Last time we were together we talked about how to know if something we think, dream, or envision is a God nudge or just something we thought up. And I discovered it’s easier for me to share some of the ways God has nudged me over the years, and my response, instead of trying to explain how I know they are invitations from God.
My earliest memory of a God nudge was when I was in elementary school. The doorbell rang and my parents had always told us “never open the door because it could be a stranger.” However, it was a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon, my friends had been in and out all day long and when the doorbell rang, I ran to open it. I heard this voice inside me say, “Don’t open the door. It’s not safe,” yet, I ignored the voice, not realizing at the time it was the Holy Spirit warning me, and I opened it anyway. It was indeed a stranger and there as a presence of evil. Thankfully, I think God nudged my parents at the same time to go check on me because I was doing something stupid, and it all worked out well. It wasn’t until years later I realized God had started speaking to me way back in elementary school … and if only I had listened as well back then as I’ve learned to listen now.
God nudged me last year to read the entire Bible in one year. I didn’t think I could do it, but strongly felt that was the invitation He was giving. Since there was nothing unbiblical about reading His Word, I didn’t ask for confirmation, but jumped right in. I chose to read it chronologically and I have to admit, at times throughout the 365 days it was an act of obedience only, and at times I didn’t understand what I was reading. But throughout the year God showed me “why” (even though He didn’t have to). I gained a broader understanding of God Himself (from beginning to end), He allowed me to read parts of the Bible that He then backed up with Biblical teaching from the pulpit to explain parts that were unclear, and I proved to Him I will faithfully obey, even the tough assignments. And, next time I read the Bible completely through (and I will at some point), I’m excited about it instead of saying, ‘Oh, I could never do that.’
A few years ago I wrote a Bible study titled, Caring for the Caregiver. I approached my church and asked if I could lead a life group. There is a whole testimony to how God confirmed to me He wanted to me to lead a group during that spring session. The next time life groups were offered, I prayed again and asked God if He wanted me to lead another. All I heard was silence. Since I didn’t hear “yes,” or “no” clearly, I walked forward, took the training and signed up. Not one single person, not one, signed up for the class that semester. God chose to answer “no” after I obeyed what I thought might be a nudge. The following time life groups were offered again, I prayed and this time I heard a distinct “no.” I am excited for when God says “yes” to lead another group and I know that He’ll let me know when it’s time.
Our church hosts a women’s breakfast six times a year. Last November a friend of mine asked me, “Hey, do you wanna go? We could invite our group of friends and see if anyone wants to come with us.” I said, sure, knowing if God wanted us to go, it would work out, and if not, then it wouldn’t. We ended up having a full table, seven people total in our group, and we met another new friend we welcomed into our circle. Two months later, the breakfast came up again … and I had felt God was nudging me in a different direction this month. However, because fellowshipping with friends isn’t unbiblical, I figured out a way to honor what God was asking of me and hang out with my friends. We asked everyone again and this time some, but not all were able to go. Two days before the breakfast, it was cancelled because our area was predicted to have a huge snowstorm and the church wanted everyone to be safe. I knew then God wanted me to stick to the new direction He was nudging me … and He confirmed that when He gave me an extra bonus in my email.
Those are just a few examples of how God has nudged me and I’m glad I obeyed.
Come back next time and we’ll talk about why it matters whether or not we listen to God nudges.
© Cheri Swalwell 2020