"And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route." Matthew 2:12
In this verse we see God warning the wise men to not go back to King Herod and tell him where Jesus was. King Herod wanted to find Jesus so that he could kill Him for fear that this so-called “newborn King” would grow up and dethrone him. These wise men were, well, wise to listen to the voice of God telling them to not go back to King Herod. They were sensitive to hearing the voice of God, but not just hearing, they did what He said.
In one of the hardest matches I ever wrestled I was up against a kid who was 43-0 seeded first in the state tournament. I remember going into this match very confident even though he was picked to win the state championship. The reason I had confidence is because of my coach. In this match, the score was 1-1 after the third period. Before overtime started my coach looked at me and said, “We’ve got to do something different, he is not going to shoot because he wants to counter, since you can’t take him down I want you to shoot and back out, shoot and back out, and keep doing it over and over.” When overtime started I was doing exactly as my coach said. I would shoot, work for 2 or 3 seconds and then back out. With 10 seconds left on the clock he gets called for stalling and I was awarded 1 point, thus making the #1 ranked wrestler 43-1. I’m thankful I listened to the voice of my coach because what he told me to do was what caused me to win. If I hadn’t listened, a different outcome might have ensued.
John 14:16-17 says, "And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept Him because it neither sees Him nor knows Him, but you know Him for He lives with you and will be in you."
One of the greatest privileges of being a Christian is the gift of the Holy Spirit. Verse 17 calls Him the “Spirit of Truth.” In some ways, like my coach, we have God’s very own Spirit living in us who always points us back to truth. For example, when you fail – whether it’s in wrestling or simply in life – something tells you that you are a failure. That’s not the Holy Spirit nor is it the truth. God’s Spirit will only confirm what the Word of God (the Bible) says which is Truth. God’s Word says in Romans 8:1, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." So when you are tempted to feel like a failure the Holy Spirit will remind you that you are in Christ and that there isn’t any more condemnation for you.
If we don’t stop and listen to what He is saying we can miss out on great victories in the midst of great battles. What I mean by “stop and listen” is simply getting quiet and listening to the Holy Spirit's direction for your life. Practically, one way to do this is doing what you’re doing right now, reading this devotional. Another way is worshipping God with your favorite worship music… or even simply being completely silent. When you do this, expect direction and expect His guidance. We are so privileged to have coaching and a real life companion from the Holy Spirit. He speaks the truth about God’s grace towards us, who we are and can be in Jesus. This Christmas, stop and listen to the Holy Spirit who lives in you to guide you into truth.