One day during a particularly powerful praise and worship time at church, I felt a strong thought begin to play in my heart over and over: “God wants to heal people from cigarette smoking, I should tell the pastor.”
It replayed continually, over and over and over, along with a powerful impulse to share it with the pastor. Because neither of these things was typical, eventually, I figured out it was God.
I didn’t want to disobey God, but I was brand new at hearing from him. And I didn’t want to look like a complete kook if I was wrong, so I prayed in my heart, “God, if this is You, please confirm it through someone else and, next time, I promise to do whatever you ask.”
So, I stayed put, and I waited with eager anticipation for confirmation.
When praise and worship were over, the pastor went up to the pulpit and began his sermon without opening a prayer line to pray for people addicted to cigarettes. Although I was a little disappointed that there was no confirmation, I was delighted that I didn’t step out and embarrass myself.
I was still mentally congratulating myself for being on the right side of the near-miss when, abruptly, and in the middle of his sermon, the pastor stopped mid-sentence and said, “Oh, before I forget; God wants to deliver people from cigarettes.”
My jaw dropped like the Genie from Aladdin. There was no doubt that I heard from God, and it was through thoughts that bubbled up from my heart. God revealed to my heart what He wanted to do. My spirit took a revelation from God and turned it into a thought that I could understand.
I learned that inspired thoughts come from down inside of us and specifically not from our heads. When God wants us to do something, thoughts will play over and over inside us. These thoughts will be accompanied by an almost overwhelming urge to follow until we either follow the unction or until it is too late to follow.
The Answer for the Issue of Blood Came From a Thought
God showed me that the woman with the issue of blood had revelation knowledge. She knew, “If I just touch the hem of His garment. I will be healed.” She heard from God in her heart, she believed Him, and she did everything in her power to follow – Her faith made her whole. Listening to her heart, believing what it said, and following no matter what was her assurance that she would receive God’s promises. That’s faith, and it made her whole.
Don’t Be Skerred, Step Out
When I lived close to my mother, every year for Mother’s Day, I had a standing date to treat my mother to a tournament at her club.
One particular Mother’s Day, after arriving at the club, we found ourselves at the same table. We had been playing for a little while when a gentleman sat down in an empty seat directly across from me.
As soon as he sat down, I thought he was worried about a payment he couldn’t make. His wife had overspent, which meant he was short, and the payment was of great concern. I also knew that God was saying that He was going to take care of the problem.
The thought came back to me to tell this man this, but, at first, I blew it off. I didn’t rush to tell him because a.) I was in a tournament and would have to tell him this in front of a table full of people. b.) I didn’t know him, and I’m incredibly introverted. And c.) I wasn’t going to do it unless I was sure it was God.
So, I ignored the revelation and went back to playing. I quickly forgot about him and the message until I happened to look at him again a little while later. As soon as I did, there was the same message. Again.
Thinking to myself, If it’s God, it will come back to me, I turned away and purposely thought about something else.
Very soon after, I happened to look at him again, and the same thing happened again. Again, the message was in my mind: He is deeply concerned about overspending, which was a grave concern, but God’s got it. No need to worry.
Again, I turned away.
This same thought came back to me four or five times. Until, finally, there was no doubt that it was God. From prior experience, I knew the message wouldn’t go away until I followed it or until it was too late.
Deeply aware that all eleven sets of eyes were going to soon be staring at me and uncomfortable because I did not know what his response would be, I took a deep breath and said, “Excuse me, sir. But you’re concerned about a payment that needs to be made. Perhaps your wife overspent some money, and it’s causing you concern. God wants you to know that everything is going to be okay. He’s got this.”
I didn’t know how he would react, so I was feeling trepidatious. I did not know what to expect, but the last thing I expected was for him to whoop and holler and to jump up from his seat and run around the table to where I was to high-five me. But that’s exactly what he did. And every person at the table was a witness to God reaching out to comfort a stressed-out soul.
I was ecstatic.
When I first started hearing from God, I was always scared to approach strangers because I worried about how the message might be received. Since then, I’ve learned that if God has a message for a person, the message will be very well received because they are desperately waiting for help from God.
Afterward, the man sitting next to me asked if this sort of thing happens often; my reply was, “When it does happen, it usually ends just like this.”
I learned by stepping out. When something kept coming back to me, I realized that the gentle nudges were prompts from God so I began cautiously acting on them, and, one situation at a time, I learned that God was definitely behind the majority of them. Now, I’m more than comfortable stepping out. I’m confident because of years of practice.
So, when you have thoughts that keep coming back, step out and learn to discern between your thoughts and God’s inspiration in your heart. When you do, something amazing will probably happen.