Links Daily Devotional

The Spirit’s Lead

“But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.” (John 14:26, Amplified)

It’s hard to believe we are nearing the end of August, but what may surprise you even more is that I recently played only my second round of golf this year at a charity pro-am event. Even though I went to the practice range a few days prior, I still was a little nervous because I wanted to help my team. I knew I could make the day fun, but without playing or practicing, I wasn’t so sure I would hit any solid shots.

When I arrived at the course, I immediately went to the practice tee. It took a few extra balls for my golf muscles to start warming up, and I had to keep reminding myself to relax and not try so hard. After I slowed down and controlled my breathing, I was able to get out of my own way and my body instinctively began to swing in sequence.

The most difficult shots of the day were the touch and feel shots between 30 and 60 yards. These are a challenge because there are many ways to play them—and they don’t take a full swing. My lack of practice was evident by my poor execution. However, we also had several 100 to 105 yard shots and they were my bread and butter. It was perfect yardage for my gap wedge, and the countless hours of practice throughout my career gave me confidence with these shots.

In the book of John, Jesus shares how the Holy Spirit would be sent by the Father in His name—in His place, representing Him and acting on His behalf—to teach us and to help us recall everything He had said. If the Holy Spirit is going to remind us of Jesus’ teachings, then it seems we first need to spend time learning what He taught.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, I believe my responsiveness to the Holy Spirit is directly affected by how much time I spend with God and in the Word. The more time I give to the Lord, the more I am able to recognize the promptings of the Holy Spirit in my life.

Life doesn’t always give us perfect yardages where it’s easy to sense and hear the Holy Spirit’s leading. More often than not, our circumstances may feel like an uncomfortable 50-yard shot, and that’s when we really need to be in the Word and listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit. Personally, if I haven’t been spending time with God, it’s much more difficult to know the nudge of the Holy Spirit in my decision making, in my attitudes, in choosing love over hurt, in serving and giving, and in order to “keep your (my) tongue from evil and your (my) lips from speaking deceit” (Psalm 34:13).

Golf is just a game; it really doesn’t matter if we master the 50-yard shot. Missing out on the leading and teaching of the Holy Spirit, however, will directly impact each moment of our lives. Let’s commit to spending time with God and in His word so that when we step out on the tee box of life, the Holy Spirit can be our guide for every shot we face.

Tracy Hanson

August 30, 2011

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The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.