We – Mosaic, and followers of Jesus – believe that everybody on the earth can hear the Holy Spirit. If you’re a believer, you can hear Him because He is in you and with you. If you’re not, you can hear His voice because He is constantly wooing you, trying to win your heart, and ceaselessly loving you. We don’t ask the question, “can I hear the Spirit?” but rather, “how do I hear the Spirit?” because He speaks is so many different ways; we see this across the Bible (He speaks like a friend in Exodus 33; in 1 Kings, His voice is a still small whisper, etc).
The Holy Spirit doesn’t seek to you so that you can seem a magician, gain fame and glory, or to avoid personal responsibility in the name of “God said” (a classic example: the break-up due to “God said..”). He doesn’t speak so that we can know the will of God for our lives because (spoiler alert: we already know!). We see in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
…and to God be the glory, for the verse following is a directive for us in order to hear Him: Do not quench the Spirit. His primary interest is not to give you orders; He wants to talk with you and walk with you, to hear your story and what makes you sing and what makes you sad. And why? Why does He speak?
- He wants to teach you Truth, Peace, and Courage
- John 14:26-27: But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
- He wants you to live freely
- Galatians 5:16-18: But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
- The ‘law’ = the idea that your dos and don’ts define your identity and declare your value. No! That’s not what God says! He speaks freedom over and over again, despite all the things we do and do not do.
- He wants you to walk in the manner of His greatness
- Colossians 1:9-11: And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy…
- We have equated skepticism with intellect.
- James 1:5-8: If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
- We have to begin with faith. We can’t expect to hear from the Spirit when we are cloaked in doubt. We hear by faith.
There are parameters to keep in mind:
- The Holy Spirit won’t contradict the Bible.
- He won’t contradict the Spirit of Jesus.
- It will usually be affirmed by church leadership.
- It we be reinforced by our church community.
- It should bear fruit.
He speaks in so many ways: through the Bible, other people, nature, books, dreams, visions, words, visions, an audible voice…It’s up to us to trust that we can hear Him! He speaks in big picture and he speaks in specifics of the day-to-day. Expect that you can hear Him, and you will.
Biblical References: John 14:26-27; Galatians 5:16-18; Colossians 1:9-11; James 1:5-8