For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (Romans 8:14-16 NKJV)(Romans 8:14-16 NKJV)
For if I pray in tongues, my spirit is praying, but I don’t understand what I am saying. Well then, what shall I do? I will pray in the spirit, and I will also pray in words I understand. I will sing in the spirit, and I will also sing in words I understand.(1 Corinthians 14:14-15 NLT)
The Holy Spirit is abiding in your spirit. It is your spirit that picks up these things from the Holy Spirit and then passes them on to your mind by an inward intuition, or inward witness.Kenneth E. Hagin
For many of us, life sometimes resembles the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 19. He’s been through a tough time. After his great victory over the priests of Baal and the wonder of praying down rain after three and a half years, he finds himself intimidated by Jezebel. He’s frightened and discouraged. Angels bring him sustenance and he gets rested up, but he still doesn’t know what the future holds for him. God tells him to go out and stand on the mountain. Then the fun starts:
Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.(1 Kings 19:11-12 NKJV)
We have seen that faith requires that we believe we receive our healing when we pray. From that point forward, we know we should offer thanks that God has heard us, that we have the petition that we desired. But we also know we ought to be “doers of the Word, “and that “faith without works is dead.” So how do we behave as if we are healed? We’ve seen three simple principles for deciding what actions of faith to take:
That last one, following the leading of the spirit, is a real challenge for many. Living a life of sensitivity to the spirit on the inside, actually being led by the spirit, is not often emphasized in church. We tend to teach sound doctrine and clean living, and that’s good. But there are lots of moments in life when the next step is not clear cut. How do I navigate when the rule book doesn’t seem to cover my situation? Jesus said, “go in to all the world,” but I need to know which part is mine to go to. God said that, “it’s not good for the man to be alone,” and He seems to indicate that I should marry a Christian woman, but beyond that I am on my own. Lord, which one?
This is where many Christians are stuck in their battle for healing. They’ve followed the formula, but the healing seems to tarry. Their body hurts. Fear screams at them in the night. Medical costs are going higher and higher. Well-meaning friends are bombarding them with advice. When you start to ask, “What do I do?” or “Am I doing something wrong?” you need direction from the Formulator. Often, however, the mental clamor and emotional turbulence seems all encompassing. Like Elijah, you need to hear from God, but can’t do that until the storm dies down enough that the still small voice on the inside becomes audible.
Here’s the good news: you can do this. If you’re not sick at the moment, then praise God! You can start becoming spirit-conscious today. Then when trouble comes, you’ll be accustomed to listening and following. If you’re already sick, don’t despair, you can do this, too. It may take a bit more effort to get your mind to shut up and your emotions to calm down, but it can be done. It must be done. Here are a few simple truths you need to know:
- A clear conscience is key to following God. We looked at this in some detail in the last lesson. (Go here to review it) 1 Timothy 1: 5, 19
- The Holy Spirit imparts His guidance to your spirit. This most often will not be a “voice.” It’s more likely to be a “witness” or a sensing on the inside. Romans 8:16
- The natural atmosphere in your heart is peace. Anything other than peace is an indication that some adjustment is needed. John 14:27; 16:33
- You know the leading of the spirit. Yes, you do! The challenge is learning to recognize it and pay attention:
- The place on the inside where you know you’re a child of God is the place of His witness to your spirit. Romans 8:16 / 1 John 5:9-13
- That little “ick” you get in your spirit when you’re around some places or people is quite likely the witness of the Spirit to your spirit. Pay attention. Be alert. God may be trying to warn you. Acts 17:16 / John 13:21
- That sense of unrest about a particular course of action is probably the Spirit tapping the brakes. Don’t ignore it. 2 Corinthians 5:14 / Acts 16:6-7 / 2 Corinthians 2:13
- That place in your heart where you know you’re doing something wrong, that’s your spirit pulling you back from the cliff. Your head and flesh may say, “yes, eat that cookie,” but the spirit on the inside says, “Whoa!” Mark 14:32-38 / Galatians 5:16
Here’s the point: The Holy Spirit lives in you. He bears witness with your reborn human spirit to give insight to live by. Your body, your thinking, and your emotions are unreliable guides. Most of us have been taught to follow them all our lives. It’s “normal.” It requires purpose and practice to learn to live a Spirit-led life. Today is a good day to start. It can save your life or the life of someone you love.
Next Steps: Developing spiritual sensitivity:
- Obey your conscience. If there is some habit or attitude in your life that you don’t feel right about, take measures to stop it. Ask God’s forgiveness.
- Be quick to repent when you step out of love. Ask people to forgive you when you speak or act in a hurtful way. This will train you to be restrained by the love of God that’s in you.
- Wait for peace on the inside before you make decisions. It’s better to be slow than to charge ahead into chaos. Don’t let people pressure you into moving ahead of peace.
- Feed your heart on the Word of God. Review the passages in this lesson. As you read, take time to listen on the inside to how your spirit is responding. There will be places where your heart is stirred. Stop and meditate. Write down what the Spirit shows you.
- Pray much in other tongues. This is your spirit praying. Pray long enough that your mind begins to get quiet. Stop occasionally and listen on the inside. You will learn to hear your prayer language continuing in your heart after your physical voice has stopped. That is your human spirit speaking. Learn that voice. 1 Corinthians 14: 14-15
You can do this! You have the Spirit of the living God on the inside of you. He is imparting information to your spirit continually. Learn to pay attention! Make it a lifestyle. Consult the Word, consult the experts, consult your pastors, but in the end, it will boil down to you hearing from God.
Pastor Virgil Stokes