In Acts 27:10 Paul wrote, “Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives.”
Paul did not say, “The Lord told me” that this voyage will be with much hurt and damage. He simply said, “I perceive” that it will. In his spirit, Paul had an inward perception, an inward premonition, an inward witness that the voyage would be dangerous. This is the primary way God leads all of us.
Paul did not perceive it mentally. He did not have some kind of “vibration” or psychic experience. I don’t like this “vibration” business. Spiritual perceptions are not in the psychic realm. You do not find psychic phenomena in the Bible. Also, Paul did not perceive this physically. In his spirit he had a witness.
That belongs to all of us. The Holy Spirit abiding in our spirits must communicate with us through our spirits—not through our minds. That is why your spirit knows things your head doesn’t know. But we have not been taught to listen to our spirits. And sometimes we are reluctant to do so.
The reason we as Spirit-filled believers continually miss it, make mistakes, and fail is that our spirits, which should guide us, are kept locked away in prison, so to speak. Knowledge, or intellect, has taken the throne.
Any person who shuts his spirit away and never listens to it—because the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord (Prov. 20:27)—becomes crippled in life and becomes an easy prey to selfish and designing people.
My wife and I held a meeting for a certain lady pastor—a very spiritually beautiful woman—who related this story to me herself.
An evangelist was coming to town. He got all the churches he could to cooperate with him in a citywide meeting. He rented the city auditorium. It is a sorry thing to have to say, but everyone in the ministry is not honest. Because this man had a poor credit rating, the city auditorium demanded payment in advance. So he went through this woman pastor. She was gullible enough to say her church would stand responsible for $3,000 rent and all newspaper advertising. Crowds of 2,000 to 3,000 attended every night. He took up a lot of money, but he left town without paying one bill. This woman’s church had to take $5,000 out of their building fund to cover this evangelist’s expenses.
…the person who keeps his spirit shut away and never listens to it becomes crippled in life.Kenneth E. Hagin
This lady pastor told me, “Brother Hagin, if I had listened to my heart, I would never have done that.”
I said to her, “I heard you recovered your money.”
She said, “I sure did. I found out where he was holding a meeting in another state. I got an airplane ticket and went there. The service had already started. I waited. Just when they were about to turn the service to him I marched down the aisle and toward the platform. An usher tried to stop me. I said, ‘No, I am a minister of the Gospel. I want to see this scoundrel.’ I walked right up on the platform and plopped myself down beside him.
“I said, ‘I have come after my $5,000. I will take the offering tonight. I brought my attaché case along. We will dump all the offering in there. And I will stay around here every night until my church recovers all of our money.’
“He said, ‘Well, now we . . .’
“I said, ‘No, if you don’t give me back all of my money, when they say they are going to turn the service over to you, I am going to take the pulpit and tell the people what happened. And not only that, I am going to follow you from meeting to meeting. In every meeting, I am going to come up on the platform and make the same announcement and tell the people what you did.’ ”
Needless to say, in two nights she had her money and she was on her way home. I glory in her spunk.
But the point I want to make is this. She said to me, “Brother Hagin, if I had listened to my spirit, this never would have happened. I don’t mean if I had listened to a voice; I don’t even mean a still, small voice. I just mean if I had listened to the inward witness. I had a check in my spirit. If I had listened to it, I wouldn’t have stood good for his debts.”
If we as individuals would have listened to our hearts—to an inward witness, or an inward voice—we would not have done some things we did.
I have lost money by not listening to that inward witness. I knew on the inside that I should not do some things. Why did I do them? Well, why do any of us not listen to the inward witness?
But just because you make a mistake, don’t quit. You don’t quit physically just because you make a mistake. If the phone rings in the middle of the night and you stumble over a stool and fall down trying to answer it, you don’t just lie there. You get up and answer the phone. Just because you bust your shins or stub your toe physically, you don’t quit. And just because you bust your shins or stub your toe spiritually, you don’t quit either.
As I said, the person who keeps his spirit shut away and never listens to it becomes crippled in life. The person who listens to his spirit is the man or woman, boy or girl who climbs to the top!
If Christians would just check up on the inside of them in most of the affairs of life, they would know what to do.
You do not need to seek guidance when the Bible has already told you what to do. Go ahead and do it. The Bible tells you how to act in every circumstance of life. It tells husbands how to treat wives. It tells wives how to treat husbands. It tells parents how to treat their children. It tells children how to respond to their parents. The Bible tells all of us to walk in love—divine love. And that divine love, which seeks not its own, is also a matter of the heart.[Editor’s Note: This article was adapted from Kenneth E. Hagin’s book How You Can Be Led by the Spirit of God: Legacy Edition.]
Kenneth E. Hagin
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