The Voice of the Holy Spirit
In this series, we’re exploring the voices in your mind fighting for control of the conversation: the voice of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Now we come to the one that is exponentially more powerful than the first three combined—the voice of the Holy Spirit.
By Patrick Morley
MIM Founder & Executive Chairman
Winter Park, Florida
In The Four Voices blog series, we’ve been introducing the four voices in your head that are mentioned in the Bible. Here’s a recap of what the first three voices want:
- The voice of the world wants you to think: It’s going to take a lot more than Jesus Christ to make you happy.
- The voice of the flesh wants you to act on the baser instincts of your sinful nature.
- The voice of the devil wants to destroy what God wants to build.
Now we come to the voice that is exponentially more powerful than the first three combined—the voice of the Holy Spirit.
The Voice of the Holy Spirit
The Bible calls the Holy Spirit our Paraclete, from the Greek word parakletos. Literally, this means “one who helps.” He is our helper, but has so many other roles as well.
According to Scripture, He is also comforter, counselor, guide, and advocate. He convicts and converts. He intercedes for us with groans so deep that words cannot express. He produces fruit in our lives. He is God with us.
What are some telltale signs that you’re hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit?The voice of the Holy Spirit brings calm to chaos, comfort to sorrow, peace to strife, clarity to confusion, and power to weakness.Click To Tweet
Importantly, the voice of the Spirit does not speak on His own, but He communicates only what the Father and Jesus tell Him, and the Spirit will never say anything that contradicts what the Father and Jesus have already said in Scripture:
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. (John 16:13)
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)
The contents of the message will remain consistent; yet the ways the Spirit speaks vary widely. He may fill you with peace and a calm assurance while you pray; He may bring a Bible verse to your mind when you need wisdom about what to do next; you may feel as though a pastor or author is speaking directly to you in their message; etc.
But no matter how the Spirit speaks to you, every time you feel the urge to worship, yearn for deeper communion with God, desire to put on Christian virtues, resolve to practice spiritual disciplines, commit to do your work as if working for the Lord, pledge to make disciples, or feel spurred on to exercise your spiritual gifts in selfless acts of love and good deeds, you can have full confidence that the Holy Spirit’s voice is stirring your heart and mind.
You don’t need to be a mystic, a prophet, or a theologian. Hearing the Holy Spirit is part of the normal Christian experience.
As we have introduced in this series, however, there are three other voices who are also part of our normal experience, like barking dogs.The Spirit is the one voice who can help you put a muzzle on the world, the flesh, and the devil.Click To Tweet
The key is to be so filled with the Spirit’s presence and power that you leave as little room as possible for the other voices.
Experiencing His Presence and Power
When I brought home my first Harley, I ran into a problem. I was up before dawn for my first ride, but it wouldn’t start.
I checked the gas and jiggled the ignition. I tried everything I could think of—even removed and replaced the battery cables. Nothing. The most powerful motorcycle I had ever owned had become a 650-pound paperweight.
Finally, my irritation reached the boiling point. I called the dealership and said, “This motorcycle won’t start. There’s something defective with this thing. I want you to come and take it back because I don’t want it anymore.”
The calm service rep asked me a few questions. “Did you turn on the ignition?”
“Well, of course I turned on the ignition.”
“Okay, did you check the gas?”
“Yes, I checked the gas.”
“Did you make sure the fuel cock was open?”
“Yes, I made sure the fuel cock was open.”
“Did you make sure the battery cables are properly secured?”
“Yes, I made sure the battery cables are secure.”
“Did you check the on/off switch on the handlebars?”
I said, “What are you talking about—the on/off switch on the handlebars?”
I’m sure you have wondered why so many professing Christians don’t live powerful, transformed lives.
Here’s your answer: Like my experience of not knowing how to turn on my powerful motorcycle, they don’t know how to turn on the Spirit’s powerful voice.
Being Filled with the Spirit
Receiving the Holy Spirit is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for everyone who belongs to the body of Christ, after which the Holy Spirit lives inside of us:
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? (1 Corinthians 6:19)
However, many believers still find themselves living weak and tepid lives—unable or unaware of how to turn on the power! They have received the Spirit, but they aren’t filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.
Being filled with the Spirit’s power is an ongoing, continuous process of regularly “topping off” in your relationship with God:
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18)
It’s just common sense. Every source of power needs to be replenished regularly, whether that’s food and water for your body, gas for your car, propane for your furnace, or the Spirit for your soul. And the Spirit is certainly the believer’s source of power:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…”Acts 1:8a
The Greek word for “power” is dunamis, from which we get “dynamite.” The voice of the Spirit carries explosive power. When I finally did figure out how to crank up my motorcycle, the explosion of gasoline in the cylinders transformed my paperweight into a powerful beast.
In the same way, the power of the Spirit transforms you as you increasingly learn how to discern the Spirit’s voice and depend on His presence and power. To be sure, being filled is something God does for you, but you also have the privilege of cooperating in this way.
Doing our part adds nothing to our salvation, because it’s based on faith, not works. That said, investing some effort is a sign of sincere faith and will help you walk as someone who is filled with the Spirit.
The One Who Helps
What can you do when you realize you are no longer walking in the presence and power of the Spirit?
Any time you realize you’ve been listening to the wrong voices, confess them, and ask for help—ask the Holy Spirit to once again fill you with His power.
- When the world’s worries, values, and philosophies reel you in, it is the Holy Spirit whose voice is always there to guide you—and more so if you ask for help.
- When the carnal or selfish desires of the flesh are tempting you, it is the Holy Spirit whose voice will provide a way of escape—and more so if you ask for help.
- When the devil attacks your frailties or weak points, it is the Holy Spirit whose voice will give you the power and the words to make him flee—and more so if you ask for help.
- And when you fail, as we all do, it is the Holy Spirit whose voice will prompt you to turn back and confess your sins. He will forgive you and restore you to a right relationship with Jesus and the Father—and more so if you ask for help.
Because the “one who helps” is always with you, you can give the voice of the Holy Spirit the final say in your life.
THE BIG IDEA: The voice of the Holy Spirit can empower you to keep the world on a leash, the flesh on house arrest, and the devil on a terrorist watch list. Let Him help you.
Question of the Week
Can you describe an experience with the Holy Spirit that has meant a lot to you?