Proverbs 20:27 says, “The spirit of man is the candle [or lamp] of the Lord.” This verse lets us know that God guides us through our spirit.
Too often, we seek guidance in other ways. We judge by our physical senses, but nowhere does God say He will guide us by our senses. Or we look at a situation from a mental standpoint. But God guides us through our spirit, or our inward man.
The inward man has a “voice.” We call it our conscience, intuition, or an inward witness. As born-again believers train and develop their spirit, this voice becomes clearer.
One thing that has held us back is that we are more body- conscious and mental-conscious than spirit-conscious. We have developed the body and soul but have virtually ignored our spirit.
We get so busy physically and mentally that spiritual things become indistinct to us.
The Abiding Holy Spirit
Once we are born again, the Holy Spirit lives and abides in our spirit. He does not communicate directly with our mind because He is not in our mind. He is in our spirit, and He communicates with us through our spirit.
Jesus said, “We will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23). Paul said, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Cor. 3:16). And Paul also told the Corinthians, “Ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (2 Cor. 6:16). If God dwells in us, then that is where He will speak to us.
Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit itself [or Himself] beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Notice that this verse does not say the Spirit bears witness with our body.
Feeling is the voice of the body.
Reason is the voice of the soul or mind.
Conscience is the voice of the spirit.
If we go by feelings, we will get into trouble!
Our faith must be based on the Word, not on our feelings. Romans 8:16 does not say the Spirit bears witness with our body or feelings. It says, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our SPIRIT.” The Word and the Spirit agree. The Holy Spirit takes God’s Word and witnesses to our heart, or spirit.
Be Led by the Spirit
Jesus told His disciples, “He [the Holy Spirit] shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26). Jesus also said the Holy Spirit “will show you things to come” (John 16:13).
The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit. Then He leads us. Romans 8:14 says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”
It is not for us to tell the Lord how to lead us. In the Acts of the Apostles, we see how some people received guidance through a vision. We read where others received guidance from an angel who appeared and told them certain things.
Too many times, people seek guidance that way instead of listening to what the Bible says. However, such phenomena didn’t happen every day in these people’s lives. They occurred once or twice in the entire lifetime of some of them.
Too many times when God tries to guide us by bearing witness with our spirit, we don’t listen because we want something dramatic, like a vision or an angel.
Some people put out what is called a “fleece” before the Lord when seeking guidance. I tried that one time. I put out a fleece and got fleeced!
The New Testament does not say, “Those who are led by fleeces are the sons of God.” Gideon did put out a fleece (Judges 6:36–40). But we are not living under his covenant. We have a New Covenant established on better promises. And we don’t see any of the apostles telling people to put out a fleece before the Lord.
I put out a fleece once when I tried out for the pastorate of a church in Texas. I said if the congregation voted 100 percent for me to come as their new pastor, I would accept this as the Lord’s will and go. I got every vote and accepted the pastorate.
That was the most miserable time of my life. I lost the anointing to preach. While preparing my sermons, I felt like fire was in my bones. But the minute I stepped inside the church, it was as if someone poured a bucket of cold water on me.
I was out of God’s perfect will and in His permissive will. And things don’t work right when you are in only His permissive will. That was the only time I ever missed it in taking a church.
Wait on God
Sometimes people don’t want to take their responsibility. It’s easier to put it off on God and say, “Lord, if You want me to do that, then open the door. If You don’t, then shut it.” It’s harder to wait on God until you know the answer on the inside. And sometimes it takes times of waiting to hear this inward witness.
We get so busy physically and mentally that spiritual things become indistinct to us. It is easier to get quiet with your body than with your mind. Sometimes when you try to sleep, your body is relaxed. But your mind is still churning with the day’s activities, ideas, and plans, or with worries and anxieties.
Here is an area where praying in tongues is a great advantage. Paul said, “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful” (1 Cor. 14:14).
I have found the best way to quiet my mind is to pray in other tongues. When you pray in tongues, your mind grows quiet. Once it is quiet, you become more conscious of your spirit and spiritual things.
When Christians seek to know God’s will for their lives, He will make His perfect will clear to them by some means. Whether it be through a still, small voice speaking to their heart or through a supernatural manifestation, God will guide those whose hearts are open to Him along the pathway of peace.
Kenneth E. Hagin
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