Listening to the Holy Spirit is sometimes difficult when there is so much to do. We can easily rely upon our logic and ignore “checks” in our spirit. In discipleship, leaders like Pastor Ottis, Pastor Steve and Pastor Rob told me, “Never ignore a check in your spirit.” A “check” in your spirit is an unsettled feeling, a lack of peace.
Recently, we planned on going to the village of Nyanzale a rural area at least 50 km from Goma. This 50 km journey is a big deal, considering the war rages only 15 km from the city of Goma. The pastors had prepared the ground before we arrived and many people in the village knew we would be coming to encourage the local church.
There was a lot of pressure on both Andrew and I to go. But for some reason, I had a reserve in my spirit. It seemed like everyone had a different story to tell about the road going there. We would hear form one person that there were skirmishes between FDLR and FRDC, other times we would hear the road was safe, sometimes we’d hear the road was impossible to travel without a 4x4 vehicle, other times we’d hear its fine. Too many stories . . . Andrew and I began to have a “check” in our spirit.
We had to be stern with the pastors we were working with and finally stand upon what we felt in our spirit. Some pastors were upset, others didn’t understand why we decided to cancel the trip. We simply said, “We have no peace about the trip, we cannot go.” To say the least, we felt like the bad guys for canceling, but we could not ignore inklings from the Holy Spirit.
Just a few hours after announcing we would not go, we happened to encounter a local who worked for World Relief who JUST finished driving down the same road we would be taking to Nyanzale. The first thing they asked was, “Do you still plan on going to Nyanzale?” We explained that we cancelled.
The workers immediately explained that they had just come drove into the city from Nyanzale, they took the same road we would be taking to get there. They explained that soldiers were hiding behind areas waiting to loot vehicles and that they passed many dead bodies on the sides of the road. They also explained that the vehicle we are driving may not make it down the roads. Breaking down could’ve cost us our lives.
It was at that moment, I realized how important it is to rely on the Holy Spirit first and then the opinions of people. We said no, before we knew the disturbing information, because the Holy Spirit was telling us to. I understand now, more than ever why God sends the Holy Spirit to help us…
The word of God without the Holy Ghost kills, but the Spirit brings life and life more abundantly …