3 Hints to Hearing the Lord’s Voice
by Gloria Copeland
I have asked believers all over the world this question: “When you think God may be directing you, do you say, ‘Was that me, Lord, or was that You?’” I believe this uncertainty to be the major drawback to our following God through our spirit, directed by the Holy Spirit.
Most serious Christians would do anything God told them to if they knew for sure they were being directed by God—if they heard Him with their natural ears or saw Him with their natural eyes. But most of the time God does not deal with us that way. He sent His Spirit to live in our spirit to constantly teach, enlighten and guide us. We must learn how to hear God in our spirit.
As we spend time daily praying in the spirit, it becomes easier for us to hear the direction of the Holy Spirit as He reveals His will to our spirit. Below are 3 hints to help discern the voice of the Lord.
Hint #1 – Recognize the Promptings
“So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but [under obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life]” (Romans 7:6, The Amplified Bible). We are no longer bound to obey written regulations, but we are still to serve by obeying the promptings of our reborn spirit, which is controlled by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit communicates with our spirit. He dwells in our spirit.
I believe this is an area of confusion when we are learning to walk in the spirit. As the Lord was clarifying this to me, He made me realize that most of the time I would hear my own spirit speaking to my soul, which is my mind, my will and my emotions. The audible voice of the Lord is rare in most of our lives. Almost every leading we will receive in everyday life will be a prompting, an impression, a thought, an inward witness, a leading or an unction from our spirit.
The reason it sounds like us is because it is ourselves that we hear. The Holy Spirit communicates with our spirit, and our spirit prompts, or enlightens, our mind. “But the person who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him” (1 Corinthians 6:17, The Amplified Bible). The key word united in Greek means “to glue or cement together.” Jesus said, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23). This describes being joined, or united, to the Lord.
When we start our day by praying the will of God by the Holy Spirit, many times we will have already prayed concerning the problems we will face during the day. We will perceive an interpretation, a prompting, an impression, a word or a sentence that will enlighten us and give us the answer to the situation. It will be so natural to us that we might not even realize it is the Holy Spirit leading and revealing Himself to us. Things that would have been stumbling blocks to us before will now be handled with ease by hearing and obeying the will of God as the Holy Spirit leads us.
Hint #2 – Trust the Voice of the Spirit
We need to learn to instantly obey the voice of our spirit. I don’t think there is any way to cultivate this communion between the Holy Spirit and our spirit, and between our spirit and our mind, except by spending time in prayer and in the Word of God. We read that the Holy Spirit teaches by comparing spiritual things with spiritual. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit.”
Only the Word of God will separate or differentiate between the soul and the spirit. Our soul relies on natural knowledge to form its opinions until natural knowledge is replaced by the supernatural knowledge of God. In Romans 12:2, this process of replacing the thoughts of natural, carnal man with the thoughts of God is called “the renewing of your mind.”
You might be asking, “How can I tell the difference and be sure when it is God or just me?” You will have to begin a quest for the things of God. The Scripture lets us know that if we seek God, we will find Him. Spiritual things do not come without serious effort.
We are told in Hebrews 11:6 that “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.” We know that we have to approach God in faith—that is, without being able to see proof in the natural realm. We must learn to believe Him without seeing Him. From that verse we also find another key to knowing God: He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Hint #3 – Give God Entrance
There is no selfish, easy way to walk with God while we live in the earth and in a natural body. We will do it God’s way or not at all.
His way is for us to serve Him with our whole spirit, soul and body. We have to change our thoughts, opinions and actions to agree with His. God wants us to live the rest of our time in this earth not conforming to the will of man, or to our own will, but conforming to His will. When we put ourselves in a position of obedience, we give God the freedom to overwhelm the natural circumstances of this life with His supernatural power.
Remember God’s Word comes to us in two ways: (1) by the written Word, and (2) by the Holy Spirit speaking to our spirit. We begin with the assurance that God’s written Word is our sure word. The Holy Spirit will never lead you contrary to the written Word of God. If you receive a prompting that is in opposition to the written Word, you will know it is not from the Holy Spirit.
Simply ask the Holy Spirit to teach you how to follow Him. Give Him control of your life and He will reveal to you the will of God, step by step. He knows how to bring you to maturity. All He requires of you is your attention and your obedience.
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