Have you ever experienced the nudge of the Holy Spirit in your life? Are you able to recognize that God is alive and active in every moment of your life and that He is actively working in every circumstance of your particular situation? Leonard Sweet’s latest book, Nudge: Awakening Each Other to the God Who’s Already There, encourages all believers to live every moment of their lives in holy awareness of Jesus’ activity all around them. Sweet contends that most people who claim to follow Christ are more adept at gaining attention than at paying attention, furiously beating bushes that advance their personal interests while not paying attention to the burning bushes all around them that showcase God’s activities. When believers begin to focus upon God’s activity all around them rather than on their own needs and desires, they will begin to not only notice what God is doing all around them, but will also be able to interpret and respond.
Nudge explores and explains a method of evangelism that causes believers to have all five senses fine-tuned to Christ’s active work in their lives. Sweet believes “nudgers” live their lives believing in the present-tense of Jesus, where Jesus is perceptible—able to be felt and sensed and experienced. Scripture study enables believers to actively recognize Jesus where He is appearing all the time–in situations, in people, in creation. Life then becomes filled with opportunities to “nudge” others to wake up to the alive and acting Jesus.
“Jesus spent His time creating a new sensory regime of the Spirit by telling stories (sound and sight), sharing meals (taste and smell), healing people (touch), and traveling the countryside building His team while connecting and praying with people (all five senses) that they might have life more sensational in all its dimensions, in all its senses,” explains Sweet.
Nudge reminds us that what we see is not all that IS, and that the nudge we feel reminds us to remain firmly present in the awareness of both. Living life in tune with Christ’s presence and activity all around us opens up hearts and minds to respond to others in ways that reflect Jesus. Sharing a hug, offering to pray for someone, or enjoying a meal with friends are all opportunities that become active encounters with the living Christ. If believers are paying attention instead of trying to gain attention, then they will be able to hear, see, taste, smell, and feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit and then, in turn, be able to nudge those who are seeking Christ toward an eternity filled with Christ’s presence. Nudge expresses Sweet’s hope that “someday we’ll trust [God] enough to know what He’s going to do so that we can be like Jesus and just show up where God wants to perform a miracle.”