DISCLAIMER: If you are easily offended, read 1 Corinthians 13 before continuing.
We have the privilege of having the Holy Spirit living within us.
Do you like being lied to? I’m guessing probably not! But how can we know when we’re being deceived? How can we know if the advice we are given is correct? How can we know if we are making the right choices? Do we just need to pray and hope for the best? Do we simply have to hope that, somehow, all things will work together for our good? The answer to the last two questions are an emphatic NO! Whilst the world wanders around in the dark, hoping that they make the right decision, but fearing that they may be getting it wrong, that does not have to be the way for Christians. We have the privilege of having the Holy Spirit living within us to guide us in both the big choices and the small choices we make. We never have to be in the dark about what to do in any situation.
How do you explain Christians having opposing views?
In the recent referendum in which the UK voted to leave the EU, there were Christians with strong views on both sides of the debate. This is also usually the case when national elections take place in most democratic countries. Looking at this objectively, it doesn’t make sense. Is God really telling one Christian one thing and another Christian another thing? Is God double minded? No, of course He’s not! So how do you explain Christians having opposing views? I’m sure that some people want to give the usual vague answer that they give when they find something difficult to understand, “Well, God moves in mysterious ways……“. Frankly that is total, misquoted nonsense. The answer, which may upset some people – but that’s always a risk, is that many Christians do not even believe that they can hear God’s voice, whilst others do not always get it right. Those in the latter group are going in the right direction, because if they do not always get it right, then it must mean that sometimes they do hear accurately what God is saying. Those is the former group first need to meditate on Jesus’ words in John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me“. Whether you think that you have ever heard God speaking to you or not, the truth is, that Jesus said that you would hear His voice. The first step for this is to believe in faith and confess with your mouth that you can hear His voice.
Some people think that I am too forthright in my views on certain subjects.
Having established that we can hear His voice (unless you don’t actually believe Jesus’ words, or want to argue that He didn’t really mean what He said), let’s now look at how we can hear His voice. Some people think that I am too forthright in my views on certain subjects. But the reason that I can (at times) speak with boldness and confidence is because I know when I am in line with the will of God. You may answer, “Well, I thought that I heard from God and I don’t agree with you“. But that’s the difference, you thought that you heard from God, whereas I have absolutely no doubt. It’s like if you asked me how I know that I’m saved – yes, I could point to certain verses in the Bible (and I do have complete belief in everything the Bible says), but ultimately I just know. In other areas, which I have not particularly sought God’s will on and I am not so sure, I am more cautious in what I say. If I need to know a definitive answer on something though, I have confidence in James 1:5, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God“.
We need to believe that these verses are talking literally.
I mentioned that I just know when something is the will of God, so allow me to explain how this works. There are many verses that speak of God guiding us and we first need to believe that these verses are talking literally. Let’s look at some of those verses:
- “The Spirit shows what is true and will come and guide you into the full truth” (John 16:13, Contemporary English Version)
- “He leadeth me beside the still waters” (Psalm 23:2)
- “I will teach you the way you should go; I will instruct you and advise you” (Psalm 32:8, Good News Translation)
God is speaking to you, I can guarantee that. But for you to hear what He is saying will take practice, you will need to begin acting on that sense you have in your heart of what He is saying to you. Be prepared to take risks, God will help you if you get things wrong. One thing to bear in mind is that what God says through His Holy Spirit will never contradict what He has already said through His written Word.
Obviously you cannot read the Bible 24/7.
So let’s look briefly at the main ways that God is speaking to you. I say briefly because this really isn’t complicated, the most important part is to believe that God is speaking to you and that you are able to hear Him. Reading the Bible is an obvious way for God to speak to you, so don’t neglect reading it on a daily basis (for more on reading the Bible, see my post, ‘The Bible – What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing or Absolutely Everything‘). The key is to pray before reading & expect God to speak to you, through what you read. Another way that God speaks, is when we spend time in prayer which includes time spent listening rather than just talking. But obviously you cannot read the Bible 24/7, neither can you partake in this sort of prayer 24/7, so probably the primary way that God speaks to us is through the inward witness of the Holy Spirit. God can often speak specific words to you, which you get more accustomed to hearing as time progresses, but more often you will just have a sense of knowing when something is right. As you, by faith, act on this sense of knowing, you will become more and more proficient at recognising it.
“I am the light for the world! Follow me, and you won’t be walking in the dark. You will have the light that gives life.” –Jesus (John 8:12)
— Rick Renner (@RennerRick) 15 July 2017
God is speaking to you. Isn’t it about time that you started listening? Isn’t it about time that instead of thinking that God is telling you something, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt?
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
If you have never received Jesus as your Lord & Saviour, if you have gone away from God, or if you have any doubts regarding your salvation. I encourage you to click on the link below. Clicking on the link will not secure your salvation, but praying the prayer you find, from your heart, will.
For the salvation prayer, please click here.