Thursday, March 26 2015
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
In last week’s study, we considered the effects of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer. We looked at scriptures that tell us the Holy Spirit dwells in us; the nature of Spirit’s indwelling and the result of the Spirit’s indwelling. We concluded that The Holy Spirit, our Counsellor, Teacher and Intercessor indwells us and makes it possible for us to access God’s power. He impacts the life of God (God’s nature) into our spirits. However, it is up to each Christian to surrender his own will and allow himself to be constantly influenced by the Spirit so that He can produce His evident presence in him.
In today’s study, as a continuation, we will consider the topic - God Inside. The Holy Spirit is God inside of us and what he requires from us.
1 Corinthians 3:16
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
• How the Holy Spirit Makes Us His Temple
When we become born again, the Holy Spirit (God’s Spirit) starts living and abiding in our spirits. The only reason our body becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit is because our body is the temple of our own spirits.
• How the Holy Spirit Communicates
2 Corinthians. 6:16
"... for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God and they shall be my people"
Since God is dwelling in us that is where He will speak to us – from inside of us! And so He communicates with us through our spirits. It is our spirits that pick up messages from the Holy Spirit and then pass them on to our minds by an inward intuition, or inward witness. It is our conscience that is the voice of our spirits. He does not communicate directly with our minds—He is not in our minds.
GOD (IN US) WANTS TO REVEAL HIS PLANS
The original relationship God had with Adam and Eve in the beginning is what He wishes to have with us today; that’s why He said “I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God and they shall be my people.” There are amazing things God wishes to reveal to us; the things He’s prepared for us, but it is by His Spirit as we see in 1 Corinthians 2:9-11
“However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” the things God has prepared for those who love him these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”
Job 32:8 “But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding”
Our spirit knows things that our heads don’t know, because the Holy Spirit is in our spirits and searches all things, even the deep things of God; and divulges such to us through our spirits.
WHAT THE HOLY SPIRIT REQUIRES FROM US
There are several requirements but in light of this study, trust, patient waiting, and obedience are essential requirements. All three are closely related.
"The Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!" -- Isaiah 30:18
"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him." -- Psalm 37:7
Waiting is not something many of us do well. Our culture engenders a sort of vending machine mentality in us. We want things instantly don’t we? Because we want to do it all and do it now, so when God says "not yet" it would sound like a "not ever" to our ears.
A. B. Simpson once wrote: "There are some spiritual conditions that cannot be accomplished in a moment. The breaking up of the fallow ground takes time. The frosts of winter are as necessary as the rains of spring to prepare the soil for fertility. God has to break our hearts to pieces by the slow process of His discipline, and grind every particle to powder, and then to mellow us and saturate us with His blessed Spirit, until we are open for the blessing He has to give us."
Kenneth Hagin shared a story of a Full Gospel minister friend of his who was in three serious automobile accidents. After he heard Kenneth teach along some of these lines he said to him, "Brother Hagin, every one of those accidents could have been avoided if I had listened to that inward intuition." He admitted that he had an intuition that something was about to happen— and that he would have waited a little bit and prayed. Instead he thought, he was too busy and didn't have time to pray."
Many times, if we would have waited (Psalm 37:7), God would have by His Spirit shown us things or guided us aright and we could have avoided many mishaps. (Isaiah 30:18)
SEVEN STEPS FOR EFFECTIVE "WAITING ON THE HOLY SPIRIT."
1. Begin by quieting your own spirit. God doesn't always come in dramatic ways like He encountered Moses on Mt. Sinai or Paul on the Damascus Road. Be willing to listen for the "gentle whisper" of the Spirit that Elijah heard (1 Kings 19:11-13).
2. Open up your life totally to Jesus. Lift your heart toward God.
3. Seek the truth about yourself. Think about what you do that falls short of Christ-likeness and ask for forgiveness. Move to eliminate those behaviours.
4. Ask the Holy Spirit to shine His convicting light on any tucked-away rancour and bitterness in your heart. Ask for forgiveness and cleansing from those attitudes (Mark 11:25)
5. Invite the Holy Spirit to take control of your schedule, agendas, timetables and calendars.
6. Realize that waiting on the Holy Spirit doesn't mean aimless thumb twiddling. As you wait, do all things "in a fitting and orderly way" (1 Corinthians 14:40)
7. Yearn to sense the Holy Spirit's presence in your life. In your mind's eye, visualize that He has come and is present.
Since God is dwelling in us that is where He will speak to us – from inside of us!
Although we can hear God speak to us through various means ultimately it's our spirits He wishes to communicate with. That's why we hear people say things like "when I heard so and so, something was quickened in my spirit."
Proverbs 20:27 (NIV) tells us that: “The human spirit is the lamp of the LORD that sheds light on one's inmost being”
He ultimately wants to commune with us “Spirit to spirit” but when we haven't developed our spirits to that point He uses other means. Let's begin to develop our spirits, and learn to listen to them so we can harness all the amazing precious promises He’s made to us!
Thursday, March 19 2015
Contributor: Akin Akande
In the last two weeks, we have looked at two important ways the Holy Spirit guides believers with a number of examples: inward witness and inward voice. Particularly, we understand that the spirit of a man (the inward man) has a voice—just as the outward man has a voice. This is often referred to as conscience or the still small voice. The crucial part, as we discussed, is following the witness and/or the still small voice that the Holy Spirit impresses on our heart. This is what we must endeavor to do as we journey through the Christian race. The Lord will continue to help and strengthen us to obey (Amen).
This week, we shall consider the effects of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer and it is my desire these effects will be our daily experiences in the kingdom in Jesus’ name (Amen)
Does the Holy Spirit dwell in believers?
John 14:17, 1 Cor. 3:16, Rom. 8:9, 1 John 3:24
1 Cor. 6:19 - Our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in us because we are bought with a price. Everyone who has been purchased (redeemed) by the blood of Christ also has the Spirit of God dwelling in him.
Clearly the Spirit does dwell in people today. In fact, the Spirit dwells in ALL true children of God, and He begins to dwell in us at the moment we become God's children (not at some later point).
The nature of Spirit’s indwelling
John 14:23 says "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him."
So how do we know that the Holy Spirit resides in us? Even though we cannot see the indwelling Spirit and most often than not difficult for many believers to sense the indwelling Spirit, what must be evident in our lives are the effects the Holy Spirit has on our lives and our actions (John 3:8). These proofs will show that He dwells in us and He can only have an affect on us and control our lives if we allow Him.
The Result of the Spirit’s Indwelling: A Personal Empowering Presence
As a result of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19) it is now possible for the Christian to be permanently in communion with God. Not only does the Christian have access to God, but also access to His power (Ephesians 3:16-21). This power will trigger certain experiences indicating the visible manifestations of the Spirit’s presence (1 Corinthians 2:4-5, Galatians 3:5, Romans 15:19). This is indeed expected as Jesus promised His disciples that they would receive power when the Spirit came (Acts 1:8).
This “power” may imply miraculous manifestations but not necessarily always so. For example, it may just be in a way that believers behave towards one another. Other times the presence of the Holy Spirit reveals miraculous signs either in the lives of believers or in the church.
When you have the life and nature of God in you, your conscience will not permit you to do just anything. And if you are born again, you have the life of God (John 3:16 and Rom. 6:23).
1 JOHN 5:13
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that YE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE....
Have is present tense. We have eternal life now. If you are a born-again Christian, you have the life of God in your spirit now. You have the nature of God in your spirit now.
Oh! If people would learn to follow their spirits! If they would learn to take advantage of the life that is in them!
?X Healing from heart condition
?X Regenerated mental capability by the life of God and following the instruction of the Holy Spirit. He confessed the following daily as directed by the Holy Spirit on his way to school and we can do the same too.
“Now, Lord, I read in the Old Testament where Daniel and the three Hebrew children were in school in Babylon and You gave them favor with the dean of the school (Dan. 1:9). God, give me favor with every teacher. Thank You for it; I have it now. I also read, that when their three years of training were over, the three Hebrew children were ten times smarter than the rest (vv. 18-20). Lord, I have Your life in me. John 1:4 says, 'In him was life; and the life was the light of men.' Light stands for development. Impart to me knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom that I may be ten times better...."
"In Him was life and the life was the light of men. That life is in me. The life of God is in me. That life is the light—it is the development of me. It is developing my spirit. It is developing my mentality. I have God in me. I have God's wisdom in me. I have God's life in me. That life of God in my spirit dominates me. I purpose in my heart to walk in the light of life."
Note: He didn’t skip school; he studied hard and listened attentively in class. In addition the eternal life in him produced tremendous results in his mental faculty revealing the very presence of the Spirit of God in him. That can happen to us too! Not only in the above mentioned aspects of life, but in every area as we trust and depend on Him.
The Holy Spirit, who is our Counselor, Teacher and Intercessor indwells us and makes it possible for us to access God’s power. He impacts the life of God (God’s nature) into our spirits. This deposit can do great and might things in our day-to-day activities that showcase the presence of the Almighty God in the Person of the Holy Spirit residing in us. However, it is up to each Christian to surrender his own will and allow himself to be constantly influenced by the Spirit so that He can produce His evident presence in him.
Wednesday, March 11 2015
Contributor: Leye Olayiwola
In the past weeks, we have been studying the primary ways that the Holy Spirit guides us as children of the most high. We have studied on leading through the Inward Witness and subsequently on Following the Inner Witness. Today, by the grace of God, we will be looking at another way that God leads - The Inward Voice.
1. WAYS BY WHICH GOD PERSONALISES HIS MESSAGE TO US
Although most Christians wish to be led by the Holy Spirit, most end up not figuring out how. By looking through bible teachings, there are three (3) distinct ways that God personalises His messages to us His children. These are;
A) Inward Witness Or Intuition:
We actually dwelt on this at the last bible study. God, as the Holy Spirit, living within us will speak to our spirit. As the direct result we have an understanding of what God's will is! Our mind was not involved, our physical feelings were not involved; but our spirit heard from God and let our mind know. Many times we think we just thought up the idea that God had given us. In Romans 8:14 we read,
"For as many as are led by the Sprit of God, they are the sons of God."
God leads us directly in this present age. Prophets do not lead us. Prophets, however, may confirm or encourage us in the direction that God has already shown to us.
b) The Inward Voice:
We will be considering this in details in this study. In Romans 9:1-2 (NIV), we read:
"I speak the truth in Christ-I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit-I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart."
We call the re-created conscience the "still small voice." In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we read: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (NIV) The life of God is inside us. This new creation is the "everlasting life" mentioned in John 3:16 and many other places. Thinking that the conscience is just natural, many times we turn a "deaf" ear to this voice. Also sometimes we don't listen because we don't want to do what God wants us to do.
c) God's Audible Voice:
This is the third way that God passes His message across to us. By speaking inside us. We may look around to see who else is in the room, wondering who just spoke. This voice is more authoritative. Most of the time He uses the first way, sometimes the second way, very seldom the third way. We must not require God to perform for us. He may not speak out loud to you. We must never tell God what to do.
Many times we miss God because we want the spectacular, rather than the supernatural. Any way that God leads is supernatural; the "audible voice" is also spectacular. God does not jump through hoops just because we want Him to meet our expectations. See I Samuel 3:10:
"The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening." (NIV)
Read the whole third chapter of 1 Samuel for the total story of young Samuel hearing God speaking inside of him. To Samuel, the voice seemed to be audible. At first Samuel did not know it was God, but with Prophet Eli's instruction, he listened to God's message. This truly is spectacular as well as supernatural. Yet we don't read of Samuel normally hearing from God in this manner.
2. THE SPIRIT MAN HAS A VOICE.
The number one way that the Spirit guides us is through the inward witness. Number two is by the inward voice. The spirit of man (i.e. the inward man or the real man) has a voice. The voice is referred to as the conscience. We call this voice the still small voice. You know, when you were driving and suddenly you sense - you have a feeling deep inside, telling you to stop, or slow down. You can’t explain it, but you know it is true. Then, as you go further you see a serious accident ahead.
Your spirit (and my spirit) has a voice and our spirit will speak (and is always speaking) to us by picking up what the Holy Spirit is saying . When the Holy Spirit speaks, it is more authoritative. But the still small voice is the voice of our own spirit speaking. Our own spirit receives instructions and guidance from the Holy Spirit, who is in us. It is therefore important to understand the ministry of the Holy Spirit of God in this area.
3. THE HOLY SPIRIT AND OUR SPIRIT.
We will study the gospel according to St. John 16:7-14 [AMP] in details.
However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you].
8 And when He comes, He will convict and convince the world and bring demonstration to it about sin and about righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God) and about judgment:
9 About sin, because they do not believe in Me [trust in, rely on, and adhere to Me];
10 About righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God), because I go to My Father, and you will see Me no longer;
11 About judgment, because the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world [Satan] is judged and condemned and sentence already is passed upon him.
12 I have still many things to say to you, but you are not able to bear them or to take them upon you or to grasp them now.
13 But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future].
14 He will honor and glorify Me, because He will take of (receive, draw upon) what is Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you.
Kindly take note of the followings;
• Jesus was talking to His disciples about what will happen when He leaves them. Notice also that He emphasised that it is profitable for us (His disciples) that He should go away.
• The Holy Spirit was sent to us to be our counselor, our adviser on personal problems, the one who gives us advise; our helper, our assistant, our advocate and more. The Holy Spirit has been given to us to help us through anything and everything we could ever face, but in order for that guidance to benefit us, our spirit has to be in agreement with His Spirit. Romans 9:1 [AMP] reads;
I am speaking the truth in Christ. I am not lying; my conscience [enlightened and prompted] by the Holy Spirit bearing witness with me [emphasis mine]
• However, our conscience (still small voice) can only be enlightened or prompted by the Holy Spirit if we maintain purity of heart. Titus 1:15 says;
"To the pure [in heart and conscience] all things are pure, but to the defiledand corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure; their very minds and consciences are defiled and polluted."
• How may we maintain purity of heart? Philipians 4:8 and Colosians 3:1-2 give us the clue.
"For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence andis honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovelyand lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtueand excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh andtake account of these things [fix your minds on them]." [Phil.4:8 AMP]
"If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
2 And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth." [Colosians 3:1-2]
As believers in the Lord Jesus, we must be confident of our status as God's children. No good parent will leave his or her child or children without directions. That will be bad parenting, right? It is therefore a settled matter that God is always willing at every moment of our lives to give us instructions and directions through the Inward Witness and Inward Voice by our spirit being in agreement with His Spirit. Let's always be conscious of this and confident to always ask for His guidance and directions because it is our right as His beloved. Shalom!
Thursday, March 05 2015
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
Last week we studied the Inward Witness and learnt that it was the number one, or primary way that God mostly leads us as Christians. We also learnt how to develop and trust the witness inside of us. In today’s study, we will consider following or more appropriately obeying the witness. We will from this lesson discover why for most believers it is a struggle to follow the witness inside of us and how we can apply this teaching in our day to day lives.
First we will take a quick look at how it was back in the days of old and now.
THE TIMES OF OLD
In the Old Testament, determining God's will appears to have been an easy task. For instance, the Israelites in the wilderness had only to observe and follow the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. They did not have to be spiritual to know when and where to move. Also, when the high-priest sought to find God's will, all he had to do was to cast the `Urim and Thummim' in the Lord's presence and they indicated `Yes' or `No'. (Exodus 28:30)
It was all so simple, because it was external and easily apprehended by man's physical senses.
Knowing God's will appears to be so much more difficult for us in this day and age. The reason is that God wants us to prove for ourselves what His perfect will is (Rom.12:2). The Holy Spirit now lives in a believer to be his Guide, and He replaces all the external means of guidance that existed in the Old Testament. The Lord provided external guidance for the Israelites but inward guidance for us and this demands for our sensitivity to the voice of the Spirit as we see among the early Christians.
• In the Acts of the Apostles, we find Philip acting on the inner urging of the Spirit and joining the chariot of the Ethiopian statesman (Acts 8:29);
• Peter obeying the inner voice of the Spirit directing him to go to Cornelius's house (Acts 10:19,20); and the leaders in the church at Antioch recognizing the witness of the Holy Spirit in their spirits confirming the call of Saul and Barnabas to foreign missionary service (Acts 13:2).
The same Spirit desires to guide each of us today in every decision.
FOLLOWING THE WITNESS
Number 1 requirement is Recognition - recognizing the voice of the Spirit
Most times the inward witness is there but we don't recognize it.
Mostly because we want the Lord to move in some spectacular way—we want some kind of word, tongues and interpretation, a prophecy, or God just to write His mind up in the sky!
“When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” John 10:4
SO HOW CAN WE RECOGNIZE THE VOICE OF THE SPIRIT?
We can distinguish the voice of the Holy Spirit by the increasing pressure He produces in our spirits and the growing peace He gives to our minds, as we pray over a matter.
"Following after the Holy Spirit leads to life and peace" (Rom.8:6-TLB).
The Devil's voice is usually harassing and often accompanied by threats of judgment, if we do not obey instantly. The Bible says, "... he that believeth shall not make haste" (Isa. 28:16).
Faith doesn't get in a hurry. The devil will try to push you. He will try to move you out of faith, move you into doubt, move you into unbelief, and get you away from the leading of God.
God invariably gives us sufficient time to consider and be sure of His will.
THE PLACE OF OUR CONSCIENCE
“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost.” Romans 9:1
The number one way that we receive the leadership of the Holy Spirit is through the inner witness in our spirits and the conscience is the “voice” of our human spirit; it is the conduit by which that leadership comes. Habitually violating the conscience is the surest path to becoming hardened to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
1Timothy 1:19 [NLT] says:
“Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.”
It is often not easy for us to distinguish between our own heart's voice and the voice of the Spirit, for our hearts are so deceitful. For instance, when considering a possible life-partner, we can easily mistake the emotional pressure and the "growing feeling of peace and joy at every contemplation of the proposed step", for the witness of the Holy Spirit.
HOW TO LESSEN THE POSSIBILITY OF FALLING FOR THE DECEIT OF OUR HEARTS
• We should examine our motives and make sure we desire the glory of God alone
• We should be prepared to accept whatever He chooses for us
Because it is usually where we fail to yield or where our motives are selfish that we go astray.
God's will may sometimes be just what we like ourselves, but it can also be what we do not instinctively like. We should not think God's will is always the most difficult course of action that lies before us. Neither need it be the easiest course of action.
For instance, when we are in a difficult situation or a tough job, we may be tempted to run away from the place. This can easily be mistaken for the leading of the Spirit. On such occasions, if we are in doubt, it is better to take the more difficult step and to trust God to give us grace to manifest Christ's victory in our situation.
PRACTICAL STEPS FOR DECISION MAKING
Someone once suggested these practical steps, when we need to decide on a course of action, and I think we can practice this:
• Draw a line across a sheet of paper and write down all the reasons for doing a particular thing on one side, and all the reasons against it on the other (like a balance sheet)
• Pray over these reasons daily and revise the list as necessary.
• Be sincerely willing to accept either course of action.
• As you continue to pray, the Holy Spirit will give you a witness in your spirit as to what you are to do. If you experience a growing peace in your spirit about a particular course of action, this will usually be a clear indication of what God wants you to do.
The Bible says, "Let the peace (which comes) from Christ (through the Holy Spirit), rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts - deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds" (Col. 3:15-Amplified).
• We should check ourselves when we lose our peace.
• We should proceed ahead only when we have perfect peace in our spirits.
We all will love to be led by the Holy Spirit. We want to be able to make decisions; great or small and be at peace when we make them as we trust God for His ultimate will to come to pass in our lives. But we really don't need any supernatural sign; or a supernatural writing in the sky. These will be “nice to have” but if we know on the inside of us what God wants us to do; we should just go ahead and do it. It is true that quite a number of us really don’t have a problem with hearing God; but our problem is with obeying God. Especially when what He’s asked us to do is contrary to what our flesh desires. But our consciences keep us in check; that is why we should not make it a habit of violating our consciences.
Monday, March 02 2015
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
The number one way, the primary way that we are mostly led as Christians is by the inward witness. The inward witness is just as supernatural as guidance through visions and so on; it is just not as spectacular. Many people are looking for the spectacular and missing the supernatural that is right there all the time. Some of us have also spent most of our lives in the mental and physical realm; developing our intellect at the expense of our heart until our intellect has become the dominant force in our life. And our spirit—which should be our guide—has been kept locked away in prison, so to speak, and has not been permitted to function.
In today’s study we will flip the “coin” over and learn how to develop and trust the witness inside of us.
Romans 8:16 “The Spirit itself [Himself] beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God”
Leading in the Old Testament vs leading in the New Testament
In the Old Testament the prophets would say, "And the Word of the Lord came unto me saying...."
Have you ever wondered how it came?
It could not have been literally audible.
If it had been audible everyone present would have heard it—the prophet would not have had to tell the people what the Spirit said. The Word of the Lord came to the prophet's spirit from the Spirit of God. It is so real that it seems audible at the time.
The prophet of the New Testament is very similar to the prophet of the Old Testament in that the prophet of the Old Testament was called a 'seer' because he saw and knew things supernaturally.
The ultimate guidance for a Christian under the New Testament should be through the Holy Spirit. He or she need not seek guidance through prophets. He or she might receive guidance through prophets, but he should not seek it or rely on it.
The ministry of the New Testament prophet in this area is only to confirm what people already have in their own spirits.
Under the Old Covenant, only the priest, the prophet, and the king were anointed by the Holy Spirit to stand in those offices. Not all the people had the Spirit of God upon them or in them. Therefore, under the Old Covenant, people would seek guidance through the prophet because he had the Spirit of God."
Under the New Testament, we not only have the Spirit of God upon us—we have Him in us!
1 Corinthians 6:19
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
Ezekiel 36:26, 27 also says:
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”
Being led vs putting out a fleece.
In putting out a fleece, one prays something like this: "Lord, if you want me to do this—then You do that." Or, "God, if you want me to do this, then have that happen."
There are instances in the old testament when people of old did that; Gideon, Hezekiah, etc. But God has a better way of leading His children than by a hit-and-miss method such as fleeces.
'For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God'" (Rom. 8:14)
The Bible does not say, "As many as are led by fleeces, they are the children of God."
It is dangerous for Spirit-filled Christians to put out fleeces instead of relying on the leading of the Holy Spirit because these “fleeces” could be perverted by the devil.
Importance of understanding the leading of the Holy Spirit by the inward witness
It prevents us from going astray, missing the mark, engaging in activities that could lead us to ruin, etc.
“And your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, this is the way; walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21 AMP)
“And if you leave God’s paths and go astray, you will hear a voice behind you say, “No, this is the way; walk here.” (Isaiah 30:21 TLB)
Developing our spirit and following the leading of the Holy Spirit by the inward witness.
• One way to do that is to feed on God’s Word. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4).
• Another way to develop our spirit is to follow after love. The Scriptures say that God is love (1 John 4:8, 16). If we’re not listening to love, we’re not listening to the voice of God. If we are walking in love, we are following after God. We’re going to have to train our spirit to hear the voice of God on love in order to develop enough to hear His voice in other areas.
• A third way to develop our spirit and become more sensitive to the inward witness is by praying much in other tongues. When we pray in tongues, our spirit is in contact with the Father of spirits. The more we pray in tongues, the more we become sensitive to our spirit. After a while, we’ll know on the inside whether the Holy Spirit is saying yes or no, even in the minor incidents of life.
The inward witness is God’s number-one way of leading His children as we see in Romans 8:16. This inward witness of the Spirit of God is in us already (1 John 5:10).
God lets us know we are His children by the inward witness. We need to trust the witness inside of us and don’t ignore the “checks” in our spirits when He speaks.
When you believe you have the inward witness, you won’t make haste (Isaiah 28:16).