Hesitation kills the miraculous in my life. Those moments when the Spirit says, “Do this…” and I get into an argument with him. I rationalize. I question if it’s even the Spirit speaking. I hesitate.
Years ago I was in a Caribou getting coffee (as is my habit). I had a small journal with me along with a paperback copy of a New Testament translation that was just coming out. (This was in the days before smart phones and digital downloads.) Sitting those things on the counter, I started to order coffee. The Caribou employee saw my journal and New Testament and said, “Oh, what’s this?”
She then reached over, took the journal off the New Testament and set it aside to pick up the New Testament. She began thumbing through the paperback copy.
As I’m trying to explain to her that it was the New Testament and was a new translation I was checking out, the Spirit spoke to me: “Give it to her.”
So, now I’m trying to explain to this young lady what she’s looking at AND arguing with the Spirit.
ME: “I just bought that.”
SPIRIT: “It cost you 3 bucks.”
ME: “But I haven’t read it yet. What if it’s not a good translation?”
SPIRIT: “Give it to her.”
ME: “But it’s MINE!”
It’s a split second argument that seems to take five minutes.
She put the New Testament back down and got my coffee. I paid, scooped up my very treasured paperback New Testament and journal and walked out. I sat in the hallway at a able and sulked.
I would sip and think, “It’s my New Testament.”
I even tried to open it and read it, but by that time it was simply no good. I wasn’t going to be able to read that copy. It wasn’t supposed to be mine.
After a few minutes I gave in. With “great joy” I said to the Spirit, “FINE!” and walked back into the store to give the precious New Testament to the girl behind the counter.
She was gone.
I stood there stunned. Then, I bolted out the door. This was in the skyway system in downtown Minneapolis, so there really wasn’t a place to go and be alone. I tried. I found a little cove leading to a stairwell and tried to hide from public view. In that little cove I wept. I was broken. My little tantrum with the Spirit had cost an opportunity to simply be obedient.
It was a lesson that wasn’t lost on me. The Spirit was gentle, but firm. It was a lesson to say, “Next time I tell you to give, just do it. Why I want it is not a concern to you.”
That lesson has cost me a bit more money. I don’t care.
A few months later I had another new translation. This one was a full Bible. It was hardback and had cost me some money. Quite a bit more than $3.
Sitting in a Bible study, I struck up a conversation with a new believer who had only had a KJV Bible because it was a gift Bible from when he was a kid. He was looking at my Bible.
In that moment, I didn’t even hesitate. I slid it over to him and said, “You know what? Try something more modern in language but a good translation.”
He offered to bring it back the next week. I swallowed hard and said, “No. It’s yours.”
He offered to pay for it. I swallowed hard again… “No. It’s yours.”
I need a better response time in my obedience. I need immediate obedience. Living in the miraculous is about moving past the hesitations.
God asked the widow to feed Elijah her last meal. Jesus asked the boy for his lunch to feed thousands. Peter didn’t have any silver and gold for the lame man, but he acted.
Hesitation is a miracle killer.