Can You Hear What the Spirit Is Saying?

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Can You Hear What the Spirit Is Saying?
What is the Lord saying in this day and hour? Is the church in the place where it should be? Or, are we missing something?

Can You Hear What the Spirit Is Saying?

Are you able to move by the (Holy) Spirit? When I say are you able to move by the Holy Spirit, it is really the same thing as saying, “Can you hear what the Holy Spirit is saying?” God commands us to keep in step with the Spirit. However, many, and dare I say most, people are certainly not in step with what the Spirit is doing! However, as it turns out, it is critical to be able to do this. So if you are looking for success in God, then this article is for you.

I am, however, mostly writing to Christians. But if you are not a Christian, you can still read this article. It will speak to you in some ways. But you will first need to make your peace with God, before you can hope to start keeping in step with the Holy Spirit. For it is the Holy Spirit who comes to dwell inside each person who believes. And if a person does not have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of them, how can they hope to be led by him? It simply will not work.

The degree to which you are able to move by the Holy Spirit, meaning to hear what the Spirit is saying, meaning keeping in step with the Holy Spirit, will determine your success in God.

Not your education.

Not your formal training as a leader.

Not your Bible knowledge, even.

I did not say Bible knowledge was bad, of course. It is very essential if you are going to hope to be able to move by the Spirit and obey God. We must know God’s word. Those who worship God must worship him in Spirit and in Truth (see John 4:24). This truth refers to the truth that we find in the Bible. So we must know the Bible, and study to show ourselves approved by God, a workman that need not be ashamed (see 2 Timothy 2:15).

Having said that, knowing the word is not enough. Clearly, it is not enough. It is not enough, precisely because those who worship God must worship him in Spirit and in Truth. This article is not meant in any way to diminish the Truth aspect. For without truth, we will go off course and head into a ditch. But the same thing is really true for the Spirit aspect, as well. Those who worship God must worship him in Spirit and in Truth. Both are essential! Both are required, otherwise, even if we have mastered one carefully, we will still go off course and run into a ditch!

This article is all about the Spirit aspect. It presupposes that you are aware (already) that Truth is not only important, but essential. We are to become masters at studying and knowing the word of God. “Thy word is Truth,” Jesus said (John 17:17).

But is Jesus himself not also the truth? We need to get to know him!

“I am the way, the truth, and the life,” Jesus said (see John 14:6).

Jesus is indeed the way, the truth, and the life. Do you know the truth? Do you have an intimate relationship with him? I am begging you, if I could, get to know Jesus himself. Make him the focus of your entire life!

“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2)

The apostle Paul (who wrote this passage) determined to know nothing except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. How can that be? You mean, he did not desire to know the truth of God’s word? Wrong! Not only did he know God’s word, he continued to study it. In part (but only in part, I must stress), it was through the faithful studying of God’s word that Paul came to know Christ. How can I say this? Because he did not even come to know Christ in the first place by studying the word of God. He was zealous, right? Yes, he was zealous for God. But his zeal for God turned him into an oppressor. For he persecuted God’s children. It all changed on the Damascus road when he encountered Jesus (see Acts 9).

It is therefore not merely studying God’s word that will cause you to seek Jesus, but an encounter with Jesus himself based on your hunger and thirst for truth. Have you had that encounter? I hope so! But if not, I encourage you to seek him. Call out to the Lord until he reveals Jesus to you, for you cannot come to Christ until the Father reveals him to you (see John 6:44). Some people look at this as predestination. I do not look at this as predestination at all. I look at this as a willing heart! If you will come to God humbly, he will reveal Jesus to you. The problem is not that you are not predestined. The problem is that you are not willing!

Jesus said, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” (John 7:17)

Those are the words of Jesus, and it means that if you are not sure about him, then you will become sure, as long as you have a genuine hunger for God and desire to do his will. Yes, you may not know Jesus very well, maybe you are a new believer or just curious. But if in your heart of hearts, you really want to know the truth and you desire to do God’s will (not necessarily the will of your friends, your immediate family, your relatives, or your society), then you will eventually know the truth about who Jesus is, because of your willing heart. You must seek him. You must do all you can to get to know him.

“But from there you shall seek Yahweh your God, and you will find him when you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29)

Develop a hunger and a heart for God, and God will reveal Jesus to you. That is what God is saying. When you read about Jesus in the Bible, you will know he is the truth, when your heart is on God’s side and you are willing to humble yourself.

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (James 4:10)

That is the plain Bible teaching. It is not whether you are predestined or not. Do not listen to that. Maybe you made some bad mistakes in the past (like Paul did when he persecuted Christians). But because you really want to know the truth, you will eventually know it. This happened to the apostle Paul. He confessed,

“[I] was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief” (1 Timothy 1:13).

Paul did not obtain mercy because he was predestined, but because he acted ignorantly in unbelief. That’s all about motives. He thought he was doing the right thing but messed up royally. God had mercy on him because of it. If your motives are right, you will find God if you seek him with your whole heart.

I am going to assume you have found Jesus already. Now, I want to get to the heart of this article.

Are you able to move by the (Holy) Spirit? Are you hearing what the Spirit is saying? Are you keeping in step with the Spirit?

The degree to which you are able to move by the Holy Spirit will determine your success in God. I said that already, but it is worth repeating. Your success is not in your Bible knowledge, per se. It is not in your leadership skills, per se. It is not about your education, per se. I am not saying these are bad. What I am saying is that alone, they are not enough to determine your success as a Christian. Also, there are many Christians (and probably most, I would say) who do not have “formal training,” but they are still called by God and have not been called to obtain so-called “formal training”. It matters not. Do what God has led you to do. If he has led to get formal training, then get formal training. But if not, then don’t do it. There exists some formal training that will kill your faith, anyway.

Your success is determined by much more than these things, and there are those who have miserably failed to do God’s will, thinking they were great achievers for God, when in fact, they were miserable, wretched, and poor.

“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” (Revelation 3:17)

Yes, that is you, if you are not willing to open your eyes to the things of the Spirit. You may have great Bible knowledge, but you are still a miserable failure in God’s sight if you are not willing to walk by the Spirit!

In the verse that follows (namely, Revelation 13:18), Jesus tells the people to “anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see”. What is that all about? It is all about their willingness to see in the Spirit realm. It is not about predestination but their own willingness! And what is that all about? It is about their willingness to open their spiritual eyes!

Jesus’s spiritual eyes were open! For he said,

“Most certainly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father doing. For whatever things he does, these the Son also does likewise” (see John 5:19).

Jesus sees the Father doing things. How does he see him? He sees him in the spirit. You can, too. Most of this depends upon your willingness to even see him. Do you want to see him? Do you really want to know what God thinks of you, asks of you, commands of you, and has in store for you? You do if you believe he is a good God. This is what separates those who see the Father doing things, and those who do not. Faith!

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

Predominantly, if we fail to see God doing anything, it is because something is blocking our ability to see. It could be presuppositions (we have been told not to expect anything just do what is written in the Bible and we will be fine). However, how does it help us to do God’s will in starting up a shelter for the poor, where the gospel can be preached from, if we are just reading the Bible? We need to hear God communicate to us. Most preachers of the gospel are so hardened and conditioned by their rituals of “doing church” that they cannot possibly hear what God is saying. They do not want to examine God “too closely” or get “too close” to God, because they might be convicted of their own sin, which they have been led astray by. It is a fearful thing to come under the scrutiny of God’s microscope. You will have to be willing to come under God’s microscope in your own life, if you want to do his will. Jesus was clean. He had nothing to hide. He was quite open before God!

You, too, and I, too, can be quite open before God. Confess your sins! Let us confess our sins together, so that we can come to God without fear of reproach. And are you involved in sin already? Are you doing something that is not right that is hindering your ability to come close to God? Well, you need to not only confess that, but renounce it!

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

There are those whose spiritual eyes are closed. They cannot see in the spirit, for they are not willing. You can do it, if you are willing. Do not be like those whom Jesus condemned in both the Old and New Testaments!

“For this people’s heart has grown callous, their ears are dull of hearing, and they have closed their eyes; or else perhaps they might perceive with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and would turn again, and I would heal them.” (Matthew 13:15, a quote of Isaiah 6:9-10)

This is pretty serious business. When Jesus says, “they have closed their eyes,” it means they have closed their spiritual eyes. When it says, “I would heal them” (if they but opened their eyes), it means that they are missing out on God’s great favor in their current condition. That may be healing of the heart, healing of the mind, or healing of the body. It may be healing of relationships. Healing comes in many forms. There is more than I have just mentioned. There is a lot of healing in store for people who are willing to do God’s will. There is also healing of an entire nation, if that nation will humble themselves and come under God’s mighty hand. He is able to save and deliver from the guttermost to the uttermost!

Why don’t people trust him? It is because of sin, fear, and personal judgment against God. People simply don’t know him. That’s why!

As for God’s persecutors, it is because they do not know him.

“And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.” (John 16:3)

But it gets even worse. God’s own people may end up persecuting the next move of God, because they also do not know him very well and are not willing to join him in what he is doing! Their hearts being cold, they reject what God is doing, instead of embracing it!

This is tragic. This is not due to predestination but their own hardened hearts!

Having “ears to hear and eyes to see” is a very significant statement in the Bible. In another passage (and many more like it), Jesus says,

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies” (Revelation 2:29).

We are at a point in history where many are not listening to God. And they actually say they are Christians. This grieves me. Bible knowledge has increased. Bible apps on our phones have increased. We have many versions of the Bible at our disposal. But there is a real dullness in most people’s hearts. They are not sensitive to the voice of God. They say they are Christians, but they are failing to see with their spiritual eyes and listen with their spiritual ears.

I am concerned about this. I am very concerned.

I am concerned about the way we do church. I am concerned about the time constraints. I am concerned about it all. I have reason to be concerned.

I am not trying to be boastful, or arrogant, or conceited. I have plenty to be ashamed of, in terms of how I have missed God in the past. But at the same time, I have seen God do miracle after miracle in my own life, and I rarely see anything like this in the church.

In fact, when I fail (and I do fail), I see that God gives me a second chance. He does not want me to keep failing. He picks me up. He says, “Keep going.”

I should not repeat the matter, should I? No, I should not! So I make it my wholehearted determination not to repeat the matter, but to learn from the past, and to move forward, and to receive the grace of God and the healing of God that he has for my life. And you can do it, too! This grace is not just for one person, is it? Far be it! It is for the whole world, if they will receive it! Let’s get on board with God’s agenda, and do what he is telling us. If you cannot hear his voice, something is wrong! If a spark is not ignited in your heart, something is wrong! You need to get right with God, because your reward is waiting for you if you will. Do it now, will you not? Jesus said,

“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Revelation 22:12)

Despite my past failures, as I seek to obey God in the present, I see that more miracles are possible, because the miracles are not from me, they are from God. I see God’s grace over and over again being displayed in my life. I am not a perfect person. I am a trophy of God’s grace. He has forgiven me, and he says, “Keep going!” You, too, can be a trophy of God’s grace. God’s power can rest upon you. You too can perform miracles, but it will not be you doing it, but the Spirit of God within you.

When I say, “miracle,” what is a miracle? A miracle is simply entering into what God is doing, and letting God do it. That’s a miracle! One day, I was given a free living-room sofa. But there was a demon in that sofa. I wrote about that in another article.1 It became very clear a demon was present in that sofa. My wife and I and a friend just held hands, and we prayed, and God delivered the sofa from that demon that was in it. That was a miracle. We did not do anything, really. We just entered into what God was doing. We were sensitive to the Spirit, and so God acted on our behalf (we kept that sofa for many years and it caused us no problems for there was no demon in it after that).

What then is a miracle? A miracle is anything that we cannot do ourselves, that God does supernaturally. When God does miracles, he is glorified.

I am concerned about the need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. I am concerned about the way God is not being fully honored in the church. I am very concerned about the time constraints we put upon God. How is it that there is such a limited amount of miracles being proclaimed in the church? Why is it that I see so many in my own life, that I could write several books on them? I have written well over 700 articles, and I have at least 700 articles to go, because of all of the good things God has done in my life. I have nothing to boast about. God called me to write all of this stuff down, and I am writing it down. What has God called you to do? Do it, and you will have a reward.

Am I the only one who sees miracles? I am not the only one. There are plenty of others. Yet I am not seeing God exalted in the churches. One reason is a terrible theology. The leaders are trying to make their peace with sin, rather than preaching against it. I think I need to repeat that again. The leaders, instead of taking a stance against sin and unrighteousness, are trying to make their peace with it. They are trying to appease people. They are trying to appease the government, even. They are trying to appease other organizations that are not at all in step with the Holy Spirit. Why do they do this? This is sin. Are they not willing to suffer for the sake of Jesus? Yes, they are not willing to suffer. That is the problem. They are not really sold out for Jesus after all. This is a tragedy. Jesus said,

“And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:27)

These people and these so-called church leaders are doing all they can to be at peace with the world. This is tragic!

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

I am speaking to some people, I know not who, and I feel God is saying to me, “Do not be too specific, as there are many people I want to reach with this message.” If I were to be too specific, you would think it did not apply to you. But it does apply to you. The church is in need of some serious repentance in this area. There is no power in the church. It is void. It is empty. That is why there is no discernment.

There are clear usages of spiritual gifts. Everyone thinks they are natural! If they are trained in some higher school, then that is deemed training enough to be a minister of the gospel. This is human teaching, and not a display of God’s power. The church is replete with human teaching, but where is God’s power? It is not just some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that are supernatural, they all are. Every last one of them. Why do people say that speaking in tongues and the interpretation of tongues is supernatural, but that administration is not supernatural? Do you really think that being taught administration at some school is sufficient for the job of administration in the church? These gifts are supernatural and it is time to seek out those who are gifted.

Do you want to know the sad truth?

All of God’s children are supernaturally gifted. But how often, I plead with you, dear Christian, how often do you see a recognition of this in the church? I ask you this one question. Answer me, if you know the answer! Surely everyone who professes the name of Jesus and who truly has a relationship with him has been given a spiritual gift. Furthermore, gifts can be imparted by the laying on of hands through prophetic utterances (see 1 Timothy 4:14). Is this practiced in the church? Is there any teaching concerning these spiritual gifts?

How can a church keep in step with the Holy Spirit whom they also grieve? If they will not obey the Holy Spirit in their administration of his gifts, how can they possibly keep in step with him?

Why are spiritual gifts not being imparted, used, or recognized? Why are fathers not invited to baptize their own children? Leaders are doing things they were not even told to do, while those who are not administrators but still gifted by God are not doing those things they were told to do!

Where is the administration for Bible studies, cell groups, teaching in the gifts, and healing and deliverance ministries by which the Holy Spirit desires to move powerfully in signs and wonders? Are a few nights a week the times that God is moving among his people, and among just a very small number of them, at that? Did you not know that revival is the norm of the Spirit and that everything else is substandard? Why are Christian ministers satisfied with substandard? If God is not satisfied why are they? Is it because their focus is not on God at all, but on their paycheck? Are these bought ministers of the gospel who really do not have a concern for your soul at all? Cringe the thought. But I fear it’s a very real possibility.

These things ought not to be. The church is asleep. Wake up!

“Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I am coming to you swiftly, and will move your lamp stand out of its place, unless you repent.” (Revelation 2:5)

 

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