Blown Away

The average wind speed in South Carolina is between 6 and 7 miles per hour -- a gentle breeze. Today, though, the wind roared. It descended upon us with a fury that rattled the windows, tossed the treetops, and flung lawn furniture aside like bowling pins after a strike. That it came at night made its power especially impressive, because we couldn't anticipate each gust, only hear the effects as we peered out into the darkness.

Jesus described the Holy Spirit as like the wind in his legendary conversation with Nicodemus. "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going."

The Holy Spirit is like this in our lives as well. Sometimes his voice whispers to our hearts. It may be a prompt to do a kind deed, write an encouraging note, or make a phone call. Gentle but persistent, the thought will slip itself into our consciousness like the  reminders our mothers would whisper about keeping our elbows off the table or saying please and thank you.

If we don't listen for God's quiet voice, we can easily miss it in the noisy bustle of life. I've learned to sit, still and intentional, at the close of my prayer time. I invite the Lord to speak his will to me. If I sense his prompting, I record the idea that surfaces, so I won't lose it when I move to the next task of my day. Buy that book on marriage for Molly; she's struggling, the Holy Spirit said yesterday.Or Send that email to Pat; she needs to know people are praying for her. His ideas are always timely and useful.

At other times the Holy Spirit roars into our consciousness like the wind on this winter day. It swoops across our lives, leaving us stripped and buffeted, gasping for breath. His words point out sin or something we've been unwilling to surrender, and we are ashamed and convicted. Face to face with our own selfishness, laziness, or lack of faith, we tuck into ourselves and weep, disappointed that we have failed my Lord. 

Other times the Holy Spirit's blast swoops into our lives to give us a glimpse of his power and majesty. We see through spirit eyes how mighty he is on our behalf, or how holy, or how magnificent. We picture him on his throne, with thousands of angels crying, "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord!" and we are swept away. It's much harder to miss these tornado encounters with the Spirit, but we are sometimes guilty of worshiping the experience rather than the One who caused the experience. God always reveals himself so we'll be better equipped to serve, believe in, and tell others about him. 

Have you learned to recognize the Holy Spirit's voice in your life? The best way to develop this listening ear is to spend time in prayer and the Word every day. When the Holy Spirit speaks, what you hear will always agree with the Bible. He cannot contradict himself.

So whether the Spirit whispers or roars today, I encourage you to be quick to obey. God has a plan, and he's inviting you to be a part of it.

In what ways have you heard the voice of the Holy Spirit recently? I'd love for you to share your thoughts in the comment box below and join in the conversation. If you're reading by email, click here to chime in.

If you enjoyed this post, you might like "When God Looks You in the Eye, What Does He See?" Click here to read it.



This devotion is an excerpt from Lori’s new book, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women.

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  1. We have been stydying the Holy Spirit in our 'small group'...It has been amazing to sense the Spirit. Little by His voice surfaces again and again..we die to ourselves...and come alive to His leading...At a small promptiing ...I clicked on your link'..(glad I did)...HE IS AMAZING!!!
    stop by to see me
    anytime friend!!!

  2. Amen! Good thoughts on the Holy Spirit. He is truly a God who uses many ways to get our attention. I'm praying David's surgery goes well and let me know when you want to get together or talk. I'm anxious to hear about the retreat, etc.

  3. What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing. I would love for you to come over to my blog hop and share this and other posts there!

  4. Oh - I am learning to recognize the sound of the Holy Spirit! He has a cadence all His own!

  5. Enjoyed your imagery and the Truth you taught through it, Lori! Powerful reminders to listen to God who continues to speak to His children!

  6. This was such a good post. Thank you so much for the encouragement. Thanks for linking up at WholeHearted Home.

  7. Wow! I never likened the moving of the Spirit to a tornado! Yes, He comes gently at times, and sometimes very forcefully! Enjoyed your post!

  8. lorihatcher11:16 PM

    Yes, Sally Ann, when we learn to recognize his voice, we hear him speaking all the time. Not in some hokey Hollywood way, with smoke and voices, but through his word, his people, and even the still small (or not so small) voice in our hearts. Bless you for sharing today.

  9. lorihatcher11:17 PM

    yours is a cute, cute site. Thanks so much for sharing it with me :)

  10. lorihatcher11:18 PM

    "he has a cadence all his own." Love it, blue cotton memory. How right you are! That's half the fun -- we never know what's next :)

  11. lorihatcher11:20 PM

    Well Kim, I know you have Spirit ears, and I love hearing what he tells you, quietly or roaring like a freight train :)

  12. lorihatcher11:21 PM

    I guess Elijah experienced this when the Lord wasn't in a whirlwind, nor in the storm, but in the still, small voice. Oh, may we learn to listen with Spirit ears!