How many times, after finding ourselves in a bad situation, have we have said to ourselves, “I knew something didn’t feel right”? We have all, at times, hurried past the “still, small voice” of the Lord, and later remembered having a nagging feeling that “it didn’t feel right” before we made the mistake we made. If you stop and think about it, however, we know that an “it” can’t feel anything. It takes life to have feelings, and the “it” that we often feel is really a “he”. And the “he” is Jesus, talking to us, telling us what he sees coming. Paul told the Corinthians that “the Lord is the Spirit” (2Cor. 3:17), and the Spirit of God inside His children is always giving them right feelings and thoughts, the feelings and thoughts of God.
Many have spoken of times they felt to slow their vehicles down, for no apparent reason, and they slowed down just in time to avoid having an accident. One man of God I knew “just had a feeling” not to go straight home one day after a prayer meeting, not knowing that an angry, wicked man was waiting to ambush the preacher at his home. By the time the preacher got home, the would-be murderer had sobered up, grown tired of waiting, and gone away.
The feelings of the Spirit don’t just come out of the air; they come from the heart of God, and they are always intended for our good. If we brush those feelings off as just “something” talking to us, we risk running into trouble, or missing a blessing. If “it” doesn’t feel right to you, it is not “it”; it is Jesus himself warning you of something you don’t see. If “something” is talking to you, Jesus is talking. Listen! A blessing is in it.
Some years ago, Brother Earl and I decided to go visit some saints. We were two young men in the Lord, happy, singing, and talking about the things of God as we drove along the highway. All of a sudden, the Spirit fell on me and I heard myself exclaim, “Earl, we are going to have a visitor from the Lord tomorrow!” Brother Earl and I continued on our journey, but I could not forget what the Lord had promised us. I spent the next day working hard on the old house that my wife and I had bought. As the afternoon progressed, “something” kept telling me that it was time to stop and get cleaned up, but there seemed to always be just one more board to cut, or just a little more old wood to tear out. Several times “it” felt that I should quit, but I pushed on. Later in the day, I finally did quit and went to get cleaned up. I was just stepping out of the shower when I heard a knock at the front door. Barbara was in the back part of the old house, the part we lived in. She could not hear the knock. Everyone who knew us came to the back door, and so I knew it must be a visitor -- then it struck me -- the visitor from the Lord! As quickly as humanly possible, I dried myself, jumped into my clothes, and rushed to the door. Nobody there. I ran out onto the sidewalk. I could see a long way in both directions, but no one was there. “I knew ‘it’ felt like I should quit work,” I told myself as I walked back into the house, knowing I had missed a blessing.
Brother Earl told me about a certain time he went to town on business. When he parked the truck and got out, he was about to lock and shut the door when a gentle voice asked, “Are you sure you want to do that?” Brother Earl was a little surprised, paused for just a moment, then thought to himself, “Of course I want to do that!” Then he shut the door and went on to do his business. Later, when he returned, he reached in his pocket for his keys. They weren’t there. Brother Earl looked through the truck window and saw them inside the locked truck. He remembered that “something” had asked him if he was sure he wanted to shut his truck door. Now he understood. It was not that “it didn’t feel right” that he should shut the truck door; it was that Jesus didn’t feel right about it.
Some years ago, I spent two days alone praying and seeking God. I needed some time away from everything and everybody to see if the Lord had anything he wanted me to see or know. Before I left the little mountain house where I was staying, I decided that I would write down the things I felt the Lord had shown me. At the top of the page, even above the first of the numbered things the Lord showed me to do, and written in large capital letters were these words: “SLOW DOWN!” And at the bottom of the paper, after the list of things the Lord had impressed on me, and again in large capital letters were the words, “SLOW DOWN!” By far the most important thing the Lord wanted me to do was simply to slow down.
Solomon said that the man who lives in a hurry is sinning (Prov. 19:2). What makes us sin when we are rushing about in a hurry is that when we live like that, we tend to forget that “the Lord is the Spirit” and shrug off the Lord’s feelings and thoughts as if an “it”, or a “something”, is talking to us, and rush on into a big mess. Then we stop and say, “I knew ‘something’ didn’t feel right.” But if we will just trust God and slow down, we will recognize His voice as being Him, not an “it”, and we will be saved from a lot of trouble.
The Lord is the Spirit, and what we feel in the Spirit can help us. We are neither wise enough or good enough to take care of ourselves, but our heavenly Father is, and the “it” we so often feel is Him trying to help us. He is doing His part. Those unexpected feelings and thoughts that surprise us do not come from something. They are from Someone who loves us and is letting us feel what He feels. Every time we listen to Him, our lives are made better, and every time we do not slow down and listen to that “still, small voice” of the Lord, it costs us something good.