As I stood to speak on Saturday morning of a women's retreat, I looked down at my notes and knew the Holy Spirit did not want me to use what I had prepared. The message in my spirit was clear: "If you forge ahead, you are on your own."
I explained to the crowd what I was sensing and then, not knowing what to do, led in prayer. As I said "Amen," one of the leaders stood and asked if anyone else had something she felt led to give. A lady toward the back stood and hesitantly said she thought the Lord wanted her to give what she had prepared for an afternoon workshop.
Her message was clearly what God had intended for that morning service. When she concluded, the women crowded around the altar to pray. I shudder to think of the disaster it would have been had I ignored the Spirit and attempted to speak in my own strength.
When Jordan lay before the Israelites, God gave them specific instructions. They were to follow the ark of the covenant. "See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you" (Josh. 3:11).
They were to leave a distance of over a half a mile between them and the ark. They were always to allow God to set the pace.
We, too, must allow the ark--the presence of Christ within us--to set the pace. When we refuse to rush ahead in our spirits, but move only as God goes before us, we'll always find His timing right and His path perfectly prepared for us.
Jesus was not ashamed to say, "I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me." (John 8:28). Just as Jesus was constantly dependent on His Father for every word and act, He now requires us to be always looking to Him.
Dear Jesus, help me to never attempt Your work without knowing You are leading.
"We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you" (2 Chron. 20:12)