3 Tips for Spirit-Led Living


God wants you to make a difference in this world!

Many times, it is through the small, everyday interactions we have with people as we go about our usual business. Here’s an example that happened to me a couple of days ago:

I was at Target shopping for a few items that Valerie and I needed at the house. I went into the cashier line and waited. As my mind began wandering, I focused my attention on the cashier; she had low energy, yawned frequently, and didn’t say much to the people who were checking out in front of me. As I was about to be next in line at the checkout, I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit motion me to buy her a Starbucks drink (since this Target had a Starbucks inside the store). Motivated by this, I start a conversation by asking her how her day is going so far. The cashier – Keri – engaged with the initial small talk and mentioned how tired she was.

Now it was my turn to checkout.

When the timing became available, I casually said, “If you don’t mind, I would like to buy you a drink from Starbucks to get you the energy you need to finish your shift.” Keri’s eyes lit up as she exclaimed, “Thank you so much!” She continued on about how perfect the timing was since she could really use a boost in her day. The funny thing is, there was more life in her now, and she didn’t even have her caffeine intake yet! As Keri received her drink, I said goodbye and left with the notion that God would bless this encounter because He was the one who originated it.

The above story highlights a few principles I’d like to share to encourage you to hear what Holy Spirit could be saying to you in your everyday interactions with people as follows:

BE OPEN

We have to be willing to hear what God could be saying to us. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).

As believers, we all have access to hear His voice… but what if we cannot hear Him due to competing voices?

In a world filled with iPhones and to-do lists, hearing God’s voice is more difficult now than it has ever been. These ‘voices’ can drown out God’s still, small voice. As a result, they end up being distractions that block us from hearing the possibilities the Holy Spirit wants us to say or do for the Kingdom of God.

BE REAL

The Lord has blessed you with a personality that He adores. Use it! You do not have to be like anyone else. For me, it was casually asking Keri in the manner and style that I did. But for you, it may be completely different, and that’s wonderful! All that is necessary is that you “walk in love” (Ephesians 5:2). Once we attempt to be programmatic about responding to God, we do not engage the person on a relational level. If you felt Holy Spirit leading you to bless someone, be you in the conversation!

BE OBEDIENT 

It is not enough to hear what God wants to do – He wants follow through. “Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice” (Luke 11:28). The Lord prompted me to show His love to Keri through a simple gesture of purchasing a Venti Carmel Frappuccino for her. This act of charity was part of God’s will – revealing His goodness and kindness. It was planting a seed, hopefully sprouting to what God has next in mind. Perhaps she will be open to hearing about who this God is when I go back to Target next time. Maybe it was to lift her spirits so she could work with newfound energy and joy. The possibilities are endless – so are the ways He wants you to bless others.

Will you be ready to reach out to someone next time you are running errands? I hope so because you will be walking out a piece of God’s plan, demonstrating the love of Christ through the everyday, normal interactions of life. 

Have a blessed week!

19 Comments

  1. Wow! Living kindness at its best!

  2. Thank you for the reminder to be authentic. This divine exchange reflects your get out of the boat while there still is a storm (January 6th Sunday sermon). I am grateful that you are a man of your word and have actions to prove your faith. Risk is faith in action…
    Peace, Joy & Wisdom!

    1. Author

      Thank you Keith! We must be willing to risk our reputation for the reward of seeing others blessed by God. Allowing faith to guide our decisions over fear can be difficult, but it is so worth it seeing God come through!

  3. Oops..I meant your sermon Dec 31st 2018..not January.

  4. Thank you Pastor Nathan, we enjoyed your blog. We read it during the Tuesday night women’s fellowship, and we appreciate the love in action messages. It was a great lesson how you can lift someone’s day with a simple gesture by listening for God’s voice.

    1. Author

      Wow!! What a privilege it is for you to read the post during Bible study. I pray that we can all take steps out of our comfort zone to plant seeds of God’s kindness towards others throughout our day-to-day interactions. Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. Thanks Nathan! I wish church would not end so soon and we could share our testimonies as an encouragement to others that God is always with us and talks to us. As you said, many times, we are just too busy to listen! I loved what it said in the Daily Word, “No matter what the situation, imagine Jesus in the middle of it all and He can and will intervene and give us the assurance He is working with us to solve our problems and give us a sense of peace!

    1. Author

      Thank you for sharing Cheri! There is power in sharing our testimonies as it reminds me of Revelation 12:11 – “They (the people of God) triumphed over him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…” Our testimony reveals what God has done & encourages us to move forward in faith! Perhaps there can be more time in the future for testimonies.

      1. Some very-renowned pastors have recommended that effective sermons have a great beginning and ending within a twenty minute time frame, being that the average attention span is 20 minutes. With such sermons, there would be ample time for testimonies, especially effective if the testimonies were relevant to the sermon topic.

  6. These are normal everyday interactions that do show God’s love with others. It’s absolutely an ice breaker that can lead for the ultimate goal, food for the soul.

    1. Truly, it is the daily effort to intentionally apply the 9 characters of THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT (to become “like Jesus”) in our daily lives with every interaction….LOVE JOY PEACE PATIENCE KINDNESS GOODNESS FAITHFULNESS GENTLENESS SELF-CONTROL that makes the difference.

      LIVING/WALKING THE TALK!!

      1. Author

        Kiyomi,

        You are correct that it takes intentional effort to daily look for opportunities to display the fruits of the Spirit. And this goes for everyone, even when we feel tired or not in a talkative mood. Those could be the greatest moments God can use us because we would know it wasn’t in our strength, but in His!

  7. The other day, I was at the YMCA pool with a friend. As we got out of the pool, a woman came up to us & just started chatting with us. My friend had turned away from this woman & went inside but I felt God telling me to just stop & listen to her. I felt she needed someone to talk to, to have someone listen to her. Nothing important was said but we did exchange names. Maybe next time I see her, our conversation will lead to something deeper. God can use us anywhere & in any manner. We just have to be aware of the Spirit speaking to us & obeying Him.

    1. Author

      Wonderful example Mom!

      God provided an open door – the first steps leading towards something the Lord wants to do. Thankfully you were obedient to stop and to listen – how much more we need to be a listening ear, especially to those who are hurting. As you mentioned, God can use us anywhere and in any manner!

  8. Pastor Nathan, Wonderful post. I agree with you 100%! This year I decided to say “God Bless You” instead of Have a great day to strangers (cashiers, servers, etc.) as a test to see who would get upset and/or say something negative. So far zero backlash and about 70% have said God Bless You back too me. I love the reaction when I said God Bless You, their demeanor changed, they smiled and a light lit up inside that person. In the beginning it was scary to say these 3 simple words for fear of backlash but God reminded me he gave my gift of no fear speaking to strangers (my poor mother). I know God is my protector and he a put bad a$$ angel by my side to protect me. Thank you Nathan! God Bless You and Valerie!

    1. Author

      MeiWah,

      I love this! Such a small change in words can have an enormous impact for the Kingdom such as ‘God bless you.’ Thank you for giving your example as an inspiration for others to do the same.

      Blessings to you & Don as well!

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