When the Spirit Stirs
Key Verse to Read and Treasure
Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. (Acts 9:10-15, ESV)
Have you ever been in the middle of something and felt a strong urge to stop what you were doing and call or go check on someone? What about had your day planned out but felt a need to change those plans? Or maybe being out, running errands and felt a need to pick up something for someone the Lord put on your heart in that moment? Most, if not all of us can attest to having those times in life. We may not know the exact reason, but we know what we felt and knew we needed to obey the Spirit’s urging and stirring. When this happens, God through his Holy Spirit is using us to deliver a blessing to someone. He is asking to use our hands, feet, voice, and heart for his purposes and when he does that, we become his heavenly messengers.
One incident comes to mind as I read this story in Acts. I can remember when my husband was still working on his undergrad degree, and we were preparing for the seminary. Late one evening, as we sat at our table discussing, and yes, deeply concerned about how we would purchase oil for our furnace and buy food, we heard a knock at the front door. Wondering who it could be at that hour I looked out the window and saw a good friend standing on the porch. When I opened the door to invite her in, she said, “I can’t stay, but just as I was preparing to leave choir rehearsal, I heard a voice whisper in my spirit I was to stop by and give this to you.” She handed me an envelope, blew kisses and was on her way. When I got back to the table and told my husband who it was and what she had said. We opened the envelope and inside was amount that would take care of our concerns. She had no way of knowing our concerns but her obedience turned out to be our blessing. It was one of those undeniable miracles we knew the Holy Spirit was moving in the heart of someone who had an abiding relationship in Jesus.
In Acts we read how God spoke to Ananias in a vision telling him exactly where to go, what to do and who was expecting him. Jesus had a need to use Ananias to give Paul his vision back. Following this miracle Ananias would baptize Paul. Ananias’ willingness to obey the Lord became another proof skeptics would need before they fully accepted and welcomed Paul. Ananias could testify to what God had spoken, to Paul’s baptism, the work that followed, and Paul’s conversion from an unbeliever to a believer and how he had served faithfully going forward.
The more we abide in the Vine the easier it becomes for us to discern the stirring and voice of the Lord. We can be reminded the Lord doesn’t give us those urges for nothing. He has need of our services and is counting on us to be his hands and feet in a situation. Because of us, someone will receive the help they need, someone’s prayer will be answered, someone will be saved or delivered, someone will be fed. God can get and stir the heart of someone else, but he’d rather we respond without delay, without question, and without resistance.
One other thing: when we respond to the Spirit’s stirring to bless there is certainly a blessing in it for us as well.
Jesus, I want to be your hands and feet and voice. I will respond when I feel the Spirit stir. Use me Lord! Amen
Am I a faithful First Responder? Can Jesus count on me to be his hands and feet and voice to someone in need? How often have I dismissed the Spirit’s stirring my heart? Is there a prayer of confession I need to say?
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