“Sit or lie down for twenty minutes a day and count the number of times the baby kicks.”

During a spiritual direction session with a young expecting mom, she shared with me the directions given to her by the doctor. Her baby, due in May, should be moving around inside of her quite a bit. She needed to notice the kick of her baby.

In a moment of reflection, she wondered why she could sit still to notice the movement of her baby, and yet struggle to sit still with God to notice His movement within her soul.

The movements of a baby within the body reveal great wonder and excitement. A kick often begins as a flutter, or a sense of an internal wave. Sometimes kicks reveal themselves as twitches, nudges, or even like the growl of hunger pains. When I was pregnant, I remember watching my stomach distort and move as tiny kicks from within bulged from the surface. Inviting my husband to feel the kicks and movement brought curiosity about the little life being formed by God within my body.

Kick – To strike or propel with the foot.

Have you ever wondered about the “kick” of God? How does the Holy Spirit nudge within the soul propelling His followers in service and transformation?

Silence and stillness offer space to notice the movement of God, Just as a young mom slows down to pay attention to the little life growing within her womb, so too, must followers of Christ slow down to attune to the gentle stirrings of the Spirit. Life overflows with demands and distractions which often prevent disciples of Jesus from the awareness of spiritual transformation and growth in Christ-likeness.

Would you be willing to sit still for twenty minutes a day to create space to be aware of the Holy Spirit’s kick within your soul?

Anticipation ensues as a baby stirs within, and wonder erupts when we notice God’s gentle action in our spiritual journey. The movement of God by the power of the Holy Spirit reveals the personal attention of God to His followers. Expectancy in the goodness of God and His divine plans for those committed to Him encourage us as we walk with Jesus in the path He plans.

The kick of the Spirit leads and guides us to follow Jesus by loving Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength and loving our neighbor as ourselves. If you felt hunger pains, you might ask yourself, “When did I last eat?” Similarly, if you feel a gentle kick within your inner being, you might ask, “Am I loving God well in this moment?” Or, “how can I share God’s love with my neighbor?”

Kick – To strike or propel with the foot

There are many kicks from God in the Bible. Movement by the Holy Spirit brought discernment, power, guidance, and Gospel proclamation. The Holy Spirit enabled those at Pentecost to speak in different languages (Acts 2). The Spirit moved Philip, a follower of Jesus, to engage in a conversation, explaining the Scriptures, with a traveling eunuch (Acts 8). Paul and Barnabas (early church missionaries) were set apart for special work by the kicking of the Spirit (Acts 13). Directions and guidance flowed by the Spirit as the message of Jesus life, death, and resurrection exploded (Acts 13,16, and 21). Paul, the author of many New Testament letters, received comfort and confirmation through the Spirit within him (Acts 20). Try reading the book of Acts to notice the many ways God’s kingdom advanced through the power and activity of the Holy Spirit kicking and stirring within those committed to live for Jesus Christ.

What might little stirrings, flutters, or kicks from God look like today?

  • “Out of the blue” someone presses on your heart and you pray for them – kick
  • You’re tempted to take a second look at someone other than your spouse – kick
  • You speak gently even when injustice stirs within – kick
  • A verse in the Bible convicts your soul – kick
  • Words of encouragement flow freely in conversation – kick
  • Comfort descends upon you when hearing difficult news – kick
  • An apology erupts from your tongue as you become aware of wrongs you’ve committed – kick
  • The ability to be fully present to another’s painful story develops- kick
  • Confusion fades, and clarity shines forth – kick
  • Someone shares a need and you feel compelled to offer assistance – kick
  • While tears flood your eyes, consolation fills your heart – kick
  • A knowing of truth settles upon you, even while falsehoods surround you – kick
  • Demonstrate confidence to confront a friend or family member living in sin – kick
  • Hope descends into your being knowing that the justice of God prevails – kick
  • Strength to endure when physically weak – kick

Questions such as, “Where are you stretching me, Lord?” “What must I repent of, Jesus?” and “How am I reflecting you, God?” direct our soul to notice the kicks of God and the many multifaceted ways we grow in communion with Him.

Praying simple prayers like, “Holy Spirit, show me your ways” or “Power of God, move within me” lead our heart toward sensitivity to the ways our triune God meets and shapes our life. The Lord does not forsake the work of His hands; He lives committed to those molded by Him (Psalm 138:8). God shapes us from within often allowing a subtle kick by the Holy Spirit to offer pause so that healing, growth, and transformation occur.

We can all experience the kick of the Spirit within our soul. Slow down, pray into the silence, and notice the invitations of God to form you as a magnificent reflection of Himself, sharing His love with the world.

Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.

John 14:26 –  But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Romans 5:5 –  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.

Francis Chan. Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit. Colorado Springs, CO. 2009.

Charles Spurgeon. . Knowing the Holy Spirit: Ten Classic Sermons.  Independent Publisher. 2019.

Sprinklings of Truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.

Kalley Heiligenthal. Spirit Move. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbdSQ8MLnYs

Elevation Worship. Fullness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgQ7WM-O1no