Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:25
In my last post, I started a discussion on how to fully engage the Holy Spirit, walk with Him and keep in step with Him. We examined three very important points regarding our relationship with God and our union with Him through the Holy Spirit:
- Never lose your awe and wonder of God
- Be God-insided minded
- Realize that you are united in spirit with God.
Therefore, today’s post is simply a continuation of what God has been teaching me on how to listen to Him, obey Him, reflect His glory and walk in His power through the Holy Spirit. I strongly recommend that you click here to read the last post before moving on to the fourth point below.
How to keep in step with the Holy Spirit…Contd.
4. Renew your mind with the Word
Renewing your mind involves consistently studying and meditating on God’s Word until it literarily saturates your thought life. The result is that you put off your way of thinking and acting and put on God’s ways. When you renew your mind, your soul (i.e. your mind, will and emotions) learns to line up with the Spirit of God.
In reference to Jesus Christ, the gospel of John begins with the proclamation that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). This plainly means that Jesus Christ is the Word and he is God. In 2 Timothy 3:16, Apostle Paul stated that “All Scripture is God-breathed” and we have already discussed that the Holy Spirit is God and the Spirit of Christ.
Furthermore, in 2 Peter 1:21, Apostle Peter proclaimed that;
“no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
Therefore, the Word is one with God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit communicates with us through the Scriptures. He will never tell you anything that will contradict the Word. If you do not study the Word, you have greatly limited your ability to hear from God because the Holy Spirit uses the Scriptures as His vocabulary. He does this by teaching and illuminating the Word to us, relating it personally to our individual lives and bringing it to our remembrance at our time of need.
If you haven’t put any Word in your heart, you have given Him nothing to work with and if you are inconsistent with studying the Word you are hindering your ability to keep in step with the Holy Spirit.
Do not put off studying the Scriptures but instead, determine to develop your spirit by immersing yourself in the Word.
I once had an incident with someone that left me feeling extremely frustrated and upset. (No, it was not my husband.) I showed very little outward emotion but I must confess I went to bed very angry that night. The moment I opened my eyes in the morning, Romans 15:1 dropped into my spirit with a loud thud (figuratively of course). I had not studied Romans in a long while but the Holy Spirit reminded me and made the Word practical for me when I needed it. I am forever grateful that God loves me so much that He takes His time to watch over me and correct me when necessary.
“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.” Romans 15:1-2
5. Spend time in God’s presence
I think this one is self-explanatory. Spending time in God’s presence involves studying and meditating on the Word, praying, worshipping and just being still in His presence.
Prayer is not all about off-loading our requests but it’s a two-way communication. When we spend time with God, we get to know Him intimately so that when He speaks to us, we can recognize His voice. Just as you cannot form meaningful intimate relationships with people without making a commitment to spend TIME with them, your relationship with God will be bland and tasteless and you will have no idea how to walk with Him through the Holy Spirit unless you spend TIME with Him.
Jesus himself made it very clear that we are nothing without him and we will bear no fruit unless we abide in him.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
“Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” Ephesians 6:18
6. Get accustomed to hearing his voice
If you belong to Jesus Christ, know him personally as your Lord and consistently abide in his presence, your spiritual ears will get accustomed to the sound of his voice. The result is that you will recognize his voice when he speaks to you.
Hearing God is not reserved for ‘super-Christians’ only. However, the more time you spend in His presence, the clearer His voice becomes.
There are numerous promises in Scripture that address God’s willingness to make His will known to His children. A few of them are listed below.
“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” Jeremiah 33:3
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”” Isaiah 30:21
“……his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” John 10:4-5
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27
The voice of God (same as the Holy Spirit) can come to us in different ways at different times. It is not how He chooses to speak to us that is the critical issue but that irrespective of how He speaks, we will be able to recognize His voice.
He may speak by illuminating a Bible verse to you at the exact time of your need as illustrated above. He may also speak by dropping a prompt or thought into your heart, an inward voice, by sounding an alarm in your spirit or by giving you inward peace, hesitancy or turmoil regarding a situation.
You are the temple of God, the Holy Spirit inhabits your spirit and you are one in spirit with God. (See my last post for Scripture references.) Therefore God communicates with you by His Spirit through your spirit. His message to you is picked up by your mind so it makes natural sense to you resulting in your obedience.
Learning to trust and obey the voice of the Lord is a walk of faith. We are instructed to walk by faith not by sight. God still communicates to people through visions and angels and He has been known to write on the wall and even speak through a donkey (Daniel 5, Numbers 22:21-39). However, if you are waiting for Him to speak to you in a spectacular way, you will likely be disappointed. He is God and the clay does not tell the potter what to do.
God consistently speaks to His children. If you have not been listening, or you are fearful of making mistakes, I encourage you to ask Him for help, spend time in His presence and listen. Jesus is the good shepherd and he will not hold his voice back from you.
A few weeks ago I was feeling particularly discouraged when a friend called me and prayed over me. The prayer points she raised countered all the issues that were bothering me and when she was done, my spirit lifted.
What happened? God prompted her to call me; she obeyed and allowed Him to speak through her. Isn’t our God awesome?
God has given us His Spirit and it is His desire that we live by and keep in step with Him.
Keeping in step with the Spirit means total submission to Jesus Christ and yielding our lives fully to him by depending on his Spirit within us. The result is that we will reflect his nature and character in all situations.
If this is all new to you or something you tried and gave up on, I encourage you to ask God to help you hear Him speak to you as you mediate on the Scriptures above and spend time in the Word and in His presence.
In the words of Apostle Paul, pray and “ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way” (Colossians 1:9-10).
To be continued in my next post.
Except where indicated, Scriptures are taken from the NIV.
Other posts on The Holy Spirit:
- The Holy Spirit: Who is He?
- The Holy Spirit: What is His Role in Salvation?
- Sealed with The Holy Spirit
- The Holy Spirit: Freedom through The Spirit of God
- Learning to Keep in Step with the Holy Spirit: Part 1
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