I recently learnt a hard lesson on being sensitive to prompts and signals. As human beings, we have been created to recognise and respond to prompts, signs and signals in order to take action that can keep not only us but others safe from impending harm.
My family and I set out on a trip to Taunton in Somerset, a county in South West England. Along the way, I refused to acknowledge the prompt of the navigator guiding me to take a certain road because I felt I knew a better route. It turned out that I was wrong and ended up taking a longer route through busy city traffic that I would have otherwise avoided.
One would have thought that I would have learnt my lesson but that was not the case. On the return drive, I felt a strong prompting in my spirit; it was so clear, I knew that this was not me just thinking. As I approached a service exit, I heard, “Why not buy fuel here?”. I had been driving for close 3 hours and still had about one and a half hours drive ahead, I was tired and in no mood to stop. I wanted to keep going so I could get home on time. I checked my fuel tank and thought, ‘Nah! I should be fine. I can buy maybe in about 30 minutes time once I switch to the motorway leading to our town.’
Just 5 minutes afterwards, the car suddenly stalled and I knew! Immediately I knew what went wrong and groaned, blaming myself for my refusal to obey an instruction which I knew came from the Holy Spirit. I always committed my journeys, irrespective of the duration, into the hands of God and this one was no exception. God knowing what was to happen, gave me a prompt and I refused to obey it and now I was stuck on a motorway in the middle of the night with my family inside the car. Thankfully I was able to make a call to AA and help arrived in due course.
The lesson I learnt from this experience is that of the cost of disobedience. It is not only when we go against the scripture that we disobey God but also when God speaks to us by His Spirit and we refuse to follow. Thankfully, my refusal to follow divine direction only cost me and my family a longer journey time as well as anxiety while waiting for the recovery vehicle. In scripture, there were many who disobeyed and paid a hefty price for the actions.
Moses was unable to enter the promised land because he struck the rock with the rod instead of speaking to it as God instructed (Number 20:9)
David caused severe punishment on Israel as a result of taking a census of the fighting men of Israel contrary to God’s command (2 Samuel 24)
I am thankful that God can speak to me and direct me to avoid what was to happen. Not following that prompt could have resulted in a more costly consequence but God in His mercy kept us and made a way for us. God is merciful and even when we are in the middle of suffering for our disobedience, He is always ready to help us find our way out.
Read the Bible and see how many times the children of Israel disobeyed God and yet when they cried out to Him for help, He was always quick to provide the help they needed. Providing help and assistance for us at this time does not however remove the effects of the consequences of the disobedience.
It is a good thing to be close to God, to hear Him speak and to be able to recognise His voice but when He does, make sure you listen and make sure you obey. Doing otherwise can be costly, very costly indeed.