Hearing the Voice of the Holy Spirit
Dear Woodview friends and family,
Since today is the 75th anniversary of D-Day, it made me think of this. When the allied armies marched in Germany on their way to Berlin, retreating German soldiers switched the road signs and destroyed landmarks in an effort to confuse their enemy. And, to an extent, it worked! Many allied soldiers followed a false marker or followed a turned sign only to end up in the wrong place.
That should remind us of the importance of trusting the right landmarks and depending on the correct road signs.
What are things you can absolutely depend on for direction and help? Let me suggest the two most important guidance tools for believers.
The first is the Bible -- God's Word is true, it is eternal, and it is without error. That means that it will never steer you wrong. You might have to make the effort of reading it and studying to understand what it is saying (remember, even Peter sometimes struggled to understand what Paul was writing -- see 2 Peter 3:15-16), but it will never steer you wrong. You might not even like what it says to you, but it will never steer you wrong!
The second is the leading of the Holy Spirit -- I had a conversation with someone yesterday and they were telling me that they were certain the Holy Spirit had led them to make a big life change but now they weren't so sure because they weren't enjoying the change. As if our enjoyment is the criteria for whether or not it is the will of God! The Holy Spirit will never guide you wrong -- but you have to know how to discern if it is really the Holy Spirit you are sensing or if it was the tacos you had for lunch. Here are some things that can help you discern the Holy Spirit's leading -- if it violates the Bible it is not the Holy Spirit; if it is something that will elevate you and enhance your reputation it is not the Holy Spirit; if it would hurt the reputation of God it is not the Holy Spirit; and if it would intentionally harm someone (by the way, there's a big difference between "hurt" and "harm") it is not the Holy Spirit. But, if it requires you to do something uncomfortable, selfless, trusting God to do a work, and it would serve someone and glorify God -- there's a really, really, really good chance you are hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit in your ear or heart.
So, as we travel this road of life, let's make sure we are following the right signs and paying attention to the right landmarks.
Hey, this Sunday we start a new series on the Nine-fold Fruit of the Spirit. It will be well worth your effort to be here! See you Sunday.
Jon B. Stradtner