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.”
Today’s Holy Spirit story comes from a sower who wishes to remain unnamed. I share it because so many of us and those we love need to be assured of the close care and guidance of Jesus in the midst of our often challenging lives. The hand of God is on you. He stands ready to speak to you in specific ways. Ask him for his word for you right now. Say with Samuel, “Speak Lord, for your servant, your son/daughter is listening,” and wait on him. This story will encourage you. Read it below in this dear brother’s own words and, as always, I encourage you to listen to the audio version (link above).
About five years ago, I felt called to go on a mission trip to India with a group from my church. It was to visit and support schools there that catered to children living in the slums in the most unimaginable circumstances. A wonderful ministry! Though I had been blessed to be on many mission trips prior to this one, including international ministries, there was an uneasiness—almost a foreboding—as this particular one grew closer. It was to the point I was unclear if I was walking into something the Lord did not have for me after all. This led me to the front of the church after service one Sunday morning to ask for prayer from the prayer team. Though there was no particular confirmation out of that prayer time of whether I was to still go or not, there was some peace that came upon me, even if incomplete.
However, shortly thereafter I was “randomly” reading my Bible and Exodus 14:14 landed before my eyes. Moses is talking to the Israelites as their faces are looking at the Red Sea and the Egyptian chariots are coming rapidly upon them from behind. It was an impossible situation, to say the least, but it says, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Well, whatever apprehension about the upcoming trip remained, it melted away in that moment. I knew that I knew that God had spoken.
Fast forward about two weeks and I am in India. From the time our team hit the ground, things seemed hard. The ministry and the people of India were more than lovely to us and have such a beautiful way of welcoming visitors. Still, I felt an oppression almost every moment. Some of this I believed to be spiritual and some simply my Western mind trying to adjust to such a radically different environment. Regardless, it was tiring in every way. It was at that moment that the Holy Spirit spoke into my life in such a powerful way.
We were visiting an elementary school, going from class to class to visit the children and see what they were studying. In the fourth-grade class, the children had made cards for each of us and put a different Bible verse on each. When I was presented my card, you guessed it, Exodus 14:14 was the verse! Are you kidding me?! Fourth graders in India put a verse on my card, out of all of those in the Bible, that the Lord gave me thousands of miles away a few weeks earlier and that I desperately needed to remember at that moment.
For those doubters of the Lord’s existence or his desire to love and help us, please do the mathematical odds on that! As you might imagine, it lept my faith life forward, though as we all do, I still forget his faithfulness at times. But when this happens, I am eventually drawn back to that moment, of my Ebenezer and it will comfort me to this day. My hope and prayer is that those who read or hear this are also reminded of how the living God loves us and that they will be comforted as well.
Abba Father! Thank you for this story of how your Spirit not only inspires your Word but carries it from generation to generation and wings it into our hearts at just the right times in ordinary and extraordinary ways. Thank you for this particular word so many of us need to hear today: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Jesus, in this moment of stillness we declare in faith together—the battle belongs to the Lord. You are the one who moves mountains and parts seas. We put our trust, our faith, and our hope in you. We lift up those we know and love who are staring down impassible mountains right now and seemingly uncrossable seas. Fight for them, Jesus, and draw us into the battle to play the parts you would have us play for them. Praying in your name, amen.
Do you have a story of how a verse of Scripture has come to you in a remarkable way and carried you through a difficult situation or season? Are you facing such a moment now and in need of a Word? Ask Jesus to give you a word. In the meantime, try this one on for size: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Today let’s sing our Saturday song, “Sanctuary.” Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true. With thanksgiving I’ll be a living sanctuary for you. Such a profound prayer of consecration. This is our story dear friends. This is our song.
For the Awakening,
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.