Listening to the Holy Spirit
“For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.” ~Romans 8:14-16 NASB
Have you ever heard what sounded like a voice, that you knew was not natural? Not all supernatural (spiritual) voices are for our benefit; there is wisdom that comes down from above, but also from earthy, natural, and demonic sources (James 3:15). “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.” James 3:17
Who is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, co-equal with God the Father and Jesus.
Why do we need the Holy Spirit? Jesus said to His disciples during their Last Supper, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper*, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”…“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper* will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” John 14:16-18; John 16:7. (*-the English word “Helper” is translated from the Greek Paracletos, which means one called alongside to help; or Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor.)
How to know we are hearing the Holy Spirit? Though discerning the voice of our Lord takes practice, fundamentally “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” John 10:27. We also know that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, and therefore can not lie or go against scripture. “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.” John 16:13-14. Finally, if not sure of the source, ask yourself if the voice is condemning or convicting. Our enemy’s voice is often condemning, telling us we are no good, expecting the worst, with no way out. While the Holy Spirit convicts us (and the world) of sin, it is his loving-kindness that leads us to repentance and the way out.
Existence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is proof of a life that is changed. As believers, we are “sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance” Eph 1:14a. Jesus said that we must be ‘Born Again’. A key difference between believers in the Old Testament and New is that in the old, the Holy Spirit would come upon believers, and in the new covenant, the Holy Spirit now lives inside of believers. The Holy Spirit inside is the “pledge of our inheritance” and is also translated as “token” or “down payment”.
Listening to, not just hearing the Holy Spirit. “Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, As in the day of trial in the wilderness” Heb 3:7-8.
Today’s Training: In this day, many of us get advice from strangers when picking a restaurant, a doctor, and many things in life. We may keep our own council, hear from friends, hear from the world, or even from beyond the natural. “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.” James 3:17. Who’s voice are you listening to for life guidance?
To find out more about hands on training including listening to the Holy Spirit, sign up for Joshua Commission training at Gettysburg 25-26 Oct located at https://joshuacommission.org/2019-gettysburg-training/ .