I was reminded recently of an unusual conversation I had with the Holy Spirit several years ago while at Bible college…
For an entire week I had $50 sitting in my wallet that I couldn’t spend. I tried everything imaginable to spend it, but it was impossible. Every time I went to use it, I felt the Holy Spirit say, “Leave it there, use your debit-card”. I began to get restless and annoyed at why I couldn’t spend the money. Each time I asked ‘why’, I wouldn’t get an answer.
This started on a Monday and didn’t finish till late on a Friday night when I was traveling and had stopped in at a roadside food court for a rest. I was so hungry, but I had no money except for the $50 which I couldn’t spend. So I just sat down frustrated.
After sitting for a while, I was drawn to an elderly lady cleaning. She slowly weaved in and out of other diners clearing plates and wiping tables. She had no real motivation. Her face was weary, and her hands were slow. I sat and watched for a while. I could tell she wished to be any place but here. She rarely showed expression, except the occasional sigh or frown at the frustration of those around her that just left her with more cleaning to do.
As I sat and watched I suddenly felt the Holy Spirit say, “give her your $50”.
So, I did…
Looking back on that experience I feel so stupid questioning God as to why I couldn’t spend the $50.I had become so caught up in my own small understanding of life and timing that I totally disregarded the possible reasons why God refused me the money.
The fact that I learn best through life experience is so testing sometimes. The truth is, I received more joy from the look on her face as I told her I was giving her $50 to say thank you for doing such an incredible job cleaning, than I ever would have received on anything worth $50.
I love the verse in Isaiah chapter 40, verse 31 (ESV):
“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not grow weary; they shall walk and not grow faint.”
Waiting upon the Lord
It is imperative that we wait upon the Lord in our lives. The Phrase ‘wait upon’ means to ‘rely fully’. We must rely fully on Him.It is at the point of full reliance that our hearts become desperate, our faith is proved, and our hope is purified. It is in these stages that our dependence upon God grows.
My dependence increased as my bank balance decreased. Each time I was refused the ability to spend I was humbled, because there were times I had to go without and times I was totally tempted to just spend the money.
Totally relying on God isn’t always easy but it is always the most rewarding. What I love about total dependence on God is that there is always a positive outcome.As the verse says: ‘But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not grow weary; they shall walk and not grow faint.’
I was totally renewed. My day was lifted. I walked away a new man. I walked away with an understanding of what it actually meant to wait upon the Lord. But not only that, I endured a week of testing to be blessed at the beginning of the new week. I had a friend message me and say he would pay for my entire ‘Hillsong Conference’ trip coming up.
Ultimately waiting upon God protects us, deepens our trust in Him, forces us to seek His ways and brings Him the most glory. They are times God is testing whether we are really seeking Him and His ways.
Since that experience, I have learnt to listen to and act on the Holy Spirit’s promptings. I have matured and now I know there is always an underlying reason to His promptings, and I am happy to follow through.
What is the Holy Spirit asking you to do?
Reuben Skewes is an Australian pastor’s kid by birth, a graphic designer by trade and a husband and father by choice. He spent many years working with troubled teens, served as a pastor in his local church and currently is pioneering new ways to combine mission and technology to share Jesus.