But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. -John 16:13 (NIV)
It is in the field of prayer that life’s critical battles are lost or won. We must conquer all our circumstances there. We must first of all bring them there. We must survey them there. We must master them there. In prayer we bring our spiritual enemies into the Presence of God and we fight them there. Have you tried that? Or have you been satisfied to meet and fight your foes in the open spaces of the world? -J. H. Jowett
I’ve gone for four decades of heading out into the world every day and facing it with only my own wits and abilities. And, looking back, God allowed it to happen. He also carried me through it, scrapes and all. I’m still here, writing this post to you.
And sometimes, I will get myself stressed over the day, or forecasting too far ahead and worrying about details that haven’t happened yet. When I do that, I’m forging out into the mission field without armaments or armor. I’m just as vulnerable and hopeless as I was before I was saved. I might as well be an unbeliever on those days.
We’ve all been there. This can happen anywhere, at any moment, whether it’s for a few minutes, hours, days, or even seasons. But when we realize this, we need to…slow…down.
One crucial aspect of prayer is not us telling God what we want or need, but the other way around.
We’ve heard about the quiet voice of the Spirit, more easily heard when we still our hearts and minds. This is obviously more easily done when we dedicate time to the Lord for prayer. Being the parent of a toddler, my sliver of quiet time is between when he goes to sleep and when I do, as well as the minutes I lie in bed before getting up for work. I hope to expand this time more.
The Holy Spirit is our guide. He is God within us. He is the voice who speaks for us, and to us, if only we’d stop rushing around like, well, people who aren’t trusting in God! Before doing anything in this world, we want to make sure we are doing God’s will, and to know, we need to prioritize the Holy Spirit properly.
Before you head out into the mission field, wouldn’t you love to know the best way to handle yourself and situations you face before you even face them? Before they even know you’re coming? Me, too. And God offers it to us, if only we’d quiet ourselves and listen.
There’s a great piece by Our Daily Bread about listening to the Spirit, who can alert us to opportunities, if we’d only listen:
I’ve often thought of that guide and Jesus’ declaration to His fishermen-disciples, “From now on you will catch men” (Luke 5:10). There are great opportunities that come our way every day—people circling around us, searching for that elusive “something” for which their souls crave—occasions to show the love of Christ and speak of the hope that is in us. These are opportunities we might miss if not alerted.