A Holy Spirit Story: Are You Going to Take Me Seriously?

Acts 1:8 (NIV)

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”


This week’s Holy Spirit story comes from Bob Price, of The Woodlands, Texas. It is a powerful story and shows the lengths to which Jesus will go to recover and restore his sons and daughters. He sees us. He really does and not in general but in particular. I appreciate Bob’s honest sharing. He felt it would be a fitting story depicting the movement from Romans 7 to Romans 8 and the way the Holy Spirit meets us in our struggle with sin. 

Fifteen years ago, I lost a good job because of an addiction. I was escorted out by a security guard and crushed by the shame and condemnation. In timing that only God could have orchestrated, I was let go on Monday morning after returning from a week off, serving with UM Army. Little did I know how much I would need the encouraging experience from the week before. I was feeling desperate and a few days later read a devotional from Jeremiah 3:9–10, “Israel treated it so lightly—she thought nothing of committing adultery by worshipping idols made of stone and wood. . . . She has only pretended to be sorry.” I then heard what almost sounded like an audible voice ask the question, “Are you going to take me seriously?” That hit me hard, and my response was, God I want to take you seriously; Please help my unbelief!  Then it happened again a couple of days later reading from Ezekiel 6:9–10, “They will recognize how hurt I am by their unfaithful hearts and lustful eyes that long for their idols. . . . They will know that I alone am the Lord and that I was serious when I said I would bring this calamity on them.” I heard the same question, “Are you going to take me seriously?” and was shaken again. It was certainly no coincidence that I just happened to be reading from those passages that week!  A week later I traveled to Norfolk, Virginia, for Reserve duty and got there on Saturday, which I had never done before. I wanted to go to church but realized I had only packed jeans and uniforms. I searched online and found a church nearby that had a picture on their website of people in jeans, so I figured I could go there. In the middle of the sermon, the pastor stops and says while preparing the message, he felt the Holy Spirit wanted him to ask a question. So, he said, “God wants to ask someone here today, Are you going to take me seriously?” It sounded exactly like what I heard before and hearing it now the third time was a double-edged sword piercing my soul. However, it was convicting, but not condemning. I heard it as a calling to return like later in Jeremiah 3:22; “My wayward children,” says the Lord, “Come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts.” I remember thinking I am 1500 miles from home, at a church picked completely at random; and God still found me! Where can I go to escape your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?!

The next year was hard since the economy was in the middle of a recession and it took me almost a year to find another full-time job. I never want to go through that again, but it changed me. I had more time every day to spend in prayer and the Word and I could go serve in many new ways. My son would also tell you; Jesus helped pay his college tuition that year. Every time a payment was due, I had just enough to cover the bill since unexpected credits or extra scholarship funding would show up on his account. I have no explanation for it and was simply grateful. Looking back, I see it as a turning point that saved me. God took the very thing that was intended to destroy me and used it to get my attention and create a path for healing and redemption.


Father, thank you for Bob and for this story of your faithfulness to seek him out and his faith to respond. Jesus, you are amazing. Thank you for how you want us to take you seriously. I open myself to your voice. Search me out. Speak to me. I take you seriously. We especially pray for deliverance today for all who struggle with addictions. Come Holy Spirit! Convict and convict and set free. Shift us from struggling with sin to perfect freedom in Christ. Praying in Jesus’s name, amen. 


Have you ever experienced a word of knowledge like that shared in today’s story from the pastor at the randomly chosen church? What do you think of this? Are you taking Jesus seriously or are you half in and half out? What will it take to go all-in? 


Our hymn today will be a familiar one to many of you and a new one to others, old though it be. It is “O Master Let Me Walk With Thee,” hymn 596 in our Seedbed hymnal, Our Great Redeemer’s Praise. It’s a sowing song. 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt

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P.S. Holy Spirit Stories Welcome

I would love it if you would send a story of faith from your life we might use on a Saturday in the future. We will be glad to attach your name or a pseudonym or anonymity—it’s up to you. It can be a story of coming to faith, a story of transformation, a story of healing, deliverance, suffering and sufficient grace, family reconciliation, prodigal returns, answered prayer, and so forth. A word count of 500–800 words works well. We can’t guarantee publication, but we assure you of our prayerful discernment. You can reply to this email with your story and it will come to me.

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

2 Responses

  1. Yesterday, I saw a picture on Facebook of a sign in front of The Salvation Army headquarters in Atlanta. It read: “All in! Everyone! Everywhere!” It seemed vague to me, so I asked the person who posted it what it meant. She said: “All in for Jesus!”

    “What will it take to go all-in?”

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