Tag Archives: holy spirit
A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in church and I had a prompting. I felt led to invite a specific guy and his family to dinner at our house. I hadn’t ever talked with him, never met his wife, and only knew that he had a son around my sons age. I either very rarely receive promptings from God, or (more likely) very rarely am listening and recognize them. Well, I had recently watched Bill Hybels teach on promptings from God in his small group study, The Power of a Whisper. I decided that whether or not it was from God, it was a good idea, so I invited him to dinner. There was nothing earth-shattering about our dinner, or what I did. He and his wife have 2 boys around the same ages as our two sons. They had recently moved to Michigan from New York and didn’t know many people. We connected and plan to get together more often.
But this experience definitely has moved me to be more attune to God’s “whispers”. I have wanted to not discard any feeling that I had, and I’ve wanted to be more intentional in my prayer to listen, not just talk.
In The Power of a Whisper, Bill Hybels shares his history with whispers from God as well as his filter for deciphering whether or not the whisper is actually “heaven-sent”. His five filters are:
- Is it from God? (consistent with God’s character)
- Is it Scriptural? (is there a specific passage that refers to your whisper)
- Is it wise?
- Is it in tune with how God made you?
- What do trusted friends advise?
Hybels talks about whispers that he received from God: leaving his family business to plant a church; starting the church in a movie theater; launching a training organization for leaders. To watch the first session of The Power of a Whisper, go to YouTube here. There are also over 80 other sessions from other small group studies on YouTube here.
What whispers or promptings have you received and responded to from God?
About six months ago my 4-year-old son “asked Jesus into his heart”. I did the same around that age, and I know that many people do the same. But should we use that language? As Dr Mohler stated a number of years ago, it is not heresy, but it is not helpful. Recently, I watched the first session from Jim Cymbala’s six-session group Bible study, When God’s Spirit Moves. Cymbala teaches on the power and presence of the Spirit and how Jesus taught that it was better for him to go so that the Spirit could come. Cymbala said this is true because no outward teaching can replace the inward power of the Spirit.
I wasn’t raised with much of a theology of the Holy Spirit, and most people I know would say the same. The Spirit was something that some people took too far, so it was best to not get wrapped up in emotion and swing to the other side and treated as the black sheep of the Trinity. But as Cymbala says, Christians are distinct from all other religions and cults because of the person and work of the Holy Spirit.
I am challenged and excited to see what God will do when I open my life to the Holy Spirit. I also am challenged to instill in my boys a better knowledge and understanding of the Holy Spirit than what I knew. Maybe the language we should consider is asking the Spirit into your life, rather than Jesus into your heart. I would encourage you to watch the first session from Jim Cymbala’s When God’s Spirit Moves on YouTube for free below, and check out his new book on the same topic, Spirit Rising. In the video below, you will hear Cymbala’s inspiring teaching on the person of the Holy Spirit, and an amazing story of transformation from a former gangster named Roma: