The Voice of the Holy Spirit

Although Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit may sometimes lead us in spectacular ways, such as through visions, prophecy or the audible voice of God, the more usual way that the Holy Spirit communicates to us is in our spirits by “impressions.” That is, if the Spirit wants us to do something, He will “tug” at us—in our spirits—and we will sense a “leading” to follow a certain direction.

We could call the voice of our spirit our “conscience.” All Christians know what their conscience sounds like. If we are tempted to sin, we don’t hear an audible voice within us saying, “Don’t give in to that temptation.” Rather, we simply feel something within us resisting that temptation. And if we do yield to a temptation, after we’ve sin is committed, we don’t hear an audible voice saying, “You sinned! You sinned!” We simply sense a conviction on the inside of us, now leading us to repent and confess our sin.

In the same manner will the Spirit teach us and lead us into general truth and understanding. He will teach us by imparting a sudden revelation (always in line with the Bible) within us. Those revelations may take ten minutes to describe to someone else, but they can come by the Holy Spirit in a matter of seconds.

And in the same manner the Holy Spirit will lead us in the affairs of ministry. We must simply make a conscious effort to be sensitive to those inner leadings and impressions, and slowly we will learn (by trial and error) to follow the Spirit in regard to things pertaining to ministry. It is when we allow our heads (our rational or irrational thinking) to get in the way of our hearts (where the Spirit is leading us) that we find ourselves making errors in regard to God’s will.