Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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How many times, after finding ourselves in a bad situation, have we said to ourselves, “I knew something didn’t feel right”? We have all, at times, hurried past the “still, small voice” of the Lord, and later remembered having a nagging feeling that “it didn’t feel right” before we made the mistake we made. If you stop and think about it, however, we know that an “it” can’t feel anything. It takes life to have feelings, and the “it” that we often feel is really a “he”. And the “he” is Jesus, talking to us, telling us what he sees coming. Paul told the Corinthians that “the Lord is the Spirit” (2Cor. 3:17), and the Spirit of God inside His children is always giving them right feelings and thoughts, the feelings and thoughts of God.
Many have spoken of times they felt to slow their vehicles down, for no apparent reason, and they slowed down just in time to avoid having an accident. One man of God I knew “just had a feeling” not to go straight home one day after a prayer meeting, not knowing that an angry, wicked man was waiting to ambush the preacher at his home. By the time the preacher got home, the would-be murderer had sobered up, grown tired of waiting, and gone away.
The feelings of the Spirit don’t just come out of the air; they come from the heart of God, and they are always intended for our good. If we brush those feelings off as just “something” talking to us, we risk running into trouble, or missing a blessing. If “it” doesn’t feel right to you, it is not “it”; it is Jesus himself warning you of something you don’t see. If “something” is talking to you, Jesus is talking. Listen! A blessing is in it.
Some years ago, Brother Earl and I decided to go visit some saints. We were two young men in the Lord, happy, singing, and talking about the things of God as we drove along the highway. All of a sudden, the Spirit fell on me and I heard myself exclaim, “Earl, we are going to have a visitor from the Lord tomorrow!” Brother Earl and I continued on our journey, but I could not forget what the Lord had promised us. I spent the next day working hard on the old house that my wife and I had bought. As the afternoon progressed, “something” kept telling me that it was time to stop and get cleaned up, but there seemed to always be just one more board to cut, or just a little more old wood to tear out. Several times “it” felt that I should quit, but I pushed on. Later in the day, I finally did quit and went to get cleaned up. I was just stepping out of the shower when I heard a knock at the front door. Barbara was in the back part of the old house, the part we lived in. She could not hear the knock. Everyone who knew us came to the back door, and so I knew it must be a visitor – then it struck me – the visitor from the Lord! As quickly as humanly possible, I dried myself, jumped into my clothes, and rushed to the door. Nobody there. I ran out onto the sidewalk. I could see a long way in both directions, but no one was there. “I knew ‘it’ felt like I should quit work,” I told myself as I walked back into the house, knowing I had missed a blessing.
Brother Earl told me about a certain time he went to town on business. When he parked the truck and got out, he was about to lock and shut the door when a gentle voice asked, “Are you sure you want to do that?” Brother Earl was a little surprised, paused for just a moment, then thought to himself, “Of course I want to do that!” Then he shut the door and went on to do his business. Later, when he returned, he reached in his pocket for his keys. They weren’t there. Brother Earl looked through the truck window and saw them inside the locked truck. He remembered that “something” had asked him if he was sure he wanted to shut his truck door. Now he understood. It was not that “it didn’t feel right” that he should shut the truck door; it was that Jesus didn’t feel right about it.