Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

August 8, 2010

Told to Stop

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Have you ever been told to stop doing something . . . but you didn’t hear a voice?  I have . . . and I listened.

At  seventy years of age I was thinning the branches in the large oak trees in our yard.  With ladder, climbing gear, and chain saw, I worked all day.  I was cutting large limbs at a height of twenty to thirty feet from the ground.  I assure you that I never made a climb without a prayer that God would allow an angel to assist me and protect me.  I was extremely cautious, but I look back realizing that it was not a wise work that I was doing.  It should be left to the professionals.

Into the second day, I continued the cutting of limbs at that fearful height.  I had come to the ground to move my ladder and was preparing for another climb.  As I stood at the foot of the ladder that would take me a considerable height up into the tree, I had a compulsion.  I can call it a leading, a feeling, or a thought.  Choose any word, but it must convey that it was beyond me.  It was not inner wisdom, but it was a special awareness that I must not make another climb. There was a voice —  but I didn’t hear it audibly.

There is no arguing with me.  I know what I felt and experienced.  It was not fear . . . or tiredness.  There was a strong conviction that I was not to go back up that ladder.  It was clear and plain. It was strong enough in impact that I did not need to question it or pass it off to some emotion.  I quit at the moment.  I packed up all my gear and retired from tree cutting.  To this day I will not make those climbs.

What made me stop that labor?  I am sure many people would seek to give explanation, but I know without doubt from where the prompt came.  I believe strongly in the guardianship of God over my life.  I know that God’s Spirit was giving me direction not to cut in those trees anymore.  I am convinced that He was giving me a special precaution.  I sensed danger.  I believe harm awaited me either from a possible fall or the injury that could come from a large limb breaking or falling the wrong direction.

I know I was told to stop!  I know I was forbidden to continue!  What might have happened if I had not listened?  As followers of God we  all should be sensitive to those inner impulses — feelings — thoughts.  It can be God giving direction in our life.  I am careful that I do not pass off those impressions.  I would rather be wrong in my discernment that it is of God than to risk it being God’s leadership in my life and not listening!

I could obviously acknowledge such leadership in my life toward doing certain things at certain times.  However, my focus here is on warnings from God for my protection.  “The Lord will keep you from all harm —  he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forever.” (Psalm 121:7,8)

And much of that protection comes from His Spirit dwelling within us.  As He dwells within us, then from within He can speak.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”  (1 Corinthians 6:19)  ” . . . they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them.”  (Acts 16:7)



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