"The Holy Spirit's directions for our lives, our purpose, is very important to God."
Scripture Reference: James 3:17 “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”
We hear people. Whether it’s a motivating compliment or a crippling critique, people’s remarks about our lives stick. Think back to some of those comments. Can you still feel the power they provided (either good or bad)?
I find it easy to stew on criticism, especially when it’s unwelcome or untimely. Those critiques serve as emotional triggers to amplify weaknesses I don’t want exposed. So, when I’m handed one, how do I respond? Often, my response is to double-down and prove them wrong. It’s time to flex my muscles, grind out results and demonstrate my work ethic. But every time I pound on my chest, I’m drifting away from God’s voice, because I’ve put it all on my shoulders to combat criticism. Be it good or bad, we hear people.
Now think to the compliments. Those unsolicited, surprising compliments. They stick with us too. They have a strange ability to fuel us for months or even years at a time. And this encouragement often helps us exactly where and when we need it.
One of these times, I was struggling with my spiritual journey. I felt lost and underequipped to help guide a small group, let alone my family. Later that month, I brought a new person to CrossRoad and made various introductions in the lobby. That’s when the Holy Spirit encouragement showed up. A member of our small group noted I was one of the strongest Christians he’s ever met and that he valued my leadership. It still feels unearned, but that loving comment motivates me to this day.
The Holy Spirit’s direction for our lives, our purpose, is very important to God. That means it’s precisely where the evil one will try to infiltrate. He’s looking to get us off our game. He wants us to doubt ourselves and see that all our efforts are in vain. “Give up!” Fear, anxiety, and yes, the evil one can steer our focus off God. But the Holy Spirit will not lose. He will use others to share calming words of truth, and to shake off words crafted to destroy. We hear people.
So, who is in your corner? We must pursue Holy Spirit teammates and become intentional about discussing Godly nudging. Let’s build the biggest team we can! When we’re actively seeking the Holy Spirit, any relationship can be utilized to hear God’s voice. Spouses, parents, siblings, small groups, friends, and our children all can be megaphones for the Holy Spirit. We must seek God and His wisdom with our whole hearts. James 3:17 says “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” I welcome anyone who wants to share more of that wisdom with me. And I want the Holy Spirit to work through me to encourage others. Because we hear people.
Questions to Ponder
Who is God using to speak His truth into your life? What are they saying?
What is your inner critic saying to you today? How does this line up or not line up with God’s truth?
Would you pray this prayer: Holy Spirit I need to hear you over the whispers of the evil one. I long for Your words of truth to be what I hear the most, and what sustains me each day. God help me to seek your wisdom, full of mercy and good fruit, and create a Holy Spirit team that listens for your nudging. In Jesus’ name, Amen.