by Pastor Tim Burt
I was driving on a freshly paved highway in Northern Minnesota. On both sides of some Minnesota roads, they create small bumps in the shape of piano keys. If you weren’t paying attention and started to veer off the road, you’d hit these bumps which are loud and vibrate your car. They’d quickly get your attention and prompt you to get back where you belong, in the center of your lane!
As Christians, we have something similar from God in our life, only better! We have the gentle and loving voice of God’s Holy Spirit nudging us like a loving parent. If we’d pay attention to the leading of the Holy Spirit instead of acting like the little child mesmerized by the TV or a video game who doesn’t hear a thing your saying, we would hear the voice of the Lord or sense His prompting. This is a simple but profound truth. The greater you reverence the Lord and His Word whom we know we should revere, the more you experience that prompting of your heart to be aware and stay in His will for your life.
One afternoon I was out with my granddaughter running a couple of errands. We had to pick up something from the grocery store. While there, I asked her if she’d like a treat of some kind! She lit up like a light bulb and asked for a donut so I bought her one. And sitting right next to the donut she wanted was an apple fritter. I think it grew eyes and was staring me down. There was a time when I thought about them literally, every day! I hadn’t eaten one in years because, with the Lord’s help, I had rid my diet of sweets. I was suddenly thinking of buying myself one. And then I felt that nudge from God. It wasn’t a sin but the Lord knew if I bought and ate one, I’d be thinking about them again. He reminded me of that. And so I resisted, bought my granddaughter her donut and we left. Whew! Thanks to that nudge from God, I dodged that bullet.
We all have the potential to wander and go off the side of the road in our Christian walk, and many of us have. Once we can admit it, then we have the ability to return to and stay on track with God!
Not everyone goes astray because of willful sin. Sometimes poor decisions or slothfulness and procrastination get us there. Procrastination is such a thief! The things people put off are most often small things that would raise the quality of their life and bring them greater satisfaction, inner peace, and joy. The reasons we put things off are most often born out of fear or laziness or a lack of routine disciplines. And they rob us!
Sometimes God is leading, nudging, or prompting you to get a task done or to reach out to someone with an act of kindness. If you procrastinate out of fear or laziness, you’ll never discover why. Learning to recognize God’s voice and respond, helps build godly character. It helps you experience satisfaction in knowing that you are disciplined in following your heart to do what you know you should. Overcoming fears through faith in God’s help accomplishes the same. It is important to remember that when God nudges or prompts us to do or not do something, it is usually for our protection from hurt and pain or to lead us to a miraculous blessing.
I was recently looking for something in the garage and couldn’t find it. The garage was getting somewhat messy and disordered. It was like a felt this nudge of God to clean the garage and it was a perfect thought because the weather was poor outside and I had the time to do it. By the time I was done, I had found two things I had been looking for that I thought I lost. And the garage felt so neat and orderly! I know that sounds crazy but I was so blessed and felt so great when I had finished! I was so glad I had followed that nudge from the Holy Spirit to do so!
What has God nudged you about lately? Is it visiting your parents, going to church, doing your exercises, cleaning that closet or laundry room, writing in your journal, forgiving and repairing that relationship, reading your Bible and praying, or writing that note or thank you card? Or have you ignored that nudge from God to quit doing something you know in your heart is not right and takes you outside of His perfect will for your life? Can you understand that procrastination or ignoring God’s promptings of any kind steals from the character development of revering and obeying the leading of the Holy Spirit? And it steals the joy that you would otherwise experience in doing them!
When Nicodemus faced Jesus, he wanted to procrastinate or put off what he knew in his heart he should do—accept Jesus’ word as truth. Jesus confronted Nicodemus and will confront you too. (Maybe He’s doing so right now!) Don’t procrastinate. Don’t be lazy. Don’t put off what God’s been speaking to you about! As the saying goes, Just do it!
Proverbs 6:4 (NLT) “Don’t put it off; do it now! Don’t rest until you do.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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