By Kelly Carr
It was an odd moment, but I remember it distinctly: I was walking along a beautiful tree-lined path, praying about a situation. I asked God if he would get my attention about a matter. The next moment, an acorn smacked me on the head.
Coincidence? Random squirrel mischief? Or a sign from God? No matter what initiated the acorn, the Holy Spirit used the moment to get my attention and teach me something about God that day.
The Holy Spirit’s work tends to be the most mysterious of the Trinity. He often gets the least attention of the three. I picture him as the piece of God that I get to walk around with each day. His presence allows God to speak uniquely to each person. I think his Spirit uses our individual strengths, interests, and experiences to communicate his truth to each heart and mind in a special way.
Recognizing the Spirit
Here are ways I’ve seen God’s Spirit in action in my life:
1. Praying directly for his help.
Before reading the Bible I try to remember to ask the Spirit to help me grasp deeper meaning in God’s Word. Before meeting with a friend who’s going through a hard time, I ask for the Spirit’s help. When biblical truths and godly words come to mind, I sense that these are things the Spirit wants me to convey.
2. Looking back on moments.
There are times when I’ve said something helpful to someone yet I have no idea why those words popped in my brain. Or I felt compelled to act on something without a second thought. Looking back, I realize these must have been moments when God’s Spirit was working, urging me forward.
I don’t claim to receive direct messages from God as the prophets did, but I recognize that God’s Spirit does move through me when I am open to being his vessel.
Trusting the Spirit
Just as the Spirit gets our attention and communicates to each of us in a unique way, he also has a unique path for our growth and responsibilities for each of us to accomplish for the kingdom.
Let’s allow this knowledge to help us avoid comparing ourselves to each other. Let’s not look at each other’s trajectory and become jealous. Let’s pursue what he has for each of us without looking down upon others if they aren’t doing exactly what we are doing—they have their assignments and we have ours.
That shows us two things:
1. God expects us to listen. If his Spirit does move inside every believer’s heart, then we must be alert to what he is trying to communicate. We must ask for his guidance and seek out his teachings.
2. God trusts us with his message. God could simply write us a note (Daniel 5) or have an animal voice his words (Numbers 22:21-35). But most of the time he doesn’t. We have to prayerfully interpret what we sense his Spirit communicating. That’s murky water. It’s hard to make sure we’re receiving the message correctly. God trusts us to work at it and to depend upon him to help us understand himself.
God convicts, prompts, and calls out to our souls through his Spirit. All of us have the choice to listen or to ignore. Let’s pray that the Holy Spirit persists and keeps giving us new chances to know and respond to God. And maybe drop an acorn on our heads if needed.