When The Spirit Speaks
I just bought a set of Apple Air Pod Pro noise-cancelling ear pods. I can't tell you enough about how amazing they are. It's always a pure joy when you buy a product, and said product is as advertised.
When you put these headphones in, and the noise-cancellation do-hickey thing kicks in, suddenly all of the background noise disappears, and all you can hear is the sound of your own breath. And when you turn the music on at that point... Oh man...
You don't know how much the background noise affects the way you listen to music until it's no longer there, and you can hear in ways that you never thought possible.
Without the distraction of the background noise, you become attenuated to the sound of the music in a more focused and intense way, you hear the nuances in the instruments, you marvel at the clarity of the vocals...
Which brings me to this:
I sometimes get asked, "How do I know if the Spirit of God is moving me to do something?" or "Does God's Spirit still work on us? Because I don't know what to feel even if I was feeling it?"
Here's what I would say to that---the work of the Spirit is "soul work." It takes place at the level of our very souls, which is tricky sometimes to detect and challenging to understand even on our best days.
The Spirit inhabits our souls, according to most of the Scripture passages I've read on the subject. My own experience with these matters has also given me a sense that there's more going on beneath the surface of the self than we might be aware.
But I suppose I should take a second to define what I mean by "soul." I can't think of a better explanation than this one from Anne Lamott:
The soul is the lighthouse from which we see the vast celestial ocean, a kiosk from which we observe whatever passes by, the purest expression of our being alive, the one part they couldn't wreck, in the paranoid sense of the word "they."
This is the part of us inhabited by the Spirit, which also happens to inhabit all of Creation, moving and grooving in the spaces in between us and everything, holding it all together, tearing it down, rebuilding something new...
And how do you know if you have a soul? How do you know if the Spirit is working on you, moving you, convicting you, guiding you...?
Wondering about it is a pretty good indicator that you not only have a soul but that God cares enough about you to speak to it, to turn it upside down inside of you, to move you by shaking it up...
Charles Bukowski once wrote:
"If you don't have much soul left and you know it, you've still got soul."
Find a way today to shut out the background noise in your head and all around you. Let yourself listen to the music that is constantly playing within you, the voice speaking to you through the song.
Allow the Spirit to speak to your soul. Let yourself surrender to what the voice of the Spirit is telling you through feelings of peace, or disquiet... joy, and sorrow... conviction and resolve...
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.