Most of us have an enemy or two who dont like us very much, and who make our lives unpleasant or difficult. Very few of us, though, have to deal with someone actually trying to kill us. Jesus had such enemies, and therefore he acted cautiously (John 7:1). Their threats were serious, so he sent his kinfolk on ahead to Jerusalem without him (7:3-9). He seems to have had no intention of giving anyone a chance to kill him.
But then, something changed his mind (John 7:10). Perhaps the Holy Spirit spoke to him. Despite the danger, Jesus was obedient, even going into the Temple and teaching (7:14).
How could he do that? Because he knew how to hear his Father clearly, and he trusted him absolutely. Jesus staked his whole life on the Fathers desire to protect and deliver him long enough for him to accomplish what he was sent to do (John 7:30).
What a great opportunity we have, during Lent, to develop and improve our ability to hear, obey, and trust God! Perhaps today we could examine our lives and repent for times we havent lived according to what we know God wants. Perhaps today we could take a couple of chances in obeying what we think God is saying to us. Our experience will reinforce the truths that we do know and will teach us even more about how the Holy Spirit speaks to us.
One practical way to learn to hear, trust, and obey God is to write down a few things: What do I think the Holy Spirit is saying to me? What did I do about it? And what was the result? Perhaps you could keep a small notebook or pad of paper next to your bed or in some other convenient spot. At the end of your prayer, jot down what the Spirit said. Then, at the end of the day, make a brief note of any prayer that was answered, any steps you took in response to the Spirits leading, and any results you noticed. Some days, you might have nothing to record, or only missteps (but we learn even from those). But before too long, you will have a book of the miraculous!
meditation: The Word Among Us