Recognizing the Holy Spirit

what-is-the-holy-spirit-dove-1The critical issue in our Christian walk is will we be led by the Spirit or by self, human will, skill, thought, ego, imagination or other motivations. How is the distinction made – even when it is acknowledged to be wholly critical?  Here is a list (in no particular order) based on scripture and illustrated by personal experience.

  • Cover decisions in prayer – Prayer is for every occasion, every person and every purpose.[i] The Holy Spirit leads and inspires prayer,[ii] therefore, in prayer the Holy Spirit was be very active.
  • Note the constancy of peace within – We are called…to peace and Jesus said that we would have His Peace.[iii] When we do not have peace, it may be a signal that something is left undone, or missing, or that we have gotten our timing or priorities wrong.[iv]
  • Hold fast and near the word of God – The Spirit of God will never contradict the Word of God.  Until one’s own wishes are laid aside our willingness to wait and seek and hear the Word of God may be hindered. [v] Often, it will be that a passage of scripture enlivens and confirms what the Holy Spirit is saying. [vi]
  • Confess weakness, error, and propensity to evil – Do not trust unto your own understanding.[vii] The Holy Spirit is fired up in a setting of like-minded submitted believers, we are to stir up the Spirit within each other. [viii]
  • Defy pride and defame mammon, follow the way of humility – God can humiliate you, but it is far easier and more pleasant if you simply humble yourself. [ix] Pride is a snare and no one can serve God and Money.[x] Under the sign post labeled “Pride” and “Money” put a caption “Wrong Way”. [xi]
  • Keep Yeshua (Jesus’ Hebrew name) central in mind – His purposes, His ways, His
    means are the pathway. [xii] When He says Go,[xiii] Go but understand that He is not a board member setting a policy for you to carryout in your own strength and methods. [xiv] Even as Moses was poised with Israel before the Red Sea with the Egyptians in pursuit, it was God who said, be still and see the salvation of the Lord.[xv]
  • Service, He came to serve – We are called to serve,[xvi] not judge, not calling down fire from heaven on people who are not hanging out with us, not promoting ourselves, not bossing others around.[xvii] Jesus put an end to this when He washed His disciples feet, then explained, we are to wash each others feet. [xviii]
  • Gentleness – He will not crush a bruised reed or snuff out a smoldering wick.[xix] In little children Jesus saw great worth.[xx] He spent time with the lowly,[xxi] downtrodden, and outcast of society and this World, because He was Gentle and Meek. [xxii] Like Peace, if we are not Gentle in Spirit we may have lost our way.  [xxiii]
  • Doubt will arise from the world – The enemy will attack the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit with voices of doubt. For example, when Jesus did miracles, just to name a few:
    • The scoffers when Jesus said the dead girl was sleeping[xxiv]
    • Doubt about raising Lazarus [xxv]
    • Doubt about going to Jerusalem or other places [xxvi]
    • Doubt about feeding 5000 [xxvii]

Nothing is impossible for God, but believing is critical; Jesus did few miracles in His hometown because of unbelief. [xxviii]

  • Praise and Worship – Waiting on the Lord and listening to His voice can often come as we confess the truth of who God is in praise and worship.[xxix] Also, it tends to clear out all the distractions and gives focus to our attention to God, so that we can hear and release our desires. In eternity we will no longer need or do many things that are necessary in this life, but we will continue to Praise and Worship God. [xxx]
  • No worldly thinking – Do not use the worlds method and means in an attempt to achieve God’s purposes, to be a friend of the world is to be an enemy of God. [xxxi] This was most clearly depicted in the reign of King Saul to be a disaster and one of such critical magnitude that God had to take the Kingdom from him.[xxxii] Worldly thinking is reliance on human ability[xxxiii] and resources, consideration of self and ones status. [xxxiv] King Saul demonstrated each of these as He rejected God’s purposes for himself. [xxxv]
  • Lay down life, take up cross – The Holy Spirit leads in a pathway of life and Light, but it is not always comfortable, easy, or certain and it often requires an ample supply of courage,[xxxvi] bravery, perseverance, character, hope, faith and love.[xxxvii] God’s path may be uncomfortable, difficult, full of uncertainty, tend to cause fear, long, despised by society, un-esteemed, and unappreciated.  However, it is not futile, nor vain, or without purpose;[xxxviii] it is eternal in value and priceless in worth,[xxxix] and it will bring life and joy to you. [xl]

When people experience the presence of Christ there should be a miraculous change, unless it does not take root or is choked out by the World.  Much of what we call spiritual encounters with God are often program-driven events, orchestrated and manipulated to create a pleasurable moment for the recipient, who is seeking God for selfish reasons.  If what we have experienced has not transformed our lives at some level, then it is questionable as to whether we have had a genuine connection with God.  When truth is experientially realized, perfect peace follows, as we are set free from error to see the Truth.  God desires that His people hear His voice and obey.

[i]  Eph. 6:18   [ii]  Rom. 8:26   [iii]  John 14:27   [iv]  Phil 4:7   [v]  James 1:22-25

[vi]  2 Peter 1:21   [vii]  2 Cor. 1:9   [viii]  1 Tim 1:6-7   [ix]  Luke 14:11, James 4:10

[x]  Matt. 6:24   [xi]  1 John 2:16   [xii]  Rom. 11:33-36, Col. 3:2   [xiii]  Matt. 10:10

[xiv]  Rev 17:14   [xv]  Exodus 14:14-16   [xvi]  Matt. 20:28   [xvii]  Luke 22:25-26

[xviii]  John 13:14   [xix]  Matt. 12:20   [xx]  Matt. 19:14   [xxi]  James 1:9-10

[xxii]  1 Cor. 1:28, Matt. 18:4   [xxiii]  Matt. 11:29   [xxiv]  Matt. 9:24

[xxv]  John 11: 39-40   [xxvi]  John 11:9,16   [xxvii]  Luke 9:13

[xxviii]  Matt. 13:58   [xxix]  John 4:23-24   [xxx]  Rev. 19:4-5, 10

[xxxi]  1 John 2:15   [xxxii]  1 Sam 13:13-14   [xxxiii]  1 Sam 14:24

[xxxiv]  1 Sam 18:8   [xxxv]  1 Sam 15:11, 35   [xxxvi]  1 Cor 16:13-14

[xxxvii]  Luke 17:33   [xxxviii]  Rom. 9:16   [xxxix]  Matt. 10:38  [xl]  Rom 8:28

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