Last night a young lady called me. She’s in a very sticky situation.
She is currently separated from her husband. A young man from church started pursuing a relationship with her. She’s not interested in him romantically and has made that clear. But they are talking and becoming friends due to their common interest in the things of God.
She told me, “I’m trying to free myself from this guy. I just want to focus on my relationship with Jesus and healing my heart! But for some reason, I keep feeling like I’m forced to be his friend and maybe more some day. I’m praying and praying, but I can’t get any peace. What can I do?”
Whew! That’s tough. When you are praying and yet don’t see the results you had hoped for, what can you do?
We talked for some time. She’s been growing rapidly in hearing from God and learning His ways.
One thing she said that caught my attention – “feeling forced” to be his friend.
I asked her about it. She said she feels this pressure and she wonders if it’s God or not. She’s afraid to cut things off with him because she’s not sure if maybe God WANTS her to be friends with him.
I told her that there’s a big difference between following the leading of the Lord and the feeling of being forced or pushed.
I sent her this chart I made to help her discern when it’s God voice or some other voice.
She immediately replied:
“Wow, I havent realized how much of the other voices I’ve been listening to because I wasn’t sure whether they were from God or not. It’s so clear now.”
I know this chart has helped me – sometimes when we feel unclear about something and especially if our emotions are involved, this can help bring clarity about exactly whose voice we are following.
Some charts I’ve seen contrast God’s voice to Satan’s voice. I chose to contrast God’s voice to “other voices” because sometimes that voice is our own! We are sometimes our own worst enemy – we tell ourselves what we “should” be doing, using guilt and manipulation to get ourselves to do things. Sometimes that “other voice” is someone in our lives giving us advice or telling us what we should do. This chart can help us figure out whether what they are saying lines up with the Lord’s voice. And yes, sometimes that “other voice” is the enemy, Satan, whispering things into our minds (which sounds like our own thoughts).
I encouraged her to keep that chart somewhere she could refer to it frequently. You might want to do the same.
So how do you know when it’s God’s voice versus Other voices? Feel free to share your experience below. What advice would you have given her?
A man shared this story with me and I thought it would help to illustrate the importance of following the Holy Spirit.
He was on a business trip and contacted some old friends he hadn’t seen in years. They picked him up for church and then invited him over for lunch. He spent several hours with them, enjoying their company and getting to know their three small children. (He loves kids!)
The following weekend, he was making plans to see them again. As he was getting ready, the Holy Spirit impressed on him to prepare to give them some money – $120 in cash. He wrestled with the idea. When he had visited them, they had seemed to be doing okay. Their house was nice, their children had toys and were dressed well. They didn’t appear to have any financial needs.
Especially as a man, he didn’t want to embarrass his friend by offering him the money and implying that he wasn’t a good provider for his family. He kept wondering, “Why do I feel this nudge to give them money? This doesn’t make any sense!”
But this man has walked with God for many years – so he knew better than to second guess. He put the cash in an envelope and prepared to give it to them at the right time. Even though he had no idea why.
He visited with them and just before he was ready to leave, he spoke to both the husband and wife together. He said, “I felt from the Lord that I was to give you this money. I’m not sure what you need it for – maybe for Christmas or something.” The couple politely thanked him and then his friend drove him back to his hotel.
As they drove, his friend told him what a HUGE blessing that money would be to them. He told him that just a few days before, he’d given his wife his last $40 to buy groceries for the week. He had put $10 of gas in her car and $3 in his, hoping to make it to the end of the week when his next paycheck would come. They had been able to meet their basic expenses like rent, electricity, gas, etc, but right now, they had no cash flow and things were very tight.
His unexpected cash gift was a BIG answer to prayer and came at just the right time!
Isn’t that cool? From the outside, they looked like any other family. The man had no idea they were in need. They never mentioned it to him. But thank God, he listened to the Holy Spirit, he obeyed and didn’t second guess himself. Not only did it increase his faith, it also increased theirs – God demonstrated Himself as their Provider without them saying a word to anyone! I love that! ❤
Have you ever had an experience like that? Please feel free to share it below. 🙂
“Help Me, Holy Spirit!”
I have found this to be the BEST prayer for everyday life. The Holy Spirit is referred to as our Helper in John 14:26:
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things,
and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. – Jesus Christ, The Bible
Oftentimes we don’t know what to pray. Life situations can overwhelm us. We can get so tired or so busy that it seems like an effort to connect with God.
Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would be sent to us by the Father. The Spirit has many functions – one of which is to help us! Isn’t that cool?
I don’t know about you, but I need help every day.
When I’m trying to figure out what to cook for dinner and my mind is drawing a blank, I say, “Help me, Holy Spirit!”. Pretty soon a dinner menu drops into my mind with the ingredients I need (or already have on hand). I know what to make and I know how to make it. Instantly! Sometimes when my family asks, “What is this?” I tell them, “This is a new dish – never before seen on the earth! It’s a new creation. I hope you like it.” They dig in and usually love it! But don’t ask me to make it again because I won’t remember how I made it. It’s like art – you can’t mass produce it and make “prints” from it. 🙂
When I haven’t slept well and the day seems challenging with all that I need to accomplish, I have often found myself walking toward the store saying, “Help me, Holy Spirit.” I discover the energy I need to accomplish all that is on my list to do that day. When I fall into bed that night, I am often amazed at how much got done. I whisper, “Thank you, Holy Spirit, I know that was YOU.” The Spirit can quicken our mortal bodies to have the energy we need to finish our daily race (Romans 8:11).
When a friend calls with a serious relationship problem or a deep question about the meaning of life, I silently pray, “Help me, Holy Spirit!”, as I listen with my heart. Miraculously I open my mouth and say things that seem to help. Often times I’ve never even thought of the things I say – I learn even as I’m speaking! It’s really cool – instant download of new revelation from the Holy Spirit. I call that “hands-on training”. One minute I had no idea what to say and the next minute I sound like I have all this wisdom to help my friend. That’s the Holy Spirit!
Jesus said the Holy Spirit would help us by teaching us all things. He also said the Spirit would bring things to our remembrance. That is very comforting – especially as our minds age and we start forgetting things. Whenever my husband or I misplace something (i.e. keys, wallet or glasses), we cry out, “Help me, Holy Spirit!” and guess what? The missing item shows up. Every time.
I remind people who are in school that if they are struggling with a specific subject (i.e. Calculus, for instance) that they can pray, “Help me, Holy Spirit!”. They will receive supernatural “teaching” to help their mind comprehend what is necessary. And it can’t hurt to pray that same thing just before a test, asking the Spirit to bring to your remembrance the material that was studied. I often experienced supernatural memory recall when I was studying and taking tests for my Masters degree. It reduces your anxiety about big tests when you rely on the Holy Spirit to teach you and help you. 🙂
There are so many situations where this simple prayer can help
- making decisions
- parenting children
- choosing a career
- planning a vacation
- making new friends
- developing a business idea
- making sales calls
- writing a proposal
I encourage you to practice saying this prayer this week and then watch to see what happens. Please come back and tell us what you experienced!
I love this simple prayer! It cultivates in me an attitude of reliance on the Holy Spirit to lead me, guide me, teach me and help me. 🙂