Read acts 16:4-8
“Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas.” (vs. 6-8 NIV)
God has given us the Holy Spirit but sometimes we don’t recognize who He is or His voice speaking to us. How do you recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit? Beth shares six key points:
- “Study God’s Word” – God will never contradict His Word and remember to keep it all in context.
- “Yield to the Holy Spirit’s control” – be open to changes when they happen.
- “Pray for clear leadership” – asking for discernment and where His leading is taking you. (Ps. 97:11) “Teach me your way, LORD; lead me in a straight path.”
- “Pray for wisdom and discernment to recognize specific directions” – (Eph. 1:17) “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”
- “Make plans, but hold on to them loosely” – We all make plans and if we hold onto them too tightly we might jeopardize the Holy Spirit sharing with us a better way. Or sometime He may tell us to go another way or pass on by just as Paul did in the scripture references above. Not just one time but twice!
- “Learn to recognize peace as one of God’s prompters” - When you have been dependant on the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit you will have a peace that surpasses all understanding according to Philippians 4:7. If you don’t feel that peace, then pause, wait and pray for direction or clarification. “Christ is the Prince of Peace. His peace will accompany His authority.”(1)
“Paul was used of God to teach about the activity of the Holy Spirit. But Paul could not teach what he had never learned. He learned to follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit one day at a time, one city at a time. Let’s learn from his example and be willing to change our course when we sense God has different plans.” (2)
If you have turmoil in your life today, if you don’t have the peace that Christ brings, then take some time today and pray. Find a quiet place where you can shut off the “noise” around you and in your head, bring a pen and paper, and begin to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to direct you at that very moment. When he speaks, write it down so you will remember and then do as He has asked. It is in the still small voice that we can hear more clearly. In this you shall find peace.
“Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Sam. 3:10 NIV)
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-8 NLT)
“The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 3:14 NIV)
Aren’t you glad we have a God who listens to our hearts as well as directing every step of the way? Aren’t you glad that He has sometimes changed our plans along the way? Where or where would we be without Him! Give Him honor today and thank Him for all that He is … for all your yesterdays and all the days to come :)
(1-2) Paul, 90 Day’s in His Journey of Faith/Beth Moore/B & H Publishing