Being Led By the Spirit (repost)

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.” Romans 8:14

Do you ever ask yourself: How do we apply this to our lives? Can we really know what God would have us do?

Yes! But FIRST we must Listen, learn to Listen, and take time to listen….

  • Matthew 17:05
  • John 9:47
  • Job 15
  • John 10:14
  • John 10:27
  • Isaiah 55:3a
  • Matthew 11:15
  • Ecclesiastes 5:1a
  • Proverbs 1:23&33

SECOND: How do we know what we hear is God speaking and not our own thoughts or Satan?

Knowing the voice of God is a very personal and different thing to each person. I am going to give you some guidelines from various people and myself for you to wrestle with. Also this ability to know when God is speaking to you does not come instantly. It takes time. Time of praying, time of reading and meditating on the word, time of listening and time to PRACTICE listening. Let us not be like the scribes or Pharisees of whom Jesus spoke in Matthew 23:3 “…. for they preach but they do not practice”.

So please take the following as guidelines to help you in your search of knowing when God is speaking to you.

1. Test the spirits: In 1 John 4:1-3 we are told not to “believe everything we hear”.

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God; every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God…”

BUT- even if the enemy is taunting you with something that is true such as past sin, or something not pleasing in your life to the Lord, remember 1 John 2:1 “My little children I am writing this that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

Also remember Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

2. God promised in the Old Testament that He would be our guide. Psalm 48:14 “That this is God, our God for ever and ever. He will be our guide forever.”

The third part of the Trinity was sent to be our guide.

  • 1 John 5:7
  • 2 Timothy 1:14
  • 1 Corinthians 3:16
  • Psalm 25:4,5

Ok, so God’s spirit is now in us- How can the Holy Spirit get our attention and tell us what he wants us to do?

This is a very childlike example of God’s plan for us.

But remember the verse: Matthew 18:3 “…Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Childlike Version

God was looking out at his beautiful world all messed up by men. He thought “How can I tell them I love them so they will understand?” So He decided to send his Son as a human to talk to them in their own language and to die on the cross for their sins. Some listened and some did not. But when Jesus died for our sins and rose again and then went to be with His Father, God did not want us to be left alone. Sooooo he sent the third part of the trinity. He sent the Holy Spirit to come inside those who would believe.

John 16:13 “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”

I John 5:7 “And the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is the truth”.

NOW… we know that the Holy Spirit is in us and has promised to guide us. But how do we know what the Spirit is telling us?

We need to quiet our Spirit and get into a quiet place if possible to listen to what the Spirit is telling us. 1 Kings tells us that God speaks in a still small voice. With the noise of the world all around us and our minds spinning, are we able to hear that still small voice?

Psalm 46:10 tells us “Be still and know that I am God.”

 Two wonderful promises of the Holy Spirit’s guidance are found in Galations 5:16 & 25

“I advise you to obey only the Holy Spirit’s instructions. He will tell you where to go and what to do, and then you wont always be doing the wrong things your evil nature wants you to do.”

” If we are living now by the Holy Spirit’s power, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Then we wont need to look for honors and popularity which lead to jealousy and hard feelings.”

The following are thoughts from a tape by Kenneth Hagin entitled “How to Train the Human Spirit”. This tape has been very helpful to me and a blessing in my life as I searched for how to know when God was leading me. I know that Kenneth Hagin has been getting some bad press lately as perhaps into the Prosperity Gospel preaching, but I want to point our to you, that many men are used by God at various times in their lives and are a blessing to many, and perhaps at another time go off on a tangent, but that doesn’t take away from their early ministry. I have also been blessed by Robert Schuller who is given bad press many times in Christian circles. But there again let the spirit guide you and not necessarily believe everything one man tells us or disbelieve another. Measure it up to scripture and ask God to show you. Anyway for what it is worth there are some of his thoughts. May they be a blessing to you as you search out this subject.

He is basing these thoughts on Pro. 20:27 “The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts. And also basing his thoughts on Joshua 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it, for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.”

Often we are very diligent to build up our minds and our bodies but neglect our spirits. These are four rules which will help us to build up our spirits.

  1. Comes by meditation in the Word
  2. Comes by practicing the Word
  3. Comes by giving the Word first place in our lives
  4. Comes by instantly obeying the voice of our spirit

Proverbs 20:27 tells us that God and the Holy Spirit will use OUR own spirits to enlighten us and that our own conscience can be guides.

BUT our conscience can only be right guides as we follow the 4 rules.


Realize the value and power of quiet meditation. We cannot spend 5 minutes in the world each day and 5 hours watching TV and reading magazines and expect our spirit to be growing in the things of the Lord.


Be doers of the Word. James 1:22 “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” Many Christians are in Praise of the Word, rejoice in the Word, and Talk about the Word…. But how many are DOERS of the word? This does not mean keeping the 10 commandments, for we have a new commandment, we are to love one another and walk in love.

If we are able to DO what it says in Phil. 4:6,7 we are promised peace and no anxiety. “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Phil 4:8,9 tells us what to DO to obtain peace. “Finally, brethren whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, lovely, gracious, if there is anything excellent, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, DO; and the God of peace will be with you.”

The more you talk about some negative thing the more it becomes true. Use Phil. 4:8 as a guide.

We give place to the devil by thinking negative thoughts. The devil wants to enter our thought life. Our spirit is God’s when we ask him in. But we can voluntarily give our thoughts place to Satan.

Matt 12:34 says”…for our of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” I often take this verse when people say something unkind or negative and then say, “I’m only kidding”. I think that is what is really in their heart and it is coming forth. But the same can be true when we are complaining and telling our worries to others. It shows our heart is full of anxiety instead of peace as we are promised by the Lord.


Pro. 4:20-22 “My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my saying. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to him who finds them, and healing to all his flesh.”

What a promise. When you hold that with Joshua 1:8 we really have some promises for listening and doing the words of God.

Also Matt. 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things shall be yours as well.”


The human spirit has a voice. We call it conscience, and sometimes a “gut feeling”, “woman’s intuition”, “hunch” or “inner voice”.

Every mans spirit has a voice whether he is saved or not. But when we are born again all parts of us are made new and turned over to God. 2 Cor. 5:17 says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, the old has passed away, behold the new has come.” (Also see 2 Cor 4:16, 1 Peter 3:4, Eze. 11:19, 1 John 4:4)

Your spirit can be trained to be a true guide of the Holy Spirit’s direction. The devil doesn’t dwell in you and God isn’t in your head,  he is in your heart. The spirit of God within you. Learn to obey your spirit. The conscience can be a safe guide in the believer when it is trained by meditating and educated by God’s word. Our conscience isn’t educated by TV or R rated movies. What are you feeding your inner spirit?

Here are the verses that talk about a “seared” or “corrupted” conscience: 1 Tim 4:2 & Titus 1:15

But when a Christian is meditating in the word and feeding and building up their spirits by doing the word, these verses bear witness to the fact that then our conscience can be a safe guide:

Romans 2:15…”Their conscience also bears witness….” Paul also adds in Romans 9:1 that his conscience is used by God… “I am speaking the truth in Christ, I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit.”

And to me this was the most convincing verse that when we have trained our spirit, we should listen to it: 1 Timothy 1:19 “holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith.”

Inward voice can be the voice of Your spirit. We will miss that voice by putting out fleeces. Satan can be counterfeit and he is out there. Inside your spirit is much safer, when Christ is dwelling within.

What a wonderful promise of the Holy Spirit’s guidance in John 16:13 “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”

One of the greatest tests if it is the Lord speaking to us is if we feel PEACE about what we are being led to do. Phil 4:7 talks about the peace of God which surpasses all understanding. It is so wonderful you have to experience it to know what he is talking about. But when you do, it is real and it is something Satan cannot counterfeit, because it is the confirmation of the Holy Spirit within us.

LEARN to obey the voice of your spirit. Practice the 4 rules often. We are able to get guidance in the minor details of our life as well as the major ones. But it does not happen overnight. It takes time, training, and patience. Follow the rules and exciting things will happen for you!