October 22, 2013


Not long ago I was standing in line at a fast-food restaurant. I looked out the door just in time to see an older man misjudge the curb and take a tumble off the sidewalk.

In about two seconds the man was surrounded by people picking him up, dusting him off, and asking if he was all right.

You don’t usually see a spiritual moment in a fast-food restaurant. But seeing complete strangers go to the aid of someone so anonymous so quickly led me to conclude that the Spirit of God was hovering nearby.

I’ve been intrigued recently by the debate about spiritual formation—what we should or shouldn’t read, how we should or shouldn’t pray, how we should beware of any author or influence that would cause us to go astray.

Implied in all these conversations is that our devotional practices are so fraught with peril that one misdirected prayer or thought might cause us to lose our way.

The ministry of the Holy Spirit didn’t stop when the Bible canon was formed. Nor is His activity confined to the quiet moments of our devotional lives. God’s Spirit is active every hour of every day, surrounding us with many tokens of His love, mercy, justice, and sovereignty.

I’m convicted that God’s Spirit is active far beyond human definitions of religion. A God who inhabits eternity can hardly be confined to narrow human constructions of race, religion, or geography. That’s why we must always be open to His leading, whenever we hear His voice.

Our prayer should be the same as the psalmist’s: “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us—so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations” (Ps. 67:1, 2).