For the last few months, the Lord has been directing Jan and me by the impulses of His Spirit. While we have tried to live that way all of our lives, it has not been as purposeful as it has become of late. A shift in the spiritual realm is taking place. We believe living only in response to the impulse of the Spirit will position our lives to be of greater use to God and His Kingdom purpose.
Our understanding of the way God is prompting us to live was given greater clarity by the Passion Translation's interpretation of Romans 8:5, “But those who live by the impulses of the Holy Spirit are motivated to pursue spiritual realities.” The word “impulse” jumped out at us and captured in words what we have been experiencing.
Our world is filled with impulsive reactions and reasonings. Not all of these impulses are from God. To discern the source of an impulse, we have to step back into the protective enclosure of emotional and spiritual rest where God’s peace can surround us and become a buffer to the constant onslaught of negative impulsive reactions. Even well-meaning believers can fall prey to these impulses, wanting us to join with them in a slavish response to every impulsive newscast, advertisement or invitation we receive.
When I read about the life of Paul and the other early disciples, I do not see a frenetic form of faith running in all directions responding to each impulse offered by a nervous culture or dysfunctional people. They lived waiting for the impulse of God’s Spirit to direct their steps. They refused to live under the influence of the unsettled emotions and the undisciplined responses of other people.
Choosing to live in response to the impulse of God’s Spirit will bring a peace that is hard to explain to those who continue to live each waking moment in slavish obedience to the constant tug of impulsive people and unsettled cultural institutions. Today, choose to enter a place of restful waiting and only allow the impulse of God’s Spirit to draw you out and to offer your response.