16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—
After a date with my 4-year-old, I decided to stop by the store. Upon pulling up to the store, I felt the Holy Spirit urging me to not go in. I reasoned in my head for I only had one thing to get; I’d be in and out in no time. With an odd feeling stirring deep within me, I took some extra time to survey the area before walking in. I took notice of an older man hunched over, what seemed to be, a garbage can – I assumed he was digging through the trash. There was also another man getting out of his vehicle. He was parked just a few cars from mine. Nothing seemed out of place, so I went on with my errand. I unbuckled my daughter and we walked into the store. A kind gentleman, the man that parked near me, held the door and welcomed us with a “good morning”. We engaged in light conversation and laughed as my (strong-willed) daughter assured him she didn’t need him to hold the door for her, she could do it on her own. We then parted ways, me to the left and him to the right.
Moments later, the odd feeling I had before entering the store, came to life as paralyzing fear as I heard a man yell, “GET DOWN, MOVE….”. The employees took off running, and others ducked behind boxes. I told my daughter to bend down and be quiet. I peered around a corner and saw them, the “homeless man” who was digging through the garbage, and the man who politely greeted us and held the door. These men were holding the store at gunpoint. They were demanding money from the employees in the managers’ room that sat just to the right of the store entrance.
I grabbed my daughter and we began to make our way to the back corner of the store – the furthest point from the action. After doing so, police officers burst through the doors and the men took off running to the back of the store. Two officers raced directly past us, knocking my daughter to the ground. As soon as they passed, I picked my daughter up, ran as fast as I could in the opposite direction, and out the front doors. I threw her into the car and spun off as fast as I could. We drove four lots over then I stopped, gathered myself, held my daughter, and attempted to explain to her what just happened.
I learned that day, the Devil will hold the doors open of our disobedience, and disguise himself as kindness.
We Have a Counselor
When Jesus died, we were gifted with an incredible gift – the Holy Spirit and in Him, we have a counselor. The Holy Spirit guides us, protects us, imparts God’s wisdom and knowledge to us, comforts us, gives us peace and boldness, prompts us to move to action and warns us of trouble ahead. That day I was warned, prompted by the Spirit to leave the storefront, but I didn’t obey. Instead, I quenched the spirit and went on with my “to do list”. Disobedience always brings consequence and thankfully, God chose to spare our lives – but there is still a price to be paid. My daughter has a fear that didn’t exist in her before I chose to disobey.
You might say, “but I’ve never heard God speak to me or felt the Holy Spirit”. I say, have you ever had a feeling that wouldn’t go away, a thought of a person that wouldn’t cease, a sense that you should or shouldn’t do something, a tug, a nudge, a prompt to say something, an overplayed idea or thought, or something genius just pop into your head? Then you have heard God speak to you through the Spirit. Sometimes the Spirit stirs, sometimes the Spirit whispers, but He is always with you.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, they follow Me”.
I’ll leave you with my daughter’s favorite song:
“Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”