The Spirit is the unique difference that enables us to live the Christian life here on earth. Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to be with us, teach us and empower us.
The Holy Spirit’s role
The giving of the Spirit after the resurrection of Jesus is considered to be the birth of the Church and is the key that makes the church what it is. Acts 2.
16I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
It is amazing that we believers have the living God dwelling within us by His Spirit and should appreciate the difference this makes in our lives. If you need encouragement, then you need His Spirit. If you need guidance, then you need His Spirit. If you need to overcome, then you need His Spirit.
The enabling power of the Holy Spirit
- The Spirit is our Helper/Counselor/Comforter. John 14:16
- The Spirit is our Teacher/Helps us to understand the scriptures. John 14:26
- Convicts us of sin and of what is righteous. John 16:8
- The Spirit of Truth who will guide us to find and understand truth. John 16:13
- Confirms to us that we are children of God. Romans 8:16
- Helps us to pray. Romans 8:26
- Spirit helps us not to sin. Galatians 5:16
- We bear fruit through the Spirit – Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-24
- Gives us gifts to enable us to serve. 1 Corinthians 12
Holy Spirit led
How can you tell if you or another person speaking to you is being led by the Spirit?
- Is there any self-interest involved?
- Is it scriptural and in the context of all of scripture (rather than some isolated verse)? Matthew 4:4 The Holy Spirit will never prompt something contrary to scripture.
- Is there character trustworthiness behind the voice? Galatians 5:22-23 says, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”.
- Does it glorify Jesus? John 16:14
- Is it something you could do for yourself? Generally, the Holy Spirit will not do things we can do for ourselves.
As you develop your relationship with the Lord, you will learn to hear the Spirit speaking into your heart vs your own self-talk.
In the same way, if someone else says to you “The Lord told me…” or “My conscience told me … “. we still need to make sure it is the voice of the Holy Spirit and not the person’s own thoughts/desires/impressions no matter who they are.
2 “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination:‘Hear the word of the Lord! 3 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish[a] prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!
Be Filled with the Spirit
There are many instances in the book of Acts where it records that the disciples were “Filled with the Spirit”. As a believer, you have the Spirit of God always in you, but it is good to regularly ask God to fill you with His Spirit. It is more often a matter of choosing to submit to the Spirit in your life because we really need His enabling power to be effective Christians.
52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Pray for the leading of the Spirit
Ask the Lord to
- Fill you with His Spirit
- Give you an understanding of His Word.
- Guide you and give you wisdom.
- Give you strength to live the Christian life, to express love and to have self-control when it counts.
- Lead you in opportunities to use the gifts He has given you.
- Lead you to recognize when it is His voice speaking to your heart
It is better not to look to other people to speak a “Word from the Lord” into your life when He wants to have a direct relationship with you and for you to learn to hear His direction for yourself. We all need to be Spirit-led.
‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.
For further information on this topic watch this video below from the awesome people at The Bible Project.