There’s a popular quote on Pinterest that says “to hear God’s voice, turn down the world’s volume” and whoever first said this was correct. Because in the midst of all life’s noise, how do you hear the Holy Spirit speak? Text messages, direct messages, messages on social feeds, email messages, and voice mail messages, everywhere we turn someone is telling us about something needing our attention right now. We’re so inundated with messages it’s a wonder anyone can hear the Holy Spirit speaking.
Goodness, I can barely hear myself amidst the noise.
Quietness has become a thing of the past, something many people have become so unacquainted with, it’s almost frightening.
1 Kings 19:11-13
I Heard Him Speak
The other day I put a sensor in my car that keeps track of my driving behavior and… If I pay attention to my driving, my insurance will cost less.
The first half of my trip, I did great.
I was focused on driving the right way and getting a high score. By the time I got back in my car to head home, I’d already forgotten about the sensor and pulled out my phone to send a quick voice text. After finishing my text and heading around a corner too fast, I heard the Holy Spirit speak.
“Hannah, you forget about my presence just as quickly as you forgot about the sensor. What would happen if you remembered me the same way you need to focus on your driving and not get distracted.”
Responding to The Holy Spirit
I’ve been meditating on those words for two weeks now. I desperately want to remember the Holy Spirit’s presence more than I remember a driving sensor.
I want to be still and quiet, even in the midst of life’s noise, so I can hear the Holy Spirit speak.
If you’re reading this, you’re likely wondering how the Holy Spirit speaks to us. And… I am so glad you’re here.
God’s Word says,
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that Gods’ Spirit dwells in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16
The Holy Spirit is tabernacling (dwelling) with us like God tabernacled with the Israelites, only better. The Israelites couldn’t go to God themselves, but we have direct access to God because of Jesus’ death for our sins.
Before Jesus returned to heaven He said,
“When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come.” John 16:13
When we know how the Holy Spirit speaks to us we’ll be able to listen and respond.
The Holy Spirit Speaks Through God’s Thoughts
This morning before doing my Bible study, I prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to communicate God’s thoughts to me. I really try to do this before I do most things… Read my Bible, write, record the podcast, teach, talk to anyone about “spiritual” things, etc.
Because I can’t understand or properly communicate the things of God unless the Holy Spirit speaks to me and reveals God’s truths.
Here, Paul’s saying he did the same thing and didn’t speak about spiritual things unless the Holy Spirit had spoken to him.
We’re not to use our own words and ideas to convey God’s truths though, we’re to speak whatever the Holy Spirit’s taught us.
Isn’t that awesome!
The tricky part is knowing it’s the Holy Spirit speaking to us and not someone or something else. And… this takes practice.
- This week, listen for ways the Holy Spirit is speaking God’s thoughts to you.
He could speak to you through God’s Word, other people, spiritual gifts, or directly to your spirit and heart.
No worries though… We’re going to look at each of these things next.
The Spirit of God Speaks Through Our Spirit
Both of these verses are talking about the Holy Spirit communicating directly with our human spirit.
When the Holy Spirit speaks to our spirit it can be hard to describe. It’s like a deep “you know that you know that you know” feeling. The kind of knowing we might call a “gut feeling” or say we “knew in our gut.”
It’s the kind of knowing that moves us to action and leaves us completely at peace with whatever the Holy Spirit’s communicated.
It was the Holy Spirit speaking to my spirit that led me back to Washington, led me to my amazing church, and leads me to witness to strangers. You might have stories about not doing something because you had a “gut feeling” and later realized it was the Holy Spirit speaking to you… Maybe even protecting you.
- Think back to times you’ve had those “gut feelings.”
- What were they about?
- Did you recognize it was the Holy Spirit speaking to you?
- Do you recognize it now?
When the Holy Spirit speaks to our spirit it seldom comes with an audible voice or words, just a check in our spirit at just the right time, and always for just the right reason.
This knowledge or witness the Holy Spirit imparts can also involve Scripture and how He opens it up and brings it to life as we read and study it.
The Holy Spirit Speaks Through God’s Word
Sunday, my friend and I wandered off our normal walking path and immediately the Holy Spirit spoke to me by putting a verse in my head. This is one way the Holy Spirit speaks to us, He reminds us of God’s Word and brings it to mind just when we need it.
Every time the Holy Spirit speaks to me this way I’m reminded of Psalm 119:105,
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Regular, purposeful time reading and studying God’s Word comes with mind-blowing benefits.
So… If you’re wondering how the Holy Spirit speaks to you, open your Bible and before reading, ask the Holy Spirit to make God’s Word come alive to you.
Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you, teach you, and guide you.
- How has the Holy Spirit spoken to you through God’s Word?
Maybe He’s helped you understand a verse or spoken to you by putting a verse in your head at just the right time or… one of countless other ways.
The Holy Spirit speaks to us by bringing God’s Word to life and showing us how to use it throughout our life.
The Holy Spirit Speaks Through Others
Oh…goodness, I’m preaching at myself with this one. If there’s one thing I struggle with, it’s being open and accepting of the way the Holy Spirit speaks to me through others.
I’m still learning that having wise, Godly friends and family is truly a gift from the Lord.
There’s not enough paper to list how many foolish decisions I’ve made because I didn’t heed “wise guidance.”
What about you?
Ever get so determined to do something that you came up with all sorts of reasons to ignore the “wise guidance” the Holy Spirit spoke to you with?
I sure have and when we do this, we’re ignoring how the Holy Spirit uses other people to speak to us.
When we do this we can rest assured that our plans are in line with God’s will.
- Is there something you’ve done without listening to wise guidance?
- What, and how’d things turn out?
- Based on this verse, how should you change your decision-making process?
- What kind of people should you go to for guidance?
When we allow the Holy Spirit to speak to us through others, our plans will be directed by God and for His glory.
The Spirit Speaks Through His Gifts
If you read 1 Corinthians 12 & 14 you’ll notice many of the Holy Spirit’s gifts are vocal. Our ability to speak words of wisdom, knowledge, prophecy, tongues and interpret tongues are all vocal gifts of the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit speaks to us and then, depending on the spiritual gift, we use our gift to build someone up. That’s why Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14:1,
“Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.”
Because “the one who prophesies builds up the church.” 1 Corinthians 14:4b
The next time you feel that little Holy Spirit push to talk to someone or the next time someone asks your opinion about something, think about this.
We also need to remember that if He remains silent…we should follow suit.
- Have you ever taken a spiritual gifts test to determine what gifts of the Spirit you have?
- If not, the one you can find here is great (we use it at my church).
- How would hearing the Holy Spirit speak to you change what, when, or how you speak to others?
When we hear the Holy Spirit speaking to us, we should ask how we’re to use what He’s said to build others up in love.
My friend, the Holy Spirit speaks to you and I pray this has shown you some of the ways God communicates with us through His Spirit.
The different ways the Holy Spirit speaks to us are also evidence as to why it’s important we’re careful about what we fill our hearts and minds with.
Jesus left us with the Holy Spirit so He could lead us through everything in life and I pray this post allows you to say, “speak, Your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10
That you’ll listen for the Holy Spirit and obey whatever He speaks to you. When you do this…
The Holy Spirit plants heaven in your heart, puts your Abba Father in your mouth, and illuminates you with Jesus’ presence. John 16:14, Romans 8:15, Ephesians 1:13-14
Until next time meditate on these verses…
“He will glorify Me, for He will take what is Mine and declare it to you.” John 16:14
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” Romans 8:15
“In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14