I have just spent an absolutely wonderful month in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Two days ago it was time to leave and continue my African adventures in other places on this amazing continent. Working with animals here has exceeded my hopes and expectations, etching a memorable place in my heart.
As I was on the aircraft in the capital city of Bulawao, Zimbabwe, ready for take-off, it had been explained to me that, before every departure, airport officials will get in their jeeps and drive ahead of the aircraft. They are on the lookout for something in particular — warthogs! Evidently, warthogs stampeding across the runway is an occassional occurrence that can cause havoc if it collides with an approaching aircraft. Such an incident would not be a happy one for the plane or the warthogs! Hence, the jeeps go first in order to give adequate warning to the pilot if a stampede seems imminent. I was greatly amused by this.
Warnings or alerts are valuable in all sorts of occasions; it’s especially important in our spiritual worlds. Have you ever found yourself headed in a certain direction, but something inside was causing you to hesitate? Perhaps you have nearly said something to someone, or behaved in a particular manner, but that something inside, once again, caused you to hesitate, to reconsider. What a wonderful alert system we have with the Holy Spirit being resident in our hearts.
The Holy Spirit is our teacher, our counselor, the One who speaks a warning into our hearts when we’re about to do or say something that would not be either God honoring or helpful to ourselves. When we deliberately ignore these warnings from the Holy Spirit, we put ourselves on a runway to chaos, in danger of colliding with warthogs of disobedience. The consequences will not be pretty.
I love the reminder in Isaiah 30:21, “Your own ears will hear Him. Right behind you a voice will say, ‘This is the way you should go,’ whether to the right or to the left.” What a wonderful alert system. How loving of the Holy Spirit to always want to lead us in the way best for us. Our Heavenly Father absolutely adores us. He always wants to see us walking in safety. It’s this tremendous love that keeps the Holy Spirit constantly looking out for our welfare. The Lord doesn’t want to see us hurt; that’s why we have such a fantastic and perfect alert system. Let’s keep a prayer on our lips that says, “Father, help me to always listen, to hear you when you speak. Help me to behave, to speak, and to go in the ways that you lead me. I trust you. Thank you. Amen.”