Why We Need to Listen More and Answer Less

by Debb Hackett

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27 NIV

I know you know the feeling. You’re sitting or standing, working, or playing peacefully, and an idea drops into your mind. You dismiss it. And then it appears at the forefront of your thoughts, a little more developed this time. Once more you push it away. You’d be laughed at or proven wrong if you did this thing. People might even think you’d lost your mind. But by the time you’ve decided you’re losing your mind, the idea has morphed into a firmly formed plan, and you know with certainty (along with a vaguely nauseous feeling), that you’re doing it.

This happens to me every time I encounter the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Unless it’s to bake or cook for someone. Then I cheer and pull out my measuring cups. Typically, though, I’m called to act out of my comfort zone.

Most recently, this involved organizing a financial blessing. Not funding it, just arranging it and helping to deliver. But I hemmed and hawed over it for several weeks. I gave the Lord my answer, explaining the recipient was fairly independent and extremely generous themselves. I told him my worries about the gift being rejected and about my own popularity, should that happen. Somewhere, I suspect my spiritual ancestors were shaking their heads. Especially the Apostle John.

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27 NIV

The truth is, I did know whose voice it was. But instead of worshipping with my obedience to that voice, I let my earthly hands cover my ears while yelling “la la la.” Finally, worn down after learning more information to fuel this blessing, I spoke up. I expected failure at every turn (several things needed to line up). Instead, everything fell into place. The blessing was delivered.

Several days passed. Tick tock, tick tock. No word from the destination of the funds. Then finally, a message. The situation I’d been hoping to ease was far worse than I’d realized and just that day, the beneficiary hadn’t known how a certain need would be met. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit peeled my hands off my ears long enough to hear His a swift, verbal kick in the pants.

As I mentioned, I wasn’t the source of these funds, merely the person who got to deliver them. The Lord has people in our lives he wants us to bless on his behalf, sometimes solo and sometimes as a team. We don’t need to be fabulous chefs or wealthy philanthropists. The only requirements are ears ready to listen and hands ready to act.

Can I encourage you to take a moment and ask the Lord what he has for you to do today? Then listen, and let your actions be your answer.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Writer, broadcaster, and speaker Debb Hackett  has been a radio journalist for more than twenty years. Married to a test pilot, Debb writes for military wives and lives in England with her husband and children. She’s having lots of fun working on an inspirational contemporary romance series. When she’s not writing, Debb can be found leading worship, playing bass, or skiing. Also, if you can swing by her house while she’s making scones, that would be a win. She blogs at: http://debbhackett.com

Join the conversation: Is the Lord urging you to do something? How will you answer His call?


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