Several times in my life, I have experienced what I have come to realize are, at least in my opinion, leadings of the Holy Spirit. The most surprising one came many years ago as Janet and I were coming home from Illinois on a night when I was far too tired to be driving. Through a very strange sequence of events, Janet and I finally made it home safely, but not before being stopped by a state trooper and having a car pass us with a license plate that referenced Psalm 91:11, a passage for weary travelers.
Since that event so many years ago I have paid attention when I have premonitions or leadings that are too strong to ignore. A great example would be when I have someone pop into my mind and I have an incredibly strong desire to call them and see if they are okay. That has happened numerous times and more times than not, there turned out to be a good reason that I was urged to make the call.
Admittedly, in the early years, I would dismiss these leadings. They were more of an annoyance, especially if I was in the middle of something else that was more important to me at the time. However, after missing what were, on hindsight, important things that I should have done, I no longer ignore it when I have some out of the blue urge to do something. Clearly, my first thought goes to the question of whether or not God is trying to tell me something.
I had one of those weird leadings this past week. On Tuesday night, Janet and I were watching a program on TV. It was getting late and we decided to call it a night and watch the rest of the program as we were getting ready for bed. I was sitting on a bench in our room, watching the program, when this random thought popped into my mind that I should go and check the workshop downstairs. I decided that I would go during the next commercial but in the next minute or two, it was clear that I wasn’t to wait until the commercial break. I actually announced to Janet that I would be back shortly but that I had to go check out the workshop.
Well, at first glance, nothing seemed out of place. But then I saw it… a potentially major problem… water had started to squirt out of a copper pipe leading from the hot water heater. It was a strong stream of water. Thankfully, we have a pan under the water heater – it was filling with water that ran through a drain tube to the sump pump. Not a drop of water was on the floor and there was no damage to the house.
However, I didn’t know what to do – it was getting worse as I was standing there. I called a friend of mine who had installed the unit for us – yes, it was almost midnight; and he was most gracious in telling me what to turn off so we could avoid damage to our home. Not only that, he was glad that I called and said he would see me Wednesday morning to repair the problem… Unbelievable!
It turns out that there was a hole in a pipe. How odd! My friend, Steve, wondered aloud what God wanted us to discuss as he fixed the problem. He didn’t think it was odd at all that we were supposed to get together. In fact, he shared some news with me. He has been asked to pastor another church and hadn’t had a chance to let me know yet…
And to think that the problem was confined to a small area with only $35 worth of parts needed to fix everything. It could have been so much worse… what if it had been the water heater itself? Or if the basement had flooded? But no – Steve and I figured that we were supposed to get together for some reason…
Our verse for tonight is a short one from the apostle Matthew. He lets us know that sometimes God gives us leadings, through Jesus or the Holy Spirit, about things that He wants us to do. We should not ignore these premonitions. And we have to be aware as we grow in our faith that God can use us in remarkable and unusual ways. Matthew tells us the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:25, “See, I have told you ahead of time…”
Simple, isn’t it? Sometimes, we are told in advance… My encouragement this evening is that God didn’t create the world and stand on the sidelines – He is active in our lives each and every day, directing our steps. My prayer is that we will be ever more attentive to the leadings of God and that we will come to recognize His desire to use us in wonderful and unusual ways. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…