Contributor: Leye Olayiwola
What an awesome time we had last week. We dwelt on "The Voice of the Flesh - Feeling". We summarised at the end of the teaching that our feelings should draw strength from deep insight (knowledge). We also agreed that though we can not walk with God through feelings but faith, our feelings have been given to us for the purpose of effectively relating with each other and alsoin other to exercise self control. Today, we will be considering The Voice of The Holy Spirit.
1. Ways By Which God Personalises His Message To Us
During one of our past teachings in this series, The Inward Voice to be precise, we outlined the three (3) distinct ways that God relates His messages to us. These ways are;
a) Inward Witness or Intuition:
In Romans 8:14 we read,
"For as many as are led by the Sprit of God, they are the sons of God."
b) The Inward Voice:
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. 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 - Voice of The Holy Spirit:
This is the third way that God leads us. Through the voice of the Spirit of God speaking to us. The difference between the inward voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to our spirits and that still small voice (voice of our own spirit) speaking to us is that the Holy Spirit's voice is more authoritative. 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. Sometimes it is so real it almost seems to be an audible voice; you may even look around to see who said it. It may seem so audible sometimes that you may think someone behind you said something. But then you realise it was in you.
"All of God's leadings are supernatural; some, however, are not so spectacular. But I have found in more than fifty years of ministry that when God moved in a more spectacular way—when He has spoken to me in what seemed to me to be an audible voice—it meant there was rough sailing ahead. If He had not spoken so spectacularly I would not have stayed steady."
2. It is Expedient
The word Expedient is defined as suitable or efficient for accomplishing a purpose. As believers, the voice of the Holy Spirit is expedient in our effective walk with the Lord. John 16:7-15 [KJV];
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Time will not permit us to discuss this scripture in details in the light of the topic today. However, we can quickly highlight some few points from the words of Jesus Christ. .
• IMPORTANCE: He, The LORD, said......"It is expedient". Another translation says "It is important". So the first point here is that Jesus himself emphasises the importance of Himself leaving the scene so that the Holy Spirit can come. Let's pause and think about this for a moment.
• REASON: Reason for Jesus's exit from the scene is so that the Holy Spirit can come. We can reliably conclude that the Holy Spirit would not have come (which would therefore mean that we as believers would have missed out on the blessings of having the Holy Spirit) if Jesus had not gone away!
• PURPOSE: One of the purposes of the Holy Spirit's coming is to provide guidance through revelations and instructions - ".....not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." Can you just imagine (for a moment) what life will be like without the Holy Spirit? Let's pause for a moment and discuss this.
Take note that Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will speak whatever He hears. This reiterates the truth that He has a voice (and he hears too). This is one of the reasons why today's topic is of utmost importance.
3. Obedience Is Critical
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
The following critical lessons will be useful.
• Jesus emphaises the importance of adding action (obedience) to what we say. It is important to note and observe that we (like the Holy Spirit) only say what we hear the Holy Spirit say. The same way the Holy Spirit says only what He hears from the father in John 16:13.
• Notice also the use of the word "practice". The word practice is defined as habitual or customary performane. This simply reiterates the need to be careful of our attitude and response to the promptings or voice of the Holy Spirit.
• Jesus Christ further emphasises the importance of obedience by comparing two categories of people - The Obedient and The Disobedient (lackadaisical/ carelessly lazy) people. Take note that both category of people actually hear what the Holy Spirit is saying. The difference is what each category does with what he/she hears.
As we conclude on today's study, we all need to examine ourselves. Most of us (if not all of us) hear and may have heard in the past, the voice of the Holy Spirit. The question is, what have been (and still is) our attitude towards His instructions and directions? Have we always obey these instructions or are we negligent and careless about them? We must be careful and cautious about our daily attitude towards these instructions so we don't end up developing damaging and destructive habits.