However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you] (John 16:7 AMP).
In Today’s Truth for the Journey we are going to look at how to communicate with the Holy Spirit. Hearing His voice and responding to it, has been the cause of much “theological headache” in every generation! For instance have you ever wondered “can I talk to the Holy Spirit?” or “Am I allowed to speak back to Him if He talks to me?” Again, this may seem elementary for some, but stuff of nightmares for others!
For instance do we only pray to the Father in the name of the Son, or do we ignore the Father completely and only communicate with the Son? How do we focus on all three of the Trinity and yet maintain an intimate relationship with all three? What is God’s truest intention for our relationship with Him - singular and plural? How do we view it and how do we have proper success with it; knowing that everything hinges on our right relations with God?
Therefore as we continue with this focus on the Holy Spirit and in particular our relationship with Him, let us consider the words Jesus spoke as He ascended to heaven. This included the Holy Spirit, and was in effect His last given instructions while still in the flesh on this earth: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight (Acts 1:8-9 (KJV).
So His parting words to His disciples were expressly about their future dealings with none other than the Holy Spirit. This goes hand in glove with what Jesus said prior to that in John 16:7 “However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counsellor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you]” (AMP).
To be in “close fellowship” as the amplified version states it, this must involve close “communication.” If we want to get technical, it is also the exchanging of or the transmission of messages! As my wife often says, meditating, practicing the presence and fellowshipping with the Holy is not akin to contemplating our navels or doing yoga! It is a place of genuine exchange. Exchange of strength (Isa 40:31) of ideas, thoughts, impressions, revelation, teaching, desires etc... In fact so much can come out of it. Time spent with the Holy Spirit can be so rich. Not entertaining but enriching. I use that word “entertainment” because we are becoming so schooled in all-things-entertainment, that we have lost the art of just sitting “still.” It is all a ploy. If our minds are so full, of celebrity gossip that we are unable to be still and know that He is God, then we have lost the plot altogether!
It is a discipline to sit in the presence of God. To stay there long enough to know him in reality; to appreciate him; to lend our minds to Him – in other words to hold our thoughts long enough and our concentration long enough to give Him the quality of time and focus that He alone deserves. First place is first place. He should not have to “compete” for our time, our thoughts, or our exchange. It should readily be given to Him. In a humble expression of love, trust, union, and friendship; all of which is the essence of “relationship.”
We must exercise wisdom of course, plus we must remain open to the genuine manifestations of the Spirit and not allow the weird and wacky to “shut us down.” Plus all things of the Spirit cut “crosswise” with the things of the carnal mind anyway, as we see here in Romans 8:7 “... the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God's Law; indeed it cannot.” Therefore we must never look for acceptance from others when dealing with the things of the Spirit. Instead we must always keep our eyes on Christ and His Word to keeps things pure and accurate.
When folks shake – and I have seen this a lot over the years, this is just the power
of God touching “earthen vessels!” Shaking is just a power encounter! And some folks are more open to this than others – but they are not more special. All of us must learn to yield more to His presence and allow our vessels to be filled up regularly. For some, the mere “filling of their vessel” creates manifestations. Some of these manifestations are demonic simply because they scramble to get out of the way! However there are some signs we can look for that show when the Spirit of God is resting on someone or whether it is demonic.
We will look at these just quickly here. But a word of warning – signs can lie – so we must not be directed by them, they are just an aid. For instance glittering on people’s faces with a slight sweat; heat, eye lids fluttering, are all signs we can look for when someone is being touched by the Holy Spirit. Whereas eyes rolling backwards and stiffness – can all be signs of demonic manifestation. However pain can sometimes be a word of knowledge to indicate that someone needs a healing. Also we can sometimes “see” things; such as text running across our minds (i.e. scripture), or we can have just a “knowing” about things, as we are meant to be “one” with the Lord. However it is not all about feelings.
Finally – and there is so much to this subject that it can not be exhausted here in one Truth for the Journey – but it provides some pointers. However to close on our original question, “when He talks to us, can we talk back?” the answer has to be “yes of course!” Others will ask “can we be led by the Spirit or only by the Word?” For this I believe that scripture is clear that we must be led by the Spirit, although He never acts independently of the Word - in fact the whole God-head never works separately. Throughout scripture we see them “working together” and one example of this is when Jesus was baptised in the river Jordan; all three where mentioned as being present; Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16). Secondly when Jesus spoke His final words to His disciples all three are mentioned inseparable again, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:18-19).
This means that any error can be avoided by remembering that they work in conjunction with each other and never apart. If we feel directed to do something that is against scripture – then we can be certain that it is not the Holy Spirit directing us, but some “other” spirit. In fact any time we doubt the leading of the Spirit, all we have to do is line it up to the Word, once we can see it there in the Word, we can then have “peace” to move out on it – accepting it as the genuine leading of the Spirit. A strong indication that all is well is the peace of God as seen here in Col 3:15 of the Amplified version, “And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds...” (See also Phil 4:7 and Rom 14:17) Scripture promises that He leads us into all truth and will guide us; “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come” (John 16:13).
Evidently then the Holy Spirit does “speak”- but it is “what” He speaks that is of the most importance. He speaks “truth” and this is the only distinguishing line that we have where the Holy Spirit is concerned. He speaks truth and nothing else. That is how we know it is Him and not some other spirit. A good reason also to really KNOW the Word! Too many people are easily deceived; we must not be one of them. Particularly like those who get into spiritual things without God’s Spirit or Word – which is only spiritualism – but not Christianity.
Remember the world we live in today, are not unlike those Paul encountered on Mars Hill in Greece; the “great thinkers” of their day. Even today with “information overload” we also have folks who know everything and know nothing! And as those Paul encountered back then – who were willing to “hear- anything” - but not willing to “believe–anything” – the same is true of our generation (see 1 Tim 4: 1).
People want a spiritualism that they can encounter but still be in control of. But those who walk by the spirit of God – have given up control. They are governed by the Father Son and Holy Spirit together and when you meet someone who is genuinely governed by God like this – with the Holy Spirit at the helm – it is never easy to forget meeting this kind of person “And they... yet shall they know and realize that there has been a prophet among them” (Ezekiel 2:5 AMP).
Father I am in awe of the fact that You have made such provision for me in this life. I am lacking nothing especially with Your Spirit. I rejoice in the wonderful fact that He is here for me, my constant stand by and strengthener; my advocate and intercessor. I need never be oppressed. I pursue obedience “with” Him at the helm. Use me today Father and continue to equip me for Your Glory. Amen.
CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today I confess that the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what I eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17 NLT). I speak with Him and He speaks with me. He shows me things to come, I am open to hearing His voice. I welcome His voice and I commune with Him. I listen to Him and He listens to me. I have a sound relationship with Him. Things are shared. He guides and leads me. I am governed by Him today; trusting the ministry of the entire God head in my life: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Hallelujah!
WE LOVE YOU…!
Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’
Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries