Summary: A devotional talk prepared for a men’s breakfast about how the Holy Spirit tries to communicate with us if we allow Him to. I also invited the men to share "Holy Nudges" that happened to them.
(Inspired by Article written by Clark Cothern, Discipleship Mag. Mar./Apr. ’08, Issue #164, p. 57-59)
An example of a “holy nudge:”
At one point in my previous ministry in Santa Fe. Tx. I remember getting a repetitive urging to call on a man named Larry who was attending our church faithfully, but who had never actually confessed Christ as savior or submitted to baptism. His name would come to my mind at the oddest moments, and, like the disobedient child that I often am, I ignored it or put it off for several weeks.
Then one day when I was working on the motor of the water pump covering our water well and was trying to make a blind connection to put the pump back together inside the pressure tank (and discovering just how long that task was likely to take,) I shot off a quick prayer that was an offer of a bargain with God. I said, “Lord, this could easily take all day to accomplish, and I’d rather to anything than waste hours on this job. If you will guide this shaft back into its place in the tank, I promise I’ll spend the time I save doing something more productive for you.” Well, on the first try after the prayer, the shaft seated itself perfectly inside the pressure tank and the task was done in less than 5 minutes.
Knowing that God had obviously answered my request in an amazing way, I asked the question, “Lord, what would you like me to do?” That’s when Larry came back into my mind. I said, “Ok, I’ll give him a call right now.” Naturally, he was home and available for me to go visit him that evening.
I went over, and had a long talk with Larry about making a decision for Christ. I would like to say that he was ready to commit, but that wasn’t the case. He was polite, but resistant. I finally urged him to let go of what ever was holding him back and simply fall into the loving arms of Christ. Well, I thought that call was a fiasco, and was about to decide to ignore all further promptings like that when Larry’s wife called me on the phone and said, “Ed, I don’t know what you said to Larry, but I think he is about to make a decision because he’s suddenly become hell to live with, and I can tell he is struggling to make some kind of decision.”
The following Sunday, he walked down the aisle, confessed Christ, and was baptized. Through the years Larry has grown to be a godly man, a faithful member of the former church I served, and a wonderful dad and grandpa. My call on Larry that night after the water pump experience is one of my most memorable reminders of the value of listening to holy nudges. They don’t come my way often, probably because I am generally a poor listener, and more often because I fail to ask God for such promptings, but when they do come, they often provide me with an unforgettable adventure.
Becoming a beneficiary of another person’s “nudge”:
I learned, second hand, about a nudge someone else received designed to benefit me and my daughters and save our lives. I usually walked my girls to school daily because we lived less than a quarter mile from the Santa Fe, Tx. elementary school. We walked down a gravel road and then crossed a bridge over a bar ditch to enter the school yard. One cloudless morning, when the sun was barely over the horizon and shining brightly into the windshields of all east bound traffic on a road we were crossing over, I noticed an old Cadillac coming dangerously close to us. And just as I was about to push my girls out of the way and take the impact of the car, it jerked violently back onto the road way and passed us by. We were shaken, but glad the car missed us, …even though just barely.
The following Sunday, a lady in the church asked me, “Did you almost get hit by a Cadillac last week near the school?” When I said, “Yes.”, She told me that her friend said she had been traveling east bound on the road next to the school. Her wind-shield was filthy and the sun blinded her so badly she didn’t realize she was part way off the roadway. She said, that a loud voice suddenly said “Move over!” and terrified her so much she jerked the wheel to the left and then saw a man and two little girls standing very close to the side of her car. She realized then, that the loud voice had shocked her into overcorrecting her steering and saved her from hitting 3 people she hadn’t seen at all. Being a Christian, the lady said the Holy Spirit had shouted at her and miraculously helped her avoid killing someone. I was glad to hear that the Lord cared enough for me and my girls, to speak directly to a lady at just the right moment.