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Luke records similar instructions by Jesus: “When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” (Luke 12:11-12)
He is saying that they need not worry about how or what they will say when they are faced with a difficult situation. This is a time when there is either not enough time to prepare or no way to know even how to prepare for such an encounter. What will happen? The Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.
Over the past seven or eight years I have come to the point of practicing this principle. When Diana and I walk into a social dinner or charity event where we aren’t sure what to expect, we always discuss before or on the way that we can count on the Spirit of Jesus giving us whatever we are there to do or what we are to say. We walk in with not only a certain confidence, but with a special anticipation of the opportunities that are going to present themselves as we encounter the people that evening. We pray for this specifically as we are on our way!
There is another application of this principle that I’ve been practicing. After more than 40 years of disciplining myself to prepare messages to deliver to a variety of audiences, I have recently been changing my approach. I have been spending more and more time preparing my own heart and personal relationship with Jesus and his Spirit. When speaking to the needs of the moment, I am experiencing a greater resonance and empowerment with the people. It’s as if the Spirit of Jesus is directing everything I say. It’s not spooky; it’s just more real. It’s SECRET #51: The follower of Jesus doesn’t worry what to say when put on the spot.