Recently, someone asked me to expand on what I mean by ‘listening to the Holy Spirit’. In a previous blog I explained the need for us to be familiar with His voice in order to hear Him over the noise of everyday life. Today, we are going to look at the differing ways He speaks to us.
As you read these descriptions, ask God that He would breathe on them, and give you a deeper understanding, expectation, and realization of when Holy Spirit is speaking.
The Internal Voice: Many times Holy Spirit speaks as an internal voice to us. This is one of those times when familiarity with His voice helps us to discern His thoughts from our own. In its simplest form, the internal voice is what I would call a ‘God thought’. A thought that crosses my mind that did not originate with me but from the heart of God. Many of us will be familiar with this way of God communicating with us, but may not have always attributed it to Him. For example: The sudden thought that we must pray for a particular friend who, as it turns out, was struggling with a problem, or a thought to read a certain passage of scripture that then speaks into our situation, or a thought that God loves and cares for us which draws us into the blessings of His loving presence.
As with all the ways Holy Spirit communicates with us, there is great variation in the intensity. I have heard Him so loudly there was no doubt God was speaking! At other times the whole thought seemed to be downloaded to me at once. In a single moment of time I suddenly realised for example God was calling me into something. It didn’t come with a train of thought but an instant knowing, which was then followed with the thoughts of the how and why. Then there have been times when I have had the subtlest, what I would call, ‘throw away’ thought. It seemed insignificant but when I acted upon it I realised God was speaking to me.
The Audible Voice: Holy Spirit will sometimes speak audibly, so his voice is heard externally through our ears. I have not personally heard Him speak audibly, but I do know a number of people who have. He will certainly catch your attention when He does. A close friend of mine heard Holy Sprit speak to him on a flight to Crete whilst he was shut in the toilet, which resulted in another passenger being saved later on in the flight.
Visions: Often Holy Spirit speaks in visions. They can be as subtle as a glimpse of a picture in the mind to a full blown trance where we are fully immersed in the vision.
In its most subtle form, it’s very similar to what you would experience if someone said for example: “Picture in your mind your childhood home.” When asked such a question you would see a picture of your childhood home in your mind. When Holy Spirit speaks to me through a vision, this is normally how it appears to me. I will suddenly see an image in my mind’s eye. I have also had more immersive visions. Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team was started in response to a Holy Spirit trance. One morning whilst praying, I received a vision. For thirty minutes I was not aware of time passing but was fully immersed in watching these two people patrolling the cliff top reaching out to the suicidal. When it finished, I suddenly snapped out of the vision, wondering what on earth that was all about. I was left with a burning passion in my heart to bring it to pass.
Next time we will look at how Holy Spirit speaks through Scripture, Impressions and Circumstances.
Whether you have trouble hearing Holy Spirit speak, or if you are aware of Him speaking to you every day, why don’t you join me today in asking for more? There is always more of God to enjoy. He loves to share His heart with us.
Precious Holy Spirit, Thank you that you love to speak with us. I pray that You would open our minds and our senses to hear Your voice more clearly and in more ways than we have ever heard you before. Amen.
We would love to hear more about how you are learning to hear from Holy Spirit. Please leave a comment below.
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