If you believe that God never speaks to individuals any more because He has given us the Bible, you’re a practical atheist. If you’re waiting on the Holy Spirit to tell you whether to order fish or chicken (He’d never lead you to red meat, of course), then you have just elevated lunch to a cosmic event. But if you can learn to turn and tune your heart and allow the Holy Spirit to apply the truth of God’s word to your specific situation, you can experience God in life- and world-changing ways.
I tell men all the time, “Dude, when it comes to marriage, you out-punted your coverage.” Another way of saying, most guys I know anything about out-married themselves. I am certainly no exception. My wife is an amazing partner and discerner. I call her “Elijah” sometimes because of how she can shred proud, lazy, or disrespectful people. All in Christian love, of course. I also envy the way she can tune in to the voice of God at times.
That said, we have this recurring argument. Well, it’s not really an argument because all I do is laugh, and all she does is get exasperated. So far all the sharp knives are still in the drawer and my bruised ribs are healing nicely, thank you.
The argument (I’m laughing even as I say this) is over the Holy Spirit salad.
The Holy Spirit salad is a practical experiment that Robin and others do at the climax of a women’s Bible study.
(Sorry, you can’t tell it from reading, but Elijah just left the room after letting me have it again about the salad. I’ve spent the last five minutes with tears in my eyes, laughing hysterically.)
Anyway, the way the Holy Spirit salad works (best I can surmise) is that each lady is told that next week they will all come together to make a large salad. Their task is to ask the Holy Spirit what to bring to put in the salad. If everybody only brought lettuce, so the theory goes, you wouldn’t have a salad. It’s an object lesson on spiritual gifts, and an exercise in spiritual listening.
Now Robin swears that without fail, when people seek the Lord about what to bring, the result is a wonderful salad, complete with everything needed. One time, someone was strangely and strongly impressed to bring a big bowl. Good thing: nobody else brought a bowl. Another time, somebody brought, well, you get the idea.
Okay, so let’s see… the world is going to hell, it’s an election year, Oprah’s a false prophet, Africa is a starving, disease-ridden war zone, the economy is supposedly in the toilet and the planet is heating up to volcanic heights while some people south of the (US) border want to creatively move to a cooler climate. Certainly a few things to pray about.
“Lord, is it the cucumbers or the ranch dressing?”
I just picture the Lord God of the Universe, surrounded with the praises of angels and saints, looking at a dying world and saying, “WHO CARES?”
“Okay, the cucumbers.”
I’ve been reading The Beautiful Fight, by Gary Thomas. Outstanding book about how we can experience the Lord in our lives daily. In the chapter titled “Ears That Hear,” Gary describes an ancient spiritual discipline I’d never heard of before called “turning.” This is a disciplined “turning” of one’s attention and will to the Lord – yes, even in the smallest of decisions. The idea is that what starts as a discipline becomes a habit; what starts as something unnatural becomes second nature. The Christian becomes “turned” by what amounts to spiritual gravity.
Back to the Holy Spirit salad. It isn’t that the salad is of all that cosmic importance. But the soul doing the asking is. And if, “Ask and you shall receive” (Matthew 7:7) doesn’t apply to guidance about tomatoes and radishes, why should those women believe it applies to the salvation of their children or the deliverance of the world from disease and poverty?
What do you think? Is there anything too ridiculously small to ask God to speak to you about?
But don’t people miss God? Yep. In fact, sometimes believers actually hear and speak things that are inspired by Satan. In the next post, I want to show you how.
As for me, I don’t think I’ll be asking the Lord about “House” or “Caesar” anytime soon. If I did, the Lord would probably just say something like, “Andy, just go read a book or something.”