I remember the very first time I felt the Holy Spirit leading me and my words. The church we were attending at that time was having a soul winning class. We were completely new to Christianity and especially this thing or mission to reach the lost. They went out twice a week knocking on doors asking people if they knew Jesus. A lot of the class was methods and Bible memorization, and we even got to practice on each other there at the class. I was nervous, yet excited. Well, mostly nervous. Some people have what seems like a natural calling for it, not me. I have to really push myself.
So we went out in pairs to exercise what we had learned, knocking on doors and asking if they knew Jesus. I was so insecure at first, but once I got started and felt more confident it was a little easier. As I became more fluid in the steps we were taught with my Bible verses, I could then improvise, or talk the way which was more comfortable for me. On one visit with a family, I started feeling bold and confident, and as I was sharing some words with them, I felt like something was leading my speech and my thoughts. It was me sharing but it was a different me. At the time I couldn’t explain it as being led (prompted) by the Holy Spirit because I didn’t know what that was. All I knew is that God equipped me for that moment and somehow it felt natural.
Fast forward a few years – We were in the full time ministry and on an Indian Reservation in Canada under a tent on a Sunday afternoon. The wife and I headed up the media department and on that day we weren’t filming, just going to support a young preacher. In some services there would be a testimony time where people that was called on would share an encouraging word, or maybe something the Lord has done for them recently. My fear was realized and we were called up, and as I started getting up out of the chair, I noticed I was reaching for my Bible which I never did. I couldn’t explain it but I grabbed it and went to the front. My wife shared an encouraging word and when it was my turn I also started sharing. The previous couple of days I was reading a few verses that I couldn’t get past. I would try to read on but I couldn’t. So the next thing I knew about 10 minutes or so had went by and I was sharing was God was speaking to me.
This was totally unrehearsed, but I had just preached a mini-sermon and before I could sit down I heard in my spirit two words “altar call”. I fought with it for a second but I couldn’t ignore it. So I obeyed God even though I could have been rebuked because this was unprompted and not on the program. But it was prompted by the Holy Spirit. So five people, mostly young, came up front and gave their lives to Jesus. The service then went on and I had just experienced being led by the Spirit of God for His glory.
I was not a minister. I was a media, behind the scenes guy. No prior training. I was always scared to take the mic. But that day started my preaching ministry. I was available and He used me. I was in tune with Him because I was in His word and in prayer daily. Maybe you have had an experience where you felt something not of yourself leading you. That’s the Holy Spirit. Our Helper that lives in us and guides us. We were never meant to walk this walk alone – by ourselves – in our own strength – so that people can give us praise. These feelings, or promptings, need to be acted upon. Not resisted and pushed aside.
We may never preach in a service or knock on strangers doors, but we may share some one-on-one with a troubled soul that needs Jesus. We may not know the words but the Holy Spirit does. Let’s not forget that we are empowered by Him to do His will for our lives.
This verse is not a suggestion, it’s a promise! “I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.] Phil 4:13 AMP
Elder Steve Smith