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Saint Katharine Drexel, Virgin
You hate discipline and cast my words behind you. (Psalm 50:17)
What do you do when you need to remember something very important? Perhaps you tape a reminder to your bathroom mirror. Perhaps you program an alarm into your computer or smart phone. Maybe you ask your spouse or a co-worker to remind you about it. What you probably don’t do is cast it behind you, out of sight and out of mind.
Today God has a particular word for you. Of course there are big truths that apply to every one of his children every day, and it’s good to keep those in mind: God loves us. Jesus died for our sins. Jesus will return to establish his kingdom. But if you take the time to quiet your heart and listen, you’ll find that the Holy Spirit has a special “now” word just for you.
It may come in the form of a picture, like a garden or a desert. It may be a phrase that leaps out at you from Scripture or a line from a song that keeps singing itself in your head. It may be a directive: “Pray for him. Telephone her. Take a different route to the store. Go to confession.” Or it may be a word of encouragement: “I am proud of the way you held your tongue in that conversation during lunch.” Or it may be a word of challenge, as God draws you up short just as you are about to give in to a temptation or as he pricks your conscience just after you have fallen prey to it. The word may come during your prayer time, but it may also come at an unexpected moment.
How will you know if it’s God speaking to you? If the sense you get fills you with hope, peace, or conviction, there’s a good chance he is behind it. And even if he isn’t, at the very least you will have done something good if you respond to it.
Whatever God says to you, don’t cast his words behind you. Instead, linger with it for a time when you first hear it. Then recall it at times during the day. By all means, if it’s some kind of direction, act on it. Don’t be afraid of making a mistake. This is part of what Isaiah meant when he told the Israelites to “learn to do good” (Isaiah 1:17).
“Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”
Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
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