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!