1 Corinthians 12:1 | NKJV (1) Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:
The word “gifts” was added by the translators. This verse actually says,
1 Corinthians 12:1 | BBE (1) But about the things of the spirit, my brothers, it is not right for you to be without teaching.
Ephesians 5:15-17 | AMP (15) Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), (16) Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. (17) Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.
If the Lord through the Apostle Paul is telling us to understand what the will of God is, then it must be possible for us to know the will of God for our lives.
Colossians 1:9 | MSG (9) Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works.
The will of God for us can be divided into two major categories:
- The general will of God that is made known unto us by His Word.
For instance, we do not have to pray about people getting saved or not. The Bible tells us it is God’s will for all to be saved.
1 Timothy 2: 4 | NKJV (4) (God) who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
I do not have to pray about whether to marry someone who is not saved. The Bible tells me not to.
2 Corinthians 6:14 | NIV (14) Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
- The specific will of God for our individual lives
In the things that God has not given us direction for in His Word, He wants us to learn how to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Let’s establish seven things in this:
- You are a spirit, you have a soul, and you live in a body.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 | NKJV (23) Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- The spirit is made new when you are Born Again.
2 Corinthians 5:17 | NLT (17) This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
- We present our bodies as a living sacrifice.
Romans 12:1 | NLT (1) And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.
- We must renew our minds with the Word of God.
Romans 12:2 | NLT (2) Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
- God lives in you by the Holy Spirit in your spirit.
1 John 4:15 | NKJV (15) Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
- God will guide us, enlighten us, and lead us through our recreated human spirits.
Proverbs 20:27 | NIV (27) The human spirit is the lamp of the LORD that sheds light on one’s inmost being.
- As a child of God, you have a right to be led by the Spirit of God.
Romans 8:14 | NKJV (14) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
How Does the Holy Spirit Lead Me?
The four primary ways that God will lead the Born-Again believer are:
- The Written Word of God
- The Inward Witness
- The Inward Voice or Voice of Your Spirit
- The Voice of the Holy Spirit
- The Written Word of God
- After the Word of God, God will lead you first and foremost through the inward witness.
Romans 8:16 | NKJV (16) The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
1 John 5:10 | NKJV (10) He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself…
His Spirit, God’s Spirit bears witness with our spirits that we are His children. There is a knowing that is right down on the inside of you.
If He will bear witness in our spirits about being Born Again, the most important decision that we could have possibly made, then surely, He will bear witness about all the decisions in our lives.
- He will warn you of impending danger or harm in the same way.
Acts 27:9-11 | NKJV (9) Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, (10) saying, “Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.” (11) Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul.
Paul had a knowing that the trip would not go well because the Spirit of God bore witness to that in his spirit.
- He will confirm that something is good, proper and in His will by a peace in your spirit.
Colossians 3:15 | AMP (15) 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, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].
God will lead you in this way as you pursue a “peaceful knowing” in your spirit.
- The third way the Holy Spirit will lead you is through the inward voice or the voice of your recreated human spirit.
Sometimes we call this our conscience.
Your conscience is the voice of your spirit, and it is your conscience that will relate to your mind what the Spirit of God is saying to you in your heart.
Romans 9:1-2 | NKJV (1) I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, (2) that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart.
Paul, speaking of the burden he felt for the Jews, said that his conscience bears witness by the Holy Spirit that this was the truth.
Let’s look at the working of our conscience.
- The Holy Spirit does not convict us of sin. It is our spirit that convicts us of sin in our lives.
1 John 3:20-21 | GNB (20) If our conscience condemns us, we know that God is greater than our conscience and that he knows everything. (21) And so, my dear friends, if our conscience does not condemn us, we have courage in God’s presence.
- The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin.
John 16:7-9 | NLT (7) But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send Him to you. (8) And when He comes, He will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. (9) The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in Me.
- It is very important that we remain tenderhearted especially in the things of God.
1 Timothy 4:1-2 | NIV (1) The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. (2) Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. (lost all feeling)
1 Timothy 4:2 | TPT …and their consciences won’t bother them at all!
Unless you keep a tender conscience, spiritual things will become indistinct to you.
We must realize that our physical bodies have a voice called your senses and our soul has a voice called our emotions.
There will be times when we must discern which is being led by the Spirit of God and then ignore the others.
- The fourth way that God will lead you is by the voice of the Holy Spirit.
This way is the more authoritative voice of the Holy Spirit versus the still small voice of your spirit. This can almost seem like it is audible, but it is not. It is the Holy Spirit in your spirit speaking to you.
Acts 10:19-21 NKJV While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are seeking you. (20) Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.” (21) Then Peter went down to the men who had been sent to him from Cornelius, and said, “Yes, I am he whom you seek. For what reason have you come?”
1 Thessalonians 5:21 AMP (21) But test and prove all things [until you can recognize] what is good; [to that] hold fast.
Always remember that the Bible teaches that the Spirit of God and the Word of God agree.
Anytime that the Spirit of God speaks to you, it will always be in line with the Word.
We are not to seek voices. We should not follow voices. WE SHOULD FOLLOW THE WORD OF GOD.
- God can lead you through outside circumstances, but this must always line up with the Word of God AND confirm something that you already have in your heart.
This would also apply to dreams or personal prophecies. They must always line up with the written Word of God AND confirm something that God has already ministered to your heart.
- If it does not confirm something that you already have in your heart, then you put it on “the back burner” and roll it over to the Lord and not get disturbed about it.
- Learn to trust the Holy Spirit in you. He is big enough to reveal to you exactly what you need to know – clearly and concisely.