One time I was driving home, on my way back to my college campus. I was passing a community that wasn't considered the best area of my town and I saw a man walking, well limping down the sidewalk. Normally, when I feel the Holy Spirit I get goose bumps. I feel a presence wrapping it's arms around me. But this day, the Holy Spirit felt different. It was more urgent, more intense. My heart started beating and without words, I know the Lord was telling me to stop. Have you ever tried to talk God out of something before? Because same. I gave him every excuse I had in the book. "It's too dangerous", "what if the sun sets before I get to him?", "he probably won't even be there when I go back". But the intense feeling wouldn't go away, and in that moment I felt Jesus telling me that it was okay, that He was going to keep me safe. To anybody else, and maybe even myself, I would have been considered crazy on that random Tuesday night. I didn't talk to this man about my beliefs, or ask him about his. We simply talked about life, his story, and I even got to give some advice on his sprained ankle. Before I walked back to my car, he called out my name and then asked me to pray for him, and my spirit held more emotion than I thought possible.
That night, Jesus taught me about obedience. There are so many moments in my life that I've felt the Lord telling me to do something that I passed off as nothing, or came up with an excuse not to do. I remember how it felt walking away from that man, it's a feeling I'll never forget. I felt God telling me, "Jessica, take my invitations for I have laid out every single one with divine purpose." After that night, I found myself listening for his nudges and acting on them more often than not. I refuse to miss the God moments, the divine interventions He has for me. We like to think of obedience as something that only applies to the big moments. Obedience into a call overseas, obedience in a marriage, obedience in job transitions. Without realizing it, I had limited God to what I thought were the "big" moments. That night, I realized that God is looking for our obedience in the little moments, in the details of our lives. It is in the smallest pieces of our hearts, the places we don't even think can be used, that the Lord begins a great work and any great work He begins will come to completion.
I was supposed to preach this month, something I felt God wanted me to do for a really long time. When this pandemic took away that opportunity, I was confused as to what Jesus wanted me to do. I kept hearing about spiritual gifts, and asking Him how was going to figure out mine and then use them for His glory. I stopped writing about a year ago, but someone close to my heart encouraged me to use my words again because what we see as a simple strength can be used greatly for God's glory. I stopped for this man on a sidewalk over a year ago, it was never a story I meant to tell. That night may have been one simple yes, but it changed my life forever. It's a story close to my heart, and my prayer is that it encourages you to listen for God's nudges and to act on them, the same way that it encouraged me that night. Imagine what God can do with your yes, too.