Paying attention to God's voice and being directed by the Holy Spirit changes ordinary life into a divine venture brim full of inner peace and spiritual health. I just love trailing after the Lord into events I could never have engineered or invented. And it takes place every day! Eventually being a "heaven-directed" person is within the grasp of each born again believer. As a matter of fact it is a normal component of our life in Christ-- a thing which is clearly anticipated by Jesus who said, "My sheep hear My voice." |
1) Bible. This is our bedrock, the authority we build all else upon to ensure that we recognize any ungodly thought or urge and turn away from it. Keep in mind, God is not the only one speaking to us. The world around us, the carnal nature and the devil also demand our focus and can easily seem very convincing. The truth of the Bible discloses every lie, establishing clearly what the moral perimeters are and providing basic requirements to be guided by. You should always make this at the head of the line! Anything that is plainly taught needs to be lived by, or the unfavorable consequences will be impossible to avoid. Notwithstanding, there are choices we have to make all day that scripture isn't specific enough to cover. That's precisely why the Lord gave us His Spirit to follow, not just His Word.
2) Conscience. You don't need to be Jiminy Cricket to figure out that you should let conscience be your guide. Both conscience and common sense are presents from God which enable us to know the next right thing to do. After that it falls to us to consider if we intend to do it. Father God will not force our free will. Whenever you honestly would like to be directed by Him, the Holy Spirit will show you a good desire that is safe to follow, a clear necessity that should be taken care of, or a authentic moral duty to fulfill. These 3 "divine guides" are our beginning points for being taught how to lend an ear to God more specifically.
3) Spiritual Perceptions. Each of our five senses can certainly be activated by the Spirit of God as a pathway of interaction . But bear in mind, these perceptions are often tenuous and indefinite. It honestly takes a ton of experience to "have our senses trained" for discerning the finer points of guidance according to the writer of Hebrews (5:14). These aspects of the still, small voice call for attentive observing! I have followed a lead from the psalmist (131:1-2) to create a peaceful place within me so that I can make out the "whis"--the half whis-pered inner voice. This takes some patience but it is well worth it to obtain the discernment as well as delight of the next great thing to do!
4) Consensus of Wise Advice. Despite the fact there is no substitute for creating judgment for yourself, it would be ill-considered not to go to others for their perception. God usually has people close to us who are worth paying attention to. It is one of His ways of examining our humility and interweaving us into other lives as well. I enjoy these "holy huddles"--they have been invaluable for helping me stay on track! However, don't simply follow someone's advice slavishly. The Lord desires for you to learn how to hear Him and nobody knows your life as well as the Spirit who is searching your heart and revealing it to you.
5) Outward Situations. These are typically the very first aspect that folks seek, but they need to be last. It is so easy for the adversary to disrupt the clues! Don't be sucked in: closed doors aren't always from the Lord and neither are open doors. Sometimes God needs you to wait at a closed door and let Him open it after you have prayed and developed some persistence. And an open door can conveniently be a snare set by the evil one. How can you tell? You don't madly tear past the thing when you find it. You pray, wait, listen, then go forward with watchfulness if you are convinced you are still receiving a green light.
All 5 of these ways of guidance should confirm one another. You don't have to gather all five to go forward, but if even one of them sends out a warning, you should quit and start praying for more help. With experience, persevering attempts, childlike faith and heaps of grace your life in Christ can grow into an adventure, flowing in the Spirit in a stream of peace. Steve Evans works to help people get back their emotional freedom, so their life in Christ can be a healing stream. The major lessons of his popular series, Matters of the Heart, are free online. Go there now and receive your free copy of his offbeat ebook, An Illustrated Guide to the Spiritual Life.
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