Search This Blog

Monday, June 7, 2010

How Do You Listen to the Spirit?

The Bible speaks of us as three parts of a whole. We are body, soul and spirit. The body is our means of being identified in this world. It is our physical self that transports us from place to place. It houses our brains which is the information processor for our contact with this world.

The soul is composed of our mind, will and emotions. We generally talk of our souls when we are describing who we are.  We tell others what we are interested in, what makes us happy, sad or mad and what we want to do with our lives. This is our soul.

Our spirit is our means of communicating with the Holy Spirit who is God. Our spirits are dead from sin before we come to know Christ. This doesn't mean that our spirits are non-existent. It means that like a dead person cannot be affected by the world around him, our spirit cannot be affected by the Holy Spirit. Our spirit is made alive by giving our lives to Christ. It is at this point that we can communicate with the Holy Spirit.

Yet, many people who claim to know Christ also claim they have never had an encounter with the Holy Spirit. Something is wrong when this happens. Hearing the Spirit should be a normal experience for the believer.

While no one can make the Spirit speak, there is certainly times when He does. The lack of hearing the Spirit is why people don't read their Bibles. They are so bored reading words that do not apply to them. On the other hand, people who read the Bible as the Spirit speaks to them are excited because it seems as if every word was written for them. They are convicted, taught, challenged, led, given insight, encouraged and sometimes rebuked while reading the Scriptures.

Admittedly, there are no formulas for hearing the Spirit. There are times He speaks to us when we are far from Him. However, those are extreme cases. Usually, the person who sets his mind on the Spirit will hear from the Spirit and those who set their minds on the flesh will not hear from the Spirit. The latter will not be dead but they will certainly be playing dead. They have allowed the things of this world to choke out the words of the Spirit. They would honestly say that the Christian life is boring. They would look for a more exciting place for church. They would seek new revelations which will give them greater insight in spiritual matters. They will seek teachers who will tickle their ears rather than rattle their cages.

Hearing from the Spirit is as easy (or as hard, depending on how you look at it) as making a full commitment to the Lord. Say, "I confess that I have not listened to Your Spirit, Lord. I make a full commitment to You today that I will do whatever You say. I ask You to speak for I am your servant who is fully committed to you."

I have found amazing things to have happened when I did this. I have picked up my Bible and read something that I have often read before but this time I have gotten a new understanding which applied to my life and what the Lord wanted me to do. I have found that my prayer life is completely changed when I pray as the Spirit leads. I see the things that God is doing and pray for them. I see God change the world around me through these prayers. I know that it isn't me that is working but my spirit is communicating with the Holy Spirit to know (some of) the mind of God.

Sometimes the Holy Spirit waits for me to be quiet before He speaks. I pray my prayer of commitment to Him. I continue to pray until I am silent. Then, He speaks. I wonder if He was just waiting for me to be quiet. He did not want to interrupt.

It should be normal for every believer to hear the Spirit speak. The reason believers fail to listen is because they have something between Him and themselves.  They would hear from the Spirit if they would simply repent, confess and commit themselves to the Lord.

I believe the Holy Spirit has a lot to say to us today. Are you listening?

1John 4:13 (ESV)
By this we know that we abide in him and he is us, because he has given us his Spirit.

No comments: