How to Discern the Voice of the Holy Spirit: 5 Truths from God’s Word

For a longer time than I’d like to admit, I avoided talking about the Holy Spirit because somehow the Spirit seemed weirder, wackier, and harder to explain than God the Father or Jesus Christ. One of the difficulties I’ve had is in accurately expressing how the Holy Spirit works.

Language is limited.

It’s hard to clarify in just a few words how having a “feeling” about something is different from the “feeling” of the Holy Spirit working.

Saying “The Spirit spoke to me” quickly gets us labeled. It sometimes confuses people who wonder if they’ve never heard the voice of God – though if they’ve trusted the Lord as their Savior, they have. The voice of the Spirit just isn’t like any other voice we know.

Our discernment is also limited.

Sometimes recognizing the Holy Spirit’s work is even more difficult than explaining it.

We wonder if our sense of peace is actually a deceitful optimism, and we struggle to trust any leading in our hearts when we know our hormones are out of whack. We look at our requests of the Lord from every angle, feel everything we can about every known solution, and then strain to see “which option” the Spirit is pointing to.

I’m honored to share 5 truths about recognizing the Holy Spirit’s voice over on Alyssa J Howard’s Blog: Living by the Light of the King.

This post may also be shared on: #MomentsofHope, #DreamTogetherLinkup, #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #TellHisStory, #Thought-Provoking Thursday, #Heart Ecnouragement, #LiveFreeThursday, #DanceWithJesus, #LLMLinkup, Faith-Filled Friday, Sitting Among Friends, and #SoulSurvivalLinkup.

Listening In Clarity

Sometimes I think we’re more accustomed to noise than we are to quiet. The loud must be important. We think that if it is said often enough, it must be valid. In fact, our culture is so tuned into hearing everyone’s opinions that even competing views are now considered relative truths.

Although we might often listen through the noise and the static in our lives- I still wonder how much of the quiet truth we actually absorb. Sure, we might hear it, but…

Listening to a still, small voice doesn’t always feel powerful.

Clear, simple answers don’t always feel sufficient.

The more straightforward a word, the harder it is for us to find it relevant. We tend to overcomplicate things, including the Word of God and the truth.

Before the better-known verse in Romans 1 about our being without excuse, we find this truth:

what can be known about God is plain to them,

because God has shown it to them.”

Romans 1:19

We’re included in that “them” as those who have been wicked and ungodly. Even as those who are saved and redeemed, we know that:

“God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.”

-1 Corinthians 14:33

There’s a reason that even children can understand the Word of God, listen, and obey. A part of childlike faith is listening in that way –without confusion or complication. We are to take Him at His Word: simply and clearly.

Grandiose speeches and lengthy explanations are not methods God uses. The Lord does not need to compensate with volume or bombardment to make His Word more relevant or true for us. His Word, like Himself, is sufficient, all-powerful, and here with us for our good. Believe it.

My prayer and challenge lately is that when we hear that still, small voice, we’ll listen and obey with as much clarity and simplicity as the Word He has given us.

This post is being shared on: #Thought-Provoking Thursday, #DanceWithJesus, #LLMLinkup and #LifeGivingLinkup.

 

Recognizing the Voice of Truth

Photo from: www.tleecorp.com

You wake up and hear your spouse’s voice. Then your pets. Probably your kids. As you head out the door, you hear people in the neighborhood. People on the radio talk and sing. Your co-workers and boss speak, play music, and send you signals of the verbal and nonverbal variety. Friends text you. You read announcements, billboards, and emails. The phone rings.

By the end of the day, you’ve heard the voices of a hundred or so people, programs, papers, and media outlets. That’s a lot to sift through.

Even if you try to listen to Christian music, watch decent television, and keep solid company close by, you’re bound to absorb information that distracts from the one thing you need to hear: the voice of truth.

John 10:4-5 tells us that “he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”

That’s a lot of running away, isn’t it?

So much of what we hear does not possess the voice of the Lord. Unfortunately, to sort out the good from the bad, we rarely listen to the voice speaking in order to make a decision. Rather, we decide based on the content.

Often the words and messages that bombard us are full of worldly content and urge us, ultimately, to focus more on ourselves. We take to heart messages with content that is practical or that gets our emotions surging. Words that comment on the things dear to us are used to steer us.

But that’s not what Scripture says.

To discern the voice of truth, we must listen to know who is speaking.

Consider how firmly and clearly Jesus rebuked Peter when he spoke, not of the Spirit, but as one approaching from the concerns of the world (Matthew 16:23.) His words were “get behind me, Satan!” In another example, we see how Bartimaeus chose not to listen to the crowds telling him to hush because he knew that the voice he needed to hear was Christ’s, regardless of what might be said (Mark 10.)

Here’s what we know about the one who speaks:

  • His voice is one of stillness (see Job or Elijah)
  • His tone bears the fruit of the Spirit, like gentleness and kindness
  • His words are clear because He is not an author of confusion
  • All that is wrong trembles at the sound
  • He speaks through unifying voices, like loved ones who agree
  • His perspective does not change and does not conflict with the Bible
  • He calls us by name
  • His purpose is life-giving

Listen for that voice –His voice- among all the others. It’s simpler than we tend to let it be. We don’t need to weigh the words to decide which way to go.  Like sheep, we should simply listen for the one we know and follow, ever listening to the sweet sound of the one who knows THE WAY. 

This post is being shared on: #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkupIntentionally Pursuing,Titus2sday, and Thought-Provoking Thursday.