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.
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