May 09, 2017

A Soft and a Nudge - Shirley S. Tye

Often I’ve heard the Lord’s voice; words of comfort, directions, and warnings. 

One time, during a church service, as I was at the front of the church with many others singing and praising the Lord, our hands raised, I felt the Holy Spirit’s presence among us.  Then I heard a soft voice speak a clear instruction to me; “Dance before Lord.”  I felt too shy to do so and for some reason I doubted whether I had heard correctly.  I didn’t dance.  When the song ended, the youth pastor announced that during the song, he felt a strong urge to dance but he didn’t.  And so he asked the worship team to play the song again and we all danced before the Lord.  I felt sorry that I hadn’t obeyed when I heard the instruction. But what the youth pastor said had confirmed what I had heard. Why had I been too shy to dance and show; “Dance before the Lord!” Why had I held back? 

Once I had a definite nudge.  It surprised me. During a finance committee meeting at church (I was the bookkeeper), two of men on the committee began discussing how to get people to increase their donations.  They were trying to figure out a method to calculate how much each donor earned based on their occupation and compare their total yearly tithes against their total offerings.  I remember feeling shocked at the direction the discussion had went.  Next thing I knew, my mouth opened and out came a strong rebuke. That put an abrupt end to the discussion and we quickly got onto other financial matters. After the meeting, I wondered if I had done the right thing in admonishing the two men. Had I been too stern?  I was astounded at how quickly those words had spewed out of my mouth. I asked my pastor friend, who was a member of that committee and had attended that meeting, if I had spoken out of line.  She assured me that the words were from the Holy Spirit and I had simply obeyed by opening my mouth and allowing the Spirit to speak.  What a relief I felt.  And I also felt gladness knowing that this time I had not held back.

These are just two small events in my life.  One I didn’t handle well but one I did; however, doubting if I’d acted and spoken appropriately; relying on affirmation from another person.  How would I respond to much larger callings or nudges from the Lord?  I often wonder what thoughts passed through Abram’s (later to be named Abraham) mind when God told him to leave his country; pack and go to an unknown destination.  God said He’d bless Abram, make his name great, and from him a great nation would arise. Wow!  I’d probably doubt that calling.  Who me; a great nation? Where’s the map?  How long will this trip take?  How shall I finance this trip?  Questions, questions. Ah, but the Lord knows what He is doing and will continue nudging us.


  1. These are two very powerful examples, Shirley. I know I have been in both situations - feeling afraid or embarrassed when I feel god's command to do something, and then the reaffirmation when I do obey. We all need to strengthen our spiritual ears, I think!

  2. A beautiful post, Shirley. Thanks for sharing both sides of God's promptings.

  3. Your post is a nudge for me to listen and obey! I have so many questions when I hear God's voice - which is a good thing sometimes to be sure I am not being rash - but sometimes it's my excuse to hold back. I like the example of Abraham too that you shared. Thank you Shirley!
    Pam M.

  4. Listening to God is tricky, but I am discovering that when I don't get it the first time, he gives me another chance. I think of the story of God calling Samuel in the night. Not knowing it was God calling, Samuel reported to his mentor Eli, This happened three times and Eli didn't understand that it was God calling Samuel either.

    The third time the young lad came to his master's bed, it dawned on Eli that the Lord was calling the boy. He told Samuel to go back to bed. When the Lord called again, Eli said, "Say, "Here I am, Lord, I come to do your will."

    If we make a sincere effort to listen, God will get his message across to us for he is the God of second and sometimes third. . . chances.

    Thanks for sharing your story, Shirley.

  5. It's often hard to discern whether that voice we hear in our heads is God speaking or just our own thoughts. But as we learn from 1 Samuel 3, God is patient and persistent. He will continue to nudge us until we listen, understand, and obey.


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