Have you ever wondered if something you were thinking was coming from you, from God or maybe even from the devil? I have been in this position plenty of times, which is why in this article I'm going to be teaching you my five-step process to clearly hear the voice of the Holy Spirit so that you can have more confidence that you're following the will of God.
So, the process of hearing God's voice comes down to basically asking yourself several questions. And the first question that you want to ask yourself is:
Question #1 - Is it biblical?
Now, one of the things that I've learned in my life is that I don't have a Bible open at every step of the way or I need to make split-second decisions that I need to be thinking on my feet for.
And so, that's why it is so important that we are regularly feasting on the word of God. So that in those times where we have to make those split-second decisions that we want to make them according to God's will, we will know the right things because we have prepared ourselves ahead of time to make the correct decision at that moment.
Now it's important to note that you are not going to find every single answer to your questions in the Bible, what I mean by that is let's take something that we see nowadays, say flying in an airplane. You are not going to see a Bible verse about whether or not it's okay for you to fly in an airplane. But what you will find are biblical principles that are either going to support that or deny that.
And so, in the case of flying an airplane, you know, there's nothing that's going against that in the Bible. So that would be something that would be fine for us to do. But if there is something that it's not specifically laid out in the Bible but it's going against a biblical principle, then we need to recognize, Hey, that is going against what the Bible teaches in this sphere. And it's not going to be God's will for me to do that in my life either.
You see, I like to think of God's will as a river. Now, right down the center of the river, you've got that water flowing and that water, in my opinion, that's the Holy Spirit. All right? And then you've got the banks that are keeping the water in. And I like to think of the banks as the word of God.
And so, anything that fits within the word of God that the Holy Spirit is giving a yes and amen to, I believe, go after that full force. But if it's anything, even a drop of water that falls outside of that riverbank, consider it poison. Get away from it. You don't want to do anything that you cannot back up and that you cannot find biblically supporting what you're doing. All right.
question #2 - Does it result in love?
In first John 4:8, we see that God is love. So, if it's anything that you're thinking of wanting to do that, in the end, is not resulting in love, we can be sure that that is not according to God's will. Now I want to make something really clear here because we have a bit of a twisted definition in today's society of love.
This is love based on God's terms, this is love based on what is written in the Bible. This is not something that, that we just kind of try to twist and think about, to make everyone feel good about themselves or make everything feel like it's great.
We need to make sure that we are defining love according to the way that God defines it and that we are strong and taking a stance in that pursuit of love. A great example of this is to take a metaphor of a doctrine, a patient.
Now let's say that this patient is really really good friends with the doctor and the doctor doesn't want to hurt or offend or make the patient feel sad in any way. And so, the patient's coming in and getting exams for let's say to see whether or not they have some serious type of disease.
Now, if the doctor notices that this patient does have this serious type of disease, but because he doesn't want to offend the patient or scare the patient or, or make his friend feel sad or, or embittered or anything like that, he decides to withhold that information. That would not be an act of love, that would actually be malpractice.
And so, when I'm talking about love, it's, it's being willing to confront people in love, in a spirit gentleness and a spirit of wanting to seek unity and reconciliation, but yet still be willing to say, Hey, this is something that I'm noticing in your life.
But be careful, because Jesus himself talks about making sure that you take the log out of your own eye before you remove it from your brothers. So, make sure that that this thing that you're going to bring before someone that you are right with God on the issue as well.
Question #3 - Does it Glorify Jesus?
In my opinion, this is one of the primary roles of the Holy Spirit is to honor and to glorify the son. Now we can see this in John 16:14 which says: "He will bring me glory". This is Jesus talking about the Holy Spirit. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. So, the Holy Spirit is receiving information from Jesus and he is telling it to us and one thing we can be sure of if it is the Holy Spirit's voice, it is going to be glorifying the son.
This is a really good time in the process to sort of do a heart check, to really kind of sit down and think, what are my motives in this decision? What are my motives in this thought? A lot of times we can think we're having the best motives and intentions, but if we really get to the root of the issue, we might recognize some selfishness, some desires just to please ourselves and to look good in front of others.
And you know what? You can't always make those decisions and say, Oh, I'm not going to go in that because I have a little bit of that motivation. Because I think for a lot of us, we wouldn't end up doing anything.
There are little hints of that everywhere. But if your primary motivation is, Hey, I want to be liked by someone else, or I want to do this because it's going to make me feel good at the expense of others, or there's some selfish desire that is at the heart of it, then you probably know, Hey, this isn't for the glory of God.
This is really for the glory of me and to take care of me. And so that would usually be a decision that you're going to look in the other direction and you don't want to come to the Holy Spirit and say, Holy Spirit, you know what I really want to do God’s will, show me what it is in this. Remove these selfish motivations from me and let me desire to do his will and all that I do.
Question #4 - Is This Convicting or Condemning?
Now, one thing that the Holy Spirit loves to do is to convict us, because that is an ultimate act of love. That is the Holy spirit seeing us going in the wrong direction and putting a check in our spirit saying, Hey, if you continue to go this way, more and more destruction will result. But one thing that the Holy Spirit will not do for a born-again believer has condemned them.
Now, we need to take a step back and recognize what the difference between condemnation and conviction is. All right, so let's start by defining conviction. Like I said before, a conviction is when the Holy Spirit is putting something on your heart that might not feel the best.
You might feel uncomfortable. Don't run from that feeling. That's a good feeling that Hey, you're confronting sin right now and instead of delighting in sin, you are feeling that pull against you saying, Hey, this isn't something that I want to be doing.
Now, conviction, in my opinion, always has an aspect of hope with it. There is hope for change. It is not shame-based. It is not coming against you, making you feel super guilty and wrong and like you're never going to get better. That is not a conviction. That's where we fall into condemnation. And we can be guaranteed that the Holy Spirit will not condemn us.
So, if you're feeling shameful in a real self-hatred type of a way, that is not the voice of the Holy Spirit. If you're feeling convicted and like you have a hopeful desire for change, that probably is the voice of the Holy Spirit. So, let me give you an example right now.
Let's say that you just did something. You just gossiped about someone else. Now at that moment, after you gossip and you leave that conversation, you might feel that twinge in your heart going, Oh, I shouldn't have done that, but you know what, God, I pray for forgiveness for that and I'm coming back full force going after you. If that's your feeling, then you're feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
That's a great thing. You're hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit at that time. But if you're going, Oh, I'm a good for nothing person, I'm never going to get better at this man. I just don't even know why even try it. Those are the thoughts that are going through your mind.
That is not the voice of the Holy Spirit, which is a demonic influence. That is the enemy coming against you at that moment, and so we must be able to clearly identify those two things because whatever we continue to focus on after we feel that initial twinge in her heart, that is what's going to really help us to either continue in that sin or to get out of it.
Question #5 - What are Other Trustworthy Christians Saying?
Now, the decision-making process is not supposed to be done all alone. It is meant to be done within a Christian community. There are going to be some things that you're just going to make decisions with on your own, but a grand majority of the time, especially with important decisions, you're going to want to take these to brothers and sisters that you truly love and trust in the faith.
A great example of this is Acts 15:28 it says: “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements”.
Do you see what was happening there? It was a group of people discerning the voice of the Holy Spirit. They were trying to figure out what was the Holy Spirit saying and then yes, that was resonating with our spirits as well. And so then from that position, they were able to direct and lead the other Christians in this matter.
Now when you're seeking counsel from other Christians, it's important that you're going to Christians that you respect and that you actually want to emulate yourself. So, people that you are looking up to are great people to go to when you're seeking advice on things. And one of the things that you want to look out for is what I call the safety trap.
Now, the safety trap is unfortunately in today's society, in the westernized church there is this belief that the safest route is always the will of God. And so, there's so much risk aversion to really whenever you're making a decision, whatever has the least amount of risk has the most amount of benefit for you leads to the most amount of comfort. That must be the will of God, right? Wrong.
There are going to be times of course, where that's, that's going to be the case, but there are going to be plenty of other times where the Holy Spirit is leading you in a way that is going to be risky. Let's think back to some of the stories in the Bible. David going up against Goliath.
I think unfortunately a lot of counselors nowadays are going to steer David and that situation. "Oh, don't go up against him". Look at what could happen. Look at all the risks that could happen in this place when God was saying yes, be bold and be courageous and go after him. We've got Gideon's 300 men where he kept on shrinking down, down, down in size of the army.
That doesn't make any sense to the natural mind, but it was the will of God in that scenario. So, make sure that the people that you're listening to are people that are also walking the same Christian light that you want to walk. And there's a great scripture that backs this point up.
If you look in First Corinthians 3:19, it says: “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God”.
As the scriptures say, he traps the wise in the snare of their cleverness. And so, whatever the world is saying or whatever seems to be just the most obvious, of course, this is what I should do, type of answer. It may not be that way. That's why it's so important that you seek the will of God.
You don't just go off of the first instinct that you feel in the moment. You take time to get away, to talk to other people, to really ask yourself these questions, making sure that your motivations are right, making sure that you were in line with what he is telling you to do.
So that is my five-step process when it comes to hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit. And of course, there's, there's more that could be added or taken away. It's not always a perfect formula, but that'll get you really on the right track to hearing God's voice clearly.
And now I want to hear from you. There are so many ways that we can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. And so, I was just curious, how do you most frequently hear the voice of the Holy Spirit? A lot of people get mental pictures, internal impressions. They read the Bible and they really feel the Holy Spirit talking to them through those words and phrases or, maybe none of the above. Go ahead and in the comments section below, type which way you most clearly hear the voice of God.
And finally, I wanted to make available to you a free mini-course that I and my wife have created called keys to the kingdom, how to unlock the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit.
Now, this course is so relevant to this teaching because the activation portion, which my wife actually leads you through step by step, how to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.
It's an actual exercise that she leads you through and there's a ton of other great information in there that helps when it comes to hearing God's voice when it comes to discerning an authentic move of the Holy Spirit. So, we want to make sure that you check that out.
And as a bonus in there, we also have this awesome resource identifying the authentic move of the Holy Spirit. And here it's going to give you a lot of what you read in this article, but in a form that you can print off takeaway, put it in your Bible and really be able to use it in the future to inform your decision making when you are trying to decide whether or not something you're thinking or feeling is coming from God.
So, if you enjoyed this article, make sure to subscribe to the IV hop Academy and go ahead and share with anyone else that you may think would find this information valuable, stay tuned to the IV hop Academy as next week, we layout our listening prayer model. Prayer is much more than just talking to God. It's hearing from him too, and we hope you will enjoy next week's teaching. We'll see you then.