We know when the Spirit of God speaks to our hearts because we feel the conviction of the Spirit in us. It’s tangible.
2 Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb! Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!
King Lemuel’s mother prayed for her son that he would listen to her advice, and it was sound advice (verses 3-9). In the same way, our heavenly Father wants us to listen to Him. He now lives inside His followers through the Spirit. We can talk to Him anytime and He talks to us all the time! What does He say? Pick any verse or passage in the Bible that is pertinent to our circumstance and that is what He is saying. Many times, it’s in what I call, “picture form;” another way of putting it is a zip file. We get an idea of what is the right thing to think or do, then we fill it out with Scripture, many times after the fact. Our obedience is key to understanding.
Do we recognize when we are being prompted by our own spirits? How can we tell the difference? There are some clues to knowing which one is speaking. It’s effectively the put off/put on list found in Colossians 1:1-17, and looks something like this:
- Slothful (lazy)–Diligent
- Lustful–Pure thoughts
- Full of rage–Gentle
Some of these characteristics overlap and some are the extreme of others. Some are descriptive of a lifestyle while some burn brightly for only a moment. All of them are driven by emotion and desire. We need His higher desire in order to overcome our own selfish desires, that want-to to want to. In order to become mature spiritually, we must be willing to die to self and allow Him to guard and guide our thoughts.
“Change the way you think and you’ll change the way you feel.” Beth Moore
Dave Ramsey has a motto that says, “Do what you don’t want to now (save, get/stay out of debt) so that you can do what you want to later (with the money you have saved).” I believe that his motto goes well with today’s lesson, “Feel what you don’t want to now (choosing the right thing rarely feels good at the moment) so that you can feel what you want to later (His peace and His joy in our choosing His will over our own, along with all the fruit of the Spirit). The best way I know is to quit asking ourselves what we want to do and start asking the Spirit what He wants us to do. Then, we go dig in the Scriptures to find His answer to our situation. Asking for advice is generally a good idea, but only after we have made the effort to find the answer ourselves. Confirmation goes a long way.
Abba, finding answers to my questions in Your Word is exciting and encouraging because I can trust You as my Source for Truth. May my readers find seeking Your will in Scripture as exciting as I do. May You reveal Yourself to us as we read, study, and discuss Your Word. Amen.