Listen

    These days an education, all the way from first grade through college, is undoubtedly very important. Not everyone will go to college and become a doctor, lawyer, engineer or some other type of professional. But listening to the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to lead our lives, and becoming what He wants us to be is crucial. If we don't, we fall short of His goal in our lives. Listening to the Lord is the greatest education we can get. He knows all our needs long before we have them. When we choose not to listen to what the Lord has to say to us, we get into trouble. We find ourselves in situations we would rather not be in.

    A great example of this is the story of a young man named Steve. Steve had gone to church all of his life and he knew what was right and what was wrong. He had the Holy Spirit to guide him every step of the way. Steve also had two good friends, Paul and Mike, who were always at his side. They did everything together; they even went to church together. They were all-American kids who played basketball, baseball, soccer and other sports. They usually talked things over before they made a decision or acted on what one or the others wanted to do. Usually the boys made the right decision simply because they had been taught the right ways and they listened to that little voice in their hearts, the Holy Spirit, before they did things. However, one very sad day they allowed Satan to influence their decision-making, and their lives were never the same. They didn't listen to the Holy Spirit in them; they listened to the spirit that got them in trouble.

    Around the corner from Steve's house was a small-town drugstore that had just a few items and a pharmacy. Steve had noticed that Ronnie, the man who worked behind the counter, would usually leave the cash register open while he was working even when he stepped away to go and get something. This is where Steve let the wrong spirit step into his life. Steve told his two friends, Paul and Mike, about the open cash register, and they all agreed it would be a great opportunity to get some extra spending money.

    Steve came up with what he thought was a great plan, and they all agreed on it. So the three boys went to the drugstore to put their plan into action. Steve asked Ronnie for an item he knew Ronnie would have to go into the back room to get. Sure enough, when Ronnie headed for the back room, he left the register open slightly. Steve eased his hand over the counter and grabbed a handful of cash. The boys thought they had pulled it off. They didn't realize there was a hidden security camera watching every move they made. As the boys headed for the door, a security guard stepped out from the back room. Standing 6 foot 4, the security guard looked like a giant to the boys. Within a flash, the guard had Steve and his friends in the back room waiting for a policeman to come, so the boys could explain to him what they had done.

    What I want you to understand is that, when the security guard grabbed the boys, they knew their actions didn't reflect what they had learned in church all of their lives. They knew that what they had done saddened the Holy Spirit. Their actions had allowed Satan to influence their lives.

    Later the boys waited at the police station wondering what would happen. They had to face their parents. They had to face the consequences of what they had done. Finally the boys were released to their parents and put on probation.

    We should always think about what we are about to do and ask ourselves if it is right.

We should listen to the Holy Spirit who is within us; He will always give us the right answer and show us the right road to take, no matter the situation. The Lord is there for us if we just ask Him to guide our steps. Steve and his friends never would have been in that compromising situation if they had taken time to ask the Lord in prayer if their plans were the right plans.

    When young people do something in haste without listening to the Holy Spirit they live to regret what happens. The Lord has made it so easy for us. All we have to do is listen!