Family Devotional: Listening to God's voice: the gift of the Holy Spirit

What happens when we listen to God’s voice? More importantly, how do we listen to God’s voice and who is talking to us? When Christ died on the cross and then defeated death on the third day and rose again, he not only conquered death, but he also gave us an incredible gift – the Holy Spirit when he said, “The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: ‘Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you.’ Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. ‘Receive the Holy Spirit,’ he said.” (John 20: 20-23 MSG)

I often try and help my kids understand that the Holy Spirit is our “gut feeling” about things we should and shouldn’t do in life. Those moments of “conviction”. The Holy Spirit is much more, but this aspect of the Holy Spirit is something I want my children to understand and to set free in their own lives…to receive! What a gift our children would have but to receive the prompting and guidance of the Holy Spirit in their lives!

“When he comes, he’ll expose the error of the godless world’s view of sin, righteousness, and judgment: He’ll show them that their refusal to believe in me is their basic sin; that righteousness comes from above, where I am with the Father, out of their sight and control; that judgment takes place as the ruler of this godless world is brought to trial and convicted.” John 16:8 MSG

The Devotional

26 Later God’s angel spoke to Philip: “At noon today I want you to walk over to that desolate road that goes from Jerusalem down to Gaza.” 27 He got up and went. He met an Ethiopian eunuch coming down the road. The eunuch had been on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was returning to Ethiopia, where he was minister in charge of all the finances of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. 28 He was riding in a chariot and reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Climb into the chariot.” 30 Running up alongside, Philip heard the eunuch reading Isaiah and asked, “Do you understand what you’re reading?” 31 He answered, “How can I without some help?” and invited Philip into the chariot with him. 32 The passage he was reading was this: As a sheep led to slaughter, and quiet as a lamb being sheared, He was silent, saying nothing. 33 He was mocked and put down, never got a fair trial. But who now can count his kin since he’s been taken from the earth? 34 The eunuch said, “Tell me, who is the prophet talking about: himself or some other?” 35 Philip grabbed his chance. Using this passage as his text, he preached Jesus to him. 36 As they continued down the road, they came to a stream of water. The eunuch said, “Here’s water. Why can’t I be baptized?” 38 He ordered the chariot to stop. They both went down to the water, and Philip baptized him on the spot. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of God suddenly took Philip off, and that was the last the eunuch saw of him. But he didn’t mind. He had what he’d come for and went on down the road as happy as he could be. Acts 8:26-39

What happened when Philip listened to the prompting in his life? Did he obey? God will speak to you through the Holy Spirit and will prompt you to action, what will you do when those times come in your life? Will you listen like Philip?

All I can say is that when we listen to God’s will for our lives, things go well, they are not always easy, but they always work for our best, that is a promise. I have too many examples in my own life to share, and this would be a great time to share with your children a time when God spoke to you and you listened.

For Philip, his prompting lead to one of the most important transformations imaginable for someone, the acceptance of Christ! Many times that is exactly what God is asking of us, and if we ignore His prompting, we might be denying someone the chance to experience the healing and saving grace of a relationship with Christ.

Possible Questions:

1. What is a Eunuch? (so be prepared and more information here.)
2. How do I accept Christ?
3. Will the Holy Spirit make a real audible sound?
4. What if I don’t ever “hear” the Holy Spirit’s prompting?

If your child is concerned about #4, no worries, all you have to do is pray with your child and ask for that special gift. Something like, “Lord, help us hear your prompting in our life. Help me hear the Holy Spirit’s guidance in my life and be open to your will in everything I do.”