of the hotel room, I turned to Denise and said, “I don’t know why, Denise, but I think I’m going to let you go tonight, and I’m going to stay here.”  As she walked out the door, however, I couldn’t bear the thought of missing a fantastic night at the meeting, so I headed downstairs to the car that waited to take us.  I couldn’t figure out why I seemed impressed to stay in the room that night, so I overruled what my spirit was telling me and went on to church.

When the car pulled up to the church, I was overwhelmed with a “knowing” that I had to go back to the room.  Once again, I told Denise, “I’m going to tell everyone goodbye right now before the meeting begins; then I’m going back to the room.  I’ll see you when you get home from church tonight.”  But as I went around telling people goodbye, I got involved in first one conversation, then another, and then another, until time began to slip away.  Finally, the turmoil in my spirit became so strong that I asked the driver to take me right back to the hotel.

As I drove to the hotel, I kept thinking how irrational it was for me to feel like I needed to be at the hotel that night.  Why would I need to be there?  There was nothing urgent to do and no calls to make, so why did I have this incredible “urge” to get back to the hotel room?  But when I opened to the door to our room, I was stunned to see that the entire room had been ransacked.

  • Suitcases were sprawled across the room
  • Clothes were hurled all over the place
  • Denise’s jewelry boxes were opened, empty, and scattered on the floor.
  • My computer had been taken from the desk where it had been sitting
  • My briefcase that contained my tickets, my passport, and my visas was gone

When I saw that my computer and briefcase were gone, I realized that whoever had done this hadn’t just stolen those two items.  The information on my computer and in my briefcase included:

  • Nine years of important study notes.
  • My American passport.
  • My Latvian residence visa.
  • My brand-new Russian visa.
  • All my international travel documents.
  • All my credit cards.
  • My birth certificate.
  • My Daytimer that was filled with vital addresses and phone numbers.

The above story is a direct quote and excerpt from “Sparkling Gems From The Greek” by Rick Renner.

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I was captivated by his story.  I couldn’t help but picture being in his shoes.  How frustrated would you be with yourself?!

I also imagined what it would have been like had he obeyed.  Most likely, a quite, peaceful night would have ensued where “nothing” seemed to happen.  There was once a time when I wanted to go to a women’s bible study that my friend was leading back in my hometown where I would’ve been able to see a lot of women I had not seen in a long time.  I wanted to go so badly; however, I felt the same “tug” that said I should stay at my parent’s home and not go!  What?!  God was asking me not to go to a bible study?!  It seemed ridiculous.  I did obey that “tug” and stayed home.  I hated making that phone call because I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to catch-up and enjoy  getting into God’s Word with my friends.  I remember wondering “why” God wanted me to stay at my parent’s house that night.  Nothing “important” seemed to happen.  I did not “hear” from God in some mighty way as I sometimes expect when God asks me to do something.  Instead, it was a regular ol’ night, uneventful.  I wonder what God protected me from?  We know we have an enemy that wants to rob, kill and destroy.

In Acts 13:4

So then, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from [that port] they sailed away to Cyprus

We know that God will never ask us to do something, send us somewhere, or keep us from something that is not in our very best interest.  We just need to obey.

Trust that He has a good reason for every. single. thing. He will ever ask of you.  He can be trusted, even when we don’t know why He asked us to do what He’s asking us to do.  We may never know what He saved us from experiencing.  I would much rather have an uneventful day/night because of my obedience, then to sin by disobeying  or as Rick Renner shares above “delayed obedience” and “discover” the reason  WHY God was prompting me to do a certain thing.

What is your experience with the Holy Spirit's prompting?  Share your story with us!

Written by Jamie Shaver

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God Revelation- Blessing of Trials

“What does eternal life mean to you?” For many years the answer would have been for me— and I would imagine for many people “heaven”.  That changed for me when I read John17:3:  “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” God’s desire for us is that we know Him; when we come to experientially, personally know Him we go from death to life.

One of the reasons that the Lord leads us to and through trials is so we can come to really know Him. It is through trials that we often come to recognize our great need for Him and understand aspects of His character, His holy ways, and His amazing love for us.

The apostle Paul experienced countless trials as he obeyed God’s call on his life.  Before becoming a Christian he had everything the world considers valuable. Yet, he states in Philippians 3:8-11: 

“…I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him…I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings…”

Do you too consider everything garbage (literally ‘dung’) compared to knowing Christ Jesus?  There was a time when like Paul, I considered the things of this world of great value. But then I came to know Jesus, and realized that all I truly desire in life is found in knowing Him intimately. 

I fervently prayed that He would reveal Himself to me and that I would be conformed more and more into His image. I admit that it didn’t occur to me that the answer to my prayer would necessitate suffering.  It was in the midst of a great trial that I came to understand that since Jesus was a “suffering servant” Who “learned obedience through the things He suffered”, that if I was to understand and become more like Him that I too would have to experience trials and suffering. 

When I experienced a gut-wrenching betrayal by someone whom I had considered a close friend and was reeling from emotional pain, I heard in my spirit, “You asked to be conformed to my image.  Look to the cross. I know what it feels like to be betrayed by those you love. I chose to endure betrayal for your sake. Allow your suffering to draw you closer to me.”

In that instant, the pain of my betrayal actually became a blessing and gift to me! God used it to reveal to me how great His love is for me. I realized that He loved me so much that He chose the pain of betrayal that He experienced when Judas betrayed him and Peter and all the disciples forsook Him at the time of His greatest need.  He gave me the privilege of allowing me in a very small measure to be a “partaker of His suffering”. I came to know Him and the depth of His love in a way that I never could have without going through that trial. 

That incident also taught me to appreciate that God often uses trials in our lives to reveal Himself to us in ways that we never could comprehend without suffering. If there is no perceived need for Him, we may not look to Him or appreciate all that He is.  If we never stop to consider what it cost Him to bring about our salvation, we can easily take His love for granted.

For example, although this list is far from comprehensive it gives us a few examples of Who Jesus is. You will only come to know Him in the following ways if you recognize your need of Him:

 As your Refuge if you are in need of safety

As Shepherd if you need guidance. 

As The Great Physician if you have need of healing

As Your Strength if you are weak

As Your Provider if you are in want of something

As Your Comforter if you are experiencing loss

As Your Encourager if you are downcast

As Your Rock if you are needing security and steadfastness

As Your Savior if you know you need saving

What trial has the Lord allowed you to experience in order for you to know His character and love even better? What are you going through right now that He wants to use to draw you even closer to Him and to His heart of love for you?

Written by Julie Van Gorp

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