How to Listen to the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit plays an important role in helping us walk along God’s path of life. In (Romans 8.6), the Apostle Paul draws a clear contrast between the results of ignoring the Holy Spirit and the results of listening to the Holy Spirit. He says, “So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”
As a Christian, you have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8.11 NLT says, “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you…” Going even further, Paul insists that one sure sign that you are part of God’s family is that follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit: “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God” Romans 8.14 NLT.
To be led by the Spirit, we first have to listen to the Spirit. How can we do that? It will help to grasp the four ways through which the Holy Spirit speaks most often.
1. The Holy Spirit speaks through God’s Word. 
The Bible is called the “sword of the Spirit” Ephesians 6.17 ESV because through it the Holy Spirit reveals the truth that equips us to fight against the lies that come at us from all directions.
2. The Holy Spirit speaks to our spirit. 
There are times when the Spirit will speak directly to us (Romans 8.16), perhaps even through a dream. He might prompt you to do something uncomfortable. He may tell you to say something that someone else needs to hear.
3. The Holy Spirit speaks through circumstances. 
When all the signs around you are pointing in the same direction, it’s a good bet that the Spirit is using them to get through to you. Sometimes things will happen that can only be explained by acknowledging His intervention (Acts 16.7).
4. The Holy Spirit speaks through other believers. 
Just as you might be the spokesperson for the Spirit in someone else’s life, someone else might stand in as the Spirit’s spokesperson in your life (1 Thess. 2.13).
It’s possible to think the Holy Spirit has spoken to you, when the source of the voice came from somewhere else. That’s why 1 Thessalonians 5. 19-21 NLT says, “Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.” When in doubt, these three questions will help you out:
  • Does this glorify Jesus?
  • Is this in agreement with God’s Word?
  • Is this consistent with God’s character?
If the answer to each of these questions is yes, then you can feel confident you’ve heard from the Holy Spirit.
This blog features an excerpt from our book, Walk With God.

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