So many things are clamoring for our attention. Wanting us to listen to this or that, pay attention to this or that. Then sometimes we have trouble with a connection. I had T-Mobile for a brief period of time, I loved their service, when their system worked, it was great but my problem was I had no connection in my house or Monessen, or if I did get connection it was spotty and broken up….God wants a clear connection with us not spotty not with other voices competing for our attention just so we can have the confidence and success He plans for us.
Many times, when I am teaching, I am talking about hearing the voice of the Lord. I know that can sound very ethereal, even spooky or weird to some but as I often say, what kind of relationship would it be like with a spouse or a friend if you did all of the talking and they never spoke back.
Jesus told us to expect communication with the Lord when he was giving instructions to the disciples…here is one example from John 16:7-15
But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate (Holy Spirit) won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. 9 The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. 10 Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. 11 Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.
12 “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. 14 He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’
The Holy Spirit, living through you will bring conviction, people will feel what it is to be free because they are around you and will want it, they will see your love and good works and want to act the way you act and that only happens by the power of the Holy Spirit, they will clearly understand what is right and wrong and the enemy will feel his judgment because of your love and righteousness.
The Holy Spirit doesn’t stop there…
Jesus just began giving them understanding into the role of the Holy Spirit in their lives, something they would begin to experience after Jesus’ ascension and would spend the rest of their lives growing in relationship…Jesus said this is how it starts
He will guide you into all truth
He will speak to you and remind you of Jesus’ words
He will tell you everything Jesus is presently speaking to you about
Jesus never lied, never will, so in speaking to His disciples , if you are a Christ-follower then you are a disciple of His and this includes you….He said the Holy Spirit will speak to you, of things from God’s love letter to you that you need to remember and tell you of ways to deal with and understand things going on right now.
Like anything, learning to hear the Holy Spirit accurately is a developed skill. Romans 8:14
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”
We have been given the right and the privilege to be led by God. The good thing is God wants you to clearly hear and understand Him.
If you have come to Christ, He is already living in you….Romans 8:11
“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you…”
So it shouldn’t be that hard, right! God wants us to be led by His Spirit and He is already living in us so what’s the big deal?
Two things mainly
- So much noise…everything is clamoring for our attention, including things like the news, day to day living, our own wounds, hurts, and pride
- Distinguishing our own desires, wants, thoughts, from those of the Holy Spirit
Some quick things that will tell you it is not the Holy Spirit (I will take my time with these)
- If it goes against God’s Word
- If it tears down others (different from conviction)
- If it violates God’s love based on 1 Corinthians 13, no pride, arrogance, instead, humility, wisdom, and clarity…
- If it does not draw you or others to God but instead pushes you away (kindness leads us to repentance Romans 2:4)
- Remember the fruit of the Spirit will govern the leading of the Spirit
So how do we overcome the noise, and separate that which is from God and from our own mind?
Do you really want to make the connection?
The writer of Hebrews in taking a deep dive into understanding Christ role as our high priest challenged these Jewish believers saying Hebrews 5:11 they were dull of hearing.
Their problem was they only wanted to hear what they wanted to hear rather than the truth. If you are going to God only wanting to have your ideas justified or your wants verified then you will not hear the truth you will hear your own voice chanting in your head.
The pharisee had that problem so listening to the Lord making the connection can most definitely be a religious problem….
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
God’s word and words to us are living and know how to reach people in the best way possible. It does not change, its truth is truth but the way it functions adapts, styles of music, styles of dress, expressions of worship, technology but the truth of the Gospel will never change but sometimes we don’t want to hear it if it comes in a package we don’t approve of due to our religious upbringing or lack there of
Our first step to learning to make the right connection is getting quiet, physically tuning out the noise of the day, of life, of everything clamoring for your attention. As we learn to listen to the Holy Spirit, we will learn to cut through the noise but until that place
Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.
This is David’s follow up as to how you will get the desires of your heart fulfilled. Think about it, the better you understand His heart the easier it is to have your desires fulfilled.
My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.
We gain strength and blessings as we learn to avoid the hustle of day to day life and spend a few moments waiting on him
But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!
As we take our time, quiet our lives whether in the morning, during a break in the day, or at night. Our focus can be on just waiting on him, listening for his voice. Elijah was caught off guard by how the Lord wanted to talk with him. Elijah felt all alone as if he were the only godly man left. The Lord had just performed a tremendous miracle through him as he called fire from heaven and it came and he killed all the evil prophets. Jezebel, the queen threatened to kill him because they were all of her prophets…so he ran and all he could think about was running away, God even fed him along the way but all he could hear was his fear so God got his attention then spoke
1 Kings 19:11-13
Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
The Lord is often a gentleman and will not demand your attention! We must be willing to give it to him. Like Elijah, he will continue to care for us, protect us, but we will miss out on all the joys, exciting adventures, lives changed and blessings if we don’t learn to be still, be quiet, and listen.
I have a number of other points about “making the connection” hearing from the Holy Spirit”
My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated (led) by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. (MSG)
The joy in your life, the freedom in your life is by knowing and understanding the Holy Spirit’s leading. As we begin with baby-steps, forcing ourselves into quiet time, we will begin to hear that still small voice and be assured that it is not our own thoughts. Then as we grow we enjoy that quiet time more and more and see such a value in it but also will have learned to hear him, when needed, on a whim, quickly.
Practice this week, set aside time each day to get away from the noise and to wait on Him. I will be calling for a fast soon, which is a time of pulling away from things to wait on the Lord. Please start learning now and see what the Lord will do…
“When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. “Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” (MSG)