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June 26, 2024

The Nudge


Several years ago I was observing a small herd of elk just before dark. The wind was just right, blowing my scent away from them, and I had just enough cover between the herd and myself to crawl within twenty yards or so. Eventually, just to see if I could do it, I crawled very slowly out into the open and watched them. They never saw me.


One of the things that intrigued me most was the twitching of the elks’ ears. Ever vigilant, each time they heard a sound, their ears would prick up, in order to hear it even better. Whether eating, drinking, or taking a step, they were always diligent to listen for a potential threat - their lives depended on it. As I watched them, the pricking up of their ears reminded me of a word in Scripture I had studied. I recalled that this was the literal meaning of one of the Hebrew words for “listening.” Qashab(1) means “to prick up the ears like an animal coming to alertness.” This live picture, painted by the elk, was indeed worth a thousand words.


One of the places qashab is used is in Proverbs 4:20-22, a fairly well-known passage of Scripture:


My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them and health to their whole body.” (Italics mine)


My understanding of “giving attention to” the Lord’s words went to a whole new level as I watched the ears of the ever-vigilant elk. Always listen diligently for His voice, as though your life depends on it, came to mind. No matter what you happen to be doing, remain tuned in to Him.


Spending time with God through prayer, worship, and quiet meditation tunes the soul and awakens the heart, enabling us to hear Him. Life is loud - make it quiet down once in a while. Everything else will scream for your attention, but He will not. Holy Spirit refuses to shout above the clamor and dissonance created by other voices and activities. For those who have grown to love the pleasure of His company enough to make time for Him, for those who truly listen, however, the still small voice of Holy Spirit becomes easily discernible.


Life gets fast. Too fast. The Economist contributor Dan Montano writes:


“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion, or it will be killed. Every morning, a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle, or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle; when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”(2)


How true, and it’s true for us humans, as well. It should describe the business world, however, not our devotional lives. Speed has its place and at times, is necessary. But when listening for Holy Spirit, listen slowly. He is patient but refuses to be trivialized by casual glances and cursory conversations. Like any friend, He wants to be valued. 


Turn aside and listen for His voice. This is one of the meanings of another word in Proverbs 4:20, “incline” (natah).(3) Moses saw a bush on fire but wasn’t being consumed; he decided to “turn aside” and see it (Exodus 3:3). When he did, the Lord spoke to Him. If we turn aside, He will speak to us, as well. But He won’t speak until we are captivated enough to turn aside.


This word natah literally means “to stretch toward, as in craning the neck in order to see or hear better.” The long-necked bird we call a crane provides the genesis for this colloquialism. “Stretch” your neck toward God in order to easily and clearly hear His sayings. Show Him worth; assign Him value; demonstrate an interest in His words. If you do, He will speak.


Our friend Jacquie Tyre released a prophetic word recently, wherein the Lord was telling us to listen for His instructions, as opposed to being distracted by other voices. Holy Spirit said:


“People have ways of crossing over thresholds that include making deals, compromises, and exchanges with the guardians of the threshold. But, My Kingdom saints must not cross thresholds in such a way. Be alert; watch carefully for these enticements offered to grant access to the frontiers you are seeking to pioneer. 


“The delays you face serve to reveal and test the heart by allowing opportunities to present themselves that seem expedient. Expedient, but not of Me, expedient but requiring a price that will be greater than expected.  


“Wait, watch, and listen for the still, small voice that sounds the alarm. Know that I am training your senses to be tuned to My slightest movement so that in the moment, in the twinkling of an eye, you will know, ‘This is the way walk in it,’ or ‘Stop, do not go that way.’


“Much advancement has been lost over the years by My people being moved by “expediency” and the way that seems right to man.  


“Stop. Wait. Listen. Watch. I have a way, a plan for you to cross over every threshold and enter into the Kingdom assignments I have for you.”


God’s word tells us in Romans 8:14, “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons and daughters of God” (NASB). The word translated as sons and daughters in this verse is huios,(4) meaning a person who has fully matured into responsible adulthood and can be trusted with full authority. One of the standards for this maturity is “being led by the Spirit.”


I like The Passion Translation’s version of this verse, “The mature children of God are those who are moved by the impulses of the Holy Spirit.” The accompanying note in TPT says, “The Greek is quite emphatic: ‘those and only those.’” Those, and only those who are led by - moved by - the “impulses” of Holy Spirit can be considered fully mature sons and daughters. Verse 19 tells us the earth longs for these sons and daughters to manifest. If you have learned to hear, take your place in God’s plan; if you’re not quite there yet, become one of these hearers.


Though “led” is a good translation in Romans 8:14, I also like the word “impulses” used in The Passion Translation. It conveys the idea of promptings, feelings, notions, and thoughts. Leadings from Holy Spirit are often gentle, like the “still small voice” to Elijah in 1 Kings 19:12. The Message Translation calls it “a gentle and quiet whisper,” and the NASB says “a sound of a gentle blowing.” The point is clear: God’s voice often comes to us gently. Sometimes, it isn’t a voice at all, but just a nudge, a prompting.


Learn to listen, to feel, to sense Him.


Pray with me:


Father, give us twitching ears like the elk, inclining them to listen for Your voice, picking up on the impulses of Your Spirit. Give us undistracted hearts that turn aside to see and listen. Life is so loud, so fast, so full. Remind us, please, of what matters most.


You said that as Your sheep, we know Your voice. We declare, therefore, that we ARE able to hear You; we do have ears to hear what You say. We will hear through Your written Word, and we will hear the voice of Holy Spirit. We will be alert, and will not be sidetracked by supposed “shortcuts,” which are actually detours.


Teach us to wait when we need to wait, and to only move when You tell us to move. Crossing the Jordan when it’s in flood stage doesn’t seem right, but sometimes You want to demonstrate Your power by cutting it off (Joshua 3). Your time is the only right time for crossing into the new. So, in all of our ways, we acknowledge You, and trust You to direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).


Our decree:


We decree that we will wait and listen, so we can follow Holy Spirit’s plan.


Click on the link below to watch the full video.





You can learn more about Jacquie at JacquieTyre.com.



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  1. James Strong, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990), ref. no. 7181

  2. African folklore, as told by Dan Montano, “Lions or Gazelles?” The Economist, 1985, p. 37.

  3. James Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, ref. no. 5186.

  4. Ibid., ref. no. 5207.


3 Comments


Delays test the heart! This is the story of my life! Holy Spirit, continue to teach me how to better hear from you. Fill me fresh today! Amen!

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Amen. "We decree that we will wait and listen, so we can follow Holy Spirit’s plan."

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Abba, Yeshua, and Ruach Kodshecha are Omni-Attractive. Natah Qashab them and be moved by the impulses of them!

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