I’ve often wondered if the New Testament writers truly knew how God would use their writings. The Holy Spirit, who had taken up residence in their hearts as believers, prompted, overshadowed and equipped the pens of the apostles.
As Jude launches into this brief letter, he writes with a sense of urgency. His original plans to write of God’s salvation to other Christ-followers were changed to include an urgent warning of impending danger.
Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.
“compelled to write” – Acting under compulsion may be a dangerous motivation unless God is truly behind it! How many court cases have heard testimonies of “I had to…” or “I felt compelled to….” As the Spirit of God led Jude and brooded over his thoughts, Jude sensed his mind changing.
This raises the question of the Spirit’s leading. I’ve read too many biographies and anecdotes of activities where God gets “credit” for bizarre activities. How do you know God is leading you? How may you test what you perceive to be His prompting?
A few considerations –
1) God will NEVER lead us contrary to HIs word. His word indeed is “a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.”
2) Other Christ-followers (Christians) are good “sounding boards” for “ideas.” Proverbs reminds us that in “the multitude of counselors, there is safety.” I’ve pondered a great deal on the example of Saul, a rebellious sinner in whose heart God is working, (Acts 9) who is instructed – “Go into the city and IT WILL BE TOLD YOU what you must do….” Saul was required to connect with other believers. Those who remain aloof and do not identify with a local gathering of believers are missing this biblical “model.”
3) “Test everything.” I am not to assume that every prompting is God’s calling to change course. Take your time! Don’t rush! Join young Samuel who at an early age was instructed to say “Speak Lord, your servant is listening!”
May this day be filled with God’s Word, wise counsel from others and a careful attentiveness to the “still small voice of God.” When these three activities line up, we may find God leading us forward into a new chapter of our lives. “Your will be done on earth, Father, as it is done in heaven!”