By Pastor Andy Plank
Guided by the Holy Spirit
March 19, 2023
When I was growing up, we lived four houses down from my grandparents, and behind our houses were woods. When we were small, my brother and I thought the woods went on nearly forever, but actually, the woods were maybe a mile long and a mile wide, so they didn’t go on forever, but they were still a terrific playground for two young boys who were learning about the outdoors, animals, hunting, and life. My brother and I would start early in the morning and would often stay in the woods until the sun went down (except for coming back to the house for lunch…we were growing boys, after all). It was a different day and time and, as far as I know, my parents and grandparents didn’t worry about us. Well, at least they didn’t worry about us until my mother overheard a conversation between my brother and me that was not intended for her ears. We were discussing the identity of a mysterious man in gray that my brother and I had seen several times during our outdoor escapades. To this day, I have no clue who this man was, but I can assure you, not knowing his identity didn’t keep us from speculating on who he might be. We thought he was everything from a wild man living in the woods to an alien who had been dropped off from a distant planet, looking around to see what he could see. What never crossed our minds is that this man might have been dangerous. At least it never crossed our minds until my mother overheard our conversation and immediately stated this man was a child murdering pedophile who had his eyes on her two boys. Needless to say, our escapades in the woods slowed down considerably after this conversation. Looking back on all this with sixty-year-old eyes, it’s a wonder my brother and I lived to see adulthood. Like most kids, we hadn’t lived long enough yet to realize and understand that world can be a scary, dangerous place. We needed adults in our lives to help spot dangerous people and dangerous situations. Just like little kids are often clueless when it comes to potential danger, sometimes Christians can be just like little kids. When the flesh tempts us, we often don’t see the hook that is inside the piece of delicious fruit until it is too late. That’s one reason we have the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ living inside us. He will help us identify danger and He will warn us of potential hazards that can cause our spiritual (and often physical) lives to go off the rails. Just like my mom was right years ago, when it came to the case of the mysterious man in gray, you can count on the fact that the Holy Spirit will be right as well when He warns us of impending danger. Let’s learn to listen.
Be blessed and be a blessing . . . Bro. Andy