Here's a testimony about how I suffered consequences this week because of failing to follow an inner witness; and how God graciously gave me further guidance through my spirit, to help me out of it:
On Monday afternoon I told my nephew that I'm going to Pacific Fair Shopping Centre.
But whilst I was in my room getting ready, I started to feel not quite right about going.
A few minutes later my nephew was all dressed and ready to go.
I noticed that for some reason, I still didn't feel quite right about going, but not wanting to go back on my word, and afraid of being labelled "indecisive", or of being criticized for making decisions based on a feeling in my spirit rather than my intellect, plus the fact that I just wanted to go out, we went anyway.
And about halfway there, my car broke down. It just stopped running, whilst we were still driving down the road.
We managed to push it into a carpark.
We still couldn't get it started, so I had the sense to ask the Lord what to do this time.
I sensed He was advising me to go home and make a phone call.
That was the first inner witness: I wasn't to try anything else there and then - I was to go home and get on the phone.
So David and I walked 30 minutes home.
On the way home I was asking the Lord whether I should join RACQ.
Then just at that very moment I looked up and saw an RACQ breakdown service vehicle turn the corner.
I felt it was a sign to me in the affirmative. That was the second inner witness.
When I got home, I researched RACQ's membership options on the Net, and I felt good in my spirit about it all so far.
The most suitable plan on offer meant that I would have to join for two years though, not one year, like I wanted; and I would have to pay a first-timer's joining fee plus an extra call-out fee because I needed immediate Breakdown Service.
It looked like the most suitable of their offers, so I picked-up the phone, ready to join.
Then suddenly I began to feel not right about something again.
I wondered, "Why would I feel right about joining RACQ at first, and then start not feeling right about it again?" It seemed a bit contradictory.
As a result, while I spoke to the staff member on the phone, I hesistated to commit - because although I initially felt I had a witness of the Spirit to join RACQ, my spirit was now feeling agitated, as if my spirit was picking-up from the Holy Spirit in my spirit that something wasn't quite right about each of the the available Membership options.
So I hung up the phone without joining.
But I really couldn't afford to delay, because I knew if I didn't remove my car from where we'd left it, soon it would be towed away.
Under each of their options, there was provision for any relative of mine who has existing membership with RACQ, to add my car under their Membership: and this way RACQ could allow my car to be signed-up for just one year instead of two, making it cheaper up front.
So I phoned my sister in Melbourne, intending to ask her if she would be willing to phone RACQ and authorize my vehicle to be included under her Membership - then all I would need to do is ring RACQ back, and pay for it using my own Bank Account details.
This seemed a bit awkward though, with her being so far away in Melbourne, and possibly a bit busy for me to expect her to stop whatever she was doing to make a phone call.
Then suddenly it dawned on me that my parents, right here at home with me on the Gold Coast, probably have RACQ Membership too. I don't know why I didn't think of it before.
So I asked them, and they do; and Dad was willing to speak to RACQ on the phone right away to authorize my vehicle being added under his Membership.
When the staff member took Dad's Membership details over the phone, she discovered that Dad has Gold Membership, and she informed my Dad that as a Gold Member, he is allowed to call the Breakdown Service to any car so long as he is present with the car when the Breakdown Service arrives.
So she advised Dad to simply be present at my vehicle when the Breakdown Service arrives - that way I could have my car attended to absolutely free of charge.
RACQ would come out immediately and for free.
That saved me a lot of money!
She explained further that since there could be times in the future when it may not be practical for Dad to be present at my vehicle in the event of a breakdown, she asked whether I would like to pay $63 - that way I can have my vehicle covered under any circumstances for one year, even when Dad isn't able to be present.
I decided to do that.
Under this arrangement, she was able to waive the first-timer's join-up fee; and there was no surcharge for the immediate Breakdown Service I required; plus I was allowed to pay for just one year's Membership instead of two.
None of these provisions had been mentioned under any of the Membership options I'd researched earlier on their Web site.
Quite a saving!
So I was delighted that the Holy Spirit prevented me from signing-up the first time I phoned.
He saved me over $100.
What would have been even better of course is if I had obeyed the Holy Spirit's witness not to drive to Pacific Fair in the first place.
It would have spared me all that walking (and spared me quite a bit of time too: because with walking home, talking on the phone, waiting for the Breakdown Service to arrive, then his unsuccessful attempts at fixing the car, and waiting for the tow truck to arrive and walking home the second time - it all added up to about three or four hours).
The problem with the engine turned-out to be an ignition problem, which cost $169, and by the next morning it was all fixed.
The engine sounds better now.
And I have a year's Breakdown Service Membership.
Combining the $63 Membership and the $169 - it so happened that I had the precise amount left in my usual Savings Account to pay for both.
God's advice is always so good, acceptable and perfect!
I told my nephew that the whole experience was another lesson to me about recongnizing and obeying the inner witness of the Spirit in our spirit.
My nephew and I talked about the "The Trichotomy of Man": man is spirit, he has a soul and he lives in a body.
I pointed-out that because unbelievers live in the natural realm and their spirit is dead in trespasses and sins, they therefore usually make decisions based on their flesh or their soul.
Believers, on the other hand, have been born again, so their spirit is made alive unto God, and God's Spirit lives in their spirit. Therefore, when God is going to lead His children, He is going to lead us through our spirit where He dwells, rather than through our soul (mind, will and emotions) or flesh - because God's Spirit dwells in our spirit.
We believers have the advantage of being led by the Spirit, through our spirit.
Sometimes we wonder, "Is that realy you Lord, or is it just me?"
Well, the Bible says: "he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit" - so perhaps it ought to feel like it is "just you" whenever the Lord leads you - because you and He are one spirit!
He leads us through our spirit.
We discussed how it feels to be led through one's spirit:
Sometimes a particular option may look good to the intellect, or to our emotions, or to our flesh, but we don't quite feel right about it in our spirit: we have an unexplainable sense of hesitancy, or a sense of dread, that just won't go away.
This feels a bit like stepping onto wet tiles with your socks on!
Or it's like a bird fluttering around trying to find a perch to land on that just can't seem to find a suitable one.
That's Jesus telling you not to do it, even though you may not know why not.
Then at other times you might still be lacking some crucial information about a certain option, yet you find you already feel right about it in your spirit, even though you don't yet have all the information you would need to know if you were to base your decision on your intellect alone: you feel nice and velvety about it in your spirit; you find you can confidently commit to it without hardly thinking twice about it.
That's Jesus telling you it's o.k. to go for it.
That's the green light, in your spirit.
No matter what field of life it is, there's great reward in learning to recognize and follow the inner witness of the Spirit, in our own spirit.
And if we've missed it in the past, we don't have to remain where we are. We can forget it and get up and keep going.