Listening for Instructions

I remember taking a test when I was in high school (a long, long time ago!)  The teacher handed out the test and said, ‘Read the whole test first before you start writing.’ 

The Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” Acts 8:29

I remember taking a test when I was in high school (a long, long time ago!)  The teacher handed out the test and said, ‘Read the whole test first before you start writing.’  Invariably there were those who did not obey the instructions and began filling in the blanks as they read the test.  At the end of the test, the very last question, said, ‘Write your name on your test and do not answer any of the questions.’   You could hear the groaning around the room as each of us got to the end of the test!

Instructions are important; they are vital for our success!  We see it in our natural lives every day, instructions from our parents, from our bosses, from teachers; and we know if we follow their instructions we will succeed in what they are asking us to do.  But how tuned are our spiritual ears to hear?  How often do we rush ahead of the Holy Spirit; we don’t wait for Him to instruct us?  Think how successful we could be if we would just learn to wait and listen for His instructions!

 The Holy Spirit instructs us.  He listens to what the Father is saying and then He speaks to us, instructing us.  The account of Philip and the Ethiopian is a really great example of how the Holy Spirit gives detailed instructions and then shows the results of what happens when we obey His instructions.   There will always be fruit when we obey the instructions that the Holy Spirit gives us.  God is at work and He is wants you to join Him!

Acts 8:26-29 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying,
“Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from
Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. 27 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”

The Holy Spirit instructed Philip to ‘Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.’  Philip was given a very specific instruction.  He encounters the Ethiopian treasurer, he was a powerful man who had great authority, he worked for the queen of the Ethiopians, Candace.  The Ethiopian is reading the prophet Isaiah out loud while he is sitting in his chariot.

Now we see the Holy Spirit give Philip another very specific instruction. Go over and walk along beside the carriage.  Philip obeys and shares the Good News of Jesus with him and then proceeds to baptize him.

The Holy Spirit gave Philip instructions; he was obviously very familiar with God’s voice.  Then he obeyed.  There was great fruit because of his obedience to the Holy Spirit.

 The Holy Spirit will give you instructions.  He will tell you how to proceed in a particular area, He will instruct you on how to avoid pitfalls.  His instructions are always based upon the Word and they never violate His nature, character or attributes.

In Acts 8, the Holy Spirit was giving an instruction to Philip.  He was telling him what to do.  Why? Because He had a plan in mind and He had an end goal that He wanted accomplished and He used Philip to carry out His assignment and directives.

Can you image if we all would listen for His instructions and then obey them?  The world would change!  People’s lives could be transformed forever.

He has a plan for you, He has an end goal for you, He has something He wants to accomplish through you.  Are you listening and willing to obey?

Learning to Hear His Voice

Do you desire to hear God’s voice more clearly, regularly, and distinctly?  Have you ever said, “I wish I could hear from God like other people do?”

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Rev 2:7

The Holy Spirit is a communicator!  He loves to speak!  He loves to talk with you!  He desires to have continual communication with you, not just during storms or trials.  He wants to talk daily with you.  He is very vocal, we just need to learn to hear Him.

Why do you think the Holy Spirit wants to talk with you?  DO you think that He wants to talk to you?  Maybe this is a new idea and you have never considered that God would actually want to speak to you.

Do you desire to hear God’s voice more clearly, regularly, and distinctly?  Have you ever said, “I wish I could hear from God like other people do?”

Do you ever wonder, is this God or is this me?  Many people ask, ‘How do I recognize when God speaks to me?  How do I know that it is not just me’?   Do you desire to effectively discern when someone tells you, ‘God spoke to me, or God told me’, whether it is from God or not?

Do you want to understand God’s Word more?  Do you want to understand how to apply His Word to your life?

Do you have a desire to be His vessel, someone who hosts His presence, that no matter where you go, who you meet, you are ready to effectively minister His love, grace, and goodness?

We have heard that today God doesn’t speak the same way as He spoke in the Bible.  Have you ever said to someone; ‘God spoke to me and said…’ only to have him or her look at you like you are crazy? Have you ever noticed how on TV, when they depict someone who has heard from God, they depict them as a crazy person, someone who doesn’t have all of their marbles in place?

But in His Word, He says that He does speak AND He actually expects us to listen and obey!  There are many different ways in which God speaks to us.  There is no set formula; God will speak to you in the way He chooses.

Jesus says, “My sheep hear My voice,  and I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:27

The Holy Spirit does not speak of Himself, but He will receive of the Father and the Son and speak to us what they say.  It is God’s plan for us to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice.

He is pouring out His Spirit today. God is speaking and He is pouring Himself out upon us today, presently.  Joel 2:28-29, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

  • He speaks to us through words.
    Acts 8:27-29  Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”
  • He speaks to us through dreams and visions.
    Joel 2:28-29, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
  • He speaks to us in our spirits – a still small voice.
    I Kings 19:12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God.
  • He speaks to us through what we see.
    Through out the book of Jeremiah, He asks Jeremiah, ‘what do you see?’
  • His communication requires a response.  Further instructions or benefits are dependent upon our response.When God met Saul on the road to Damascus,  God spoke to him and He required obedience from him.  God gave Saul an instruction.  Saul’s obedience brought him to Ananias where he received  greater revelation and understanding.  He received healing and he was commissioned.
  • He gives you what to speak.  He will give you the words to say and the exact moment you need them.
    Mark.13:11  “But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.

You may ask, ‘how do I hear the Holy Spirit’s voice?’  Set aside time every day to spend with the Holy Spirit.  Get into the Word and spend time talking with the Holy Spirit and meditating upon God.  Talk to Him about your day.  Ask Him what He wants you to know today.  You can bring specific questions before Him and seek Him for an answer.   Listen for an answer and be willing to obey.  Then as you go about your day, talk to Him; involve Him in your day and your decision-making processes.  Involve Him in your conversations, speaking to Him and asking Him for direction and the right words to say.   Become more aware of Him as you go about your day.

Get so accustomed to talking with Him that you know immediately when He speaks to you.

A Teachable Posture

My success is directly tied to my ability to be teachable.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.  John 14:26

How I love Holy Spirit, He is so intimate with us and wants the very best for each of us!  He is so committed to our success that He is willing to spend time teaching us and mentoring us!

My success is directly tied to my ability to be teachable.

Have you ever tried to teach someone, only to have them argue with you, deflect personal responsibility, blame shift, give you excuses, be defensive, and then ultimately pick up an offense?  I am sure we have all encountered people like this in our lives, and I am sure that we have all acted like this as well!   These are all signs of being unteachable.

I have found through my walk with the Holy Spirit that a key to success is my ability to stay teachable.  My success is directly tied to my ability to be teachable.  Some say that the school of hard knocks and life are the BEST ways to learn, but I would strongly disagree.  I don’t find that to be a scriptural concept.  All through scripture we see, if people were teachable and obedient, they moved in favour and blessings, but when they chose to ‘do what was right in their own eyes’, then they would encounter the school of hard knocks.

We don’t need to spend our lives recovering from mistakes.  Life is too short!  We can be teachable and allow our great Mentor the Holy Spirit to impart into our lives.   This launches us farther and quicker; it causes us to be focused, more effective and impactful.

This is not to say that we can’t learn or recover from those mistakes, but I would suggest, that we don’t HAVE to learn that way.  There is a more effective way and it is directly tied to our ability to be teachable!

So what does it mean to be teachable, to have a teachable spirit?   We must we open our hearts and minds up to HEAR what being taught.  It usually involves us keeping our mouths quiet and just listening!  It is a humbling experience, but the value of what we are receiving is huge.

The Holy Spirit desires to:

    • Impart instruction. 
    • Instil doctrine in us.
    • Expound His Word – explaining it to us, bringing greater clarity to it.
    • Bring His Word to life, creating a Rhema Word in us.
    • Brings revelation to us!

He loves to speak to us and He wants to teach us! This is powerful!

Let’s continue on through the verse. I love the next part of this verse, He shall teach you ALL THINGS, and bring ALL THINGS to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said to you.

We have a Teacher who knows all things, sees all things, He knows the beginning from the end, He knows that plans that He has for us.  Think on that for a moment!  He knows what your day holds, what your future holds, and what your assignment is.   He will teach you what you need to be successful, to carry out your assignment, and to live the abundant life that Christ died for.

Wow!  The One who knows ALL is my Teacher!  I can avoid the snares and pitfalls, because He sees them ahead of me and will teach me, enabling me to avoid them!

Jesus then continues on and tells the disciples that the Holy Spirit would bring all things to their remembrance.  The disciples had HEARD Christ and the Holy Spirit was going to bring Christ’s Words to their remembrance.

When we fill our hearts and minds with the Word, the Holy Spirit will bring it to our memory just when we need it.  He works with the Word that has been implanted in our hearts.  He is the active agent in our daily lives.

Position yourself to be teachable and allow the Holy Spirit to teach you today!  Be a receiver!

He Guides Me

Many people wander through live, never quite figuring out what their assignment is, continually asking if they are in the ‘will of God’; some live in continual fear of being deceived and being lead astray; some live in a state of ‘am I saved?’ or  ‘will I make it to heaven’?

“…He will guide you into all truth… ” John 16:13

Many people wander through live, never quite figuring out what their assignment is, continually asking if they are in the ‘will of God’; some live in continual fear of being deceived and being lead astray; some live in a state of ‘am I saved?’ or  ‘will I make it to heaven’?

How can we live our daily lives with confidence knowing that we are making the right decisions for our lives and our family?  How can we navigate in a world that is full of opinions and ideas?  How can we function from our position as a son of God?

John 16:13 shows us that He is the Spirit of Truth.  He will guide us into all Truth, the whole, full Truth.  He speaks what He hears the Father say.  He will announce and declare to us things that are to come, things that will happen in the future.

If we understand the role of Holy Spirit in our lives we can live at rest.  We can live at rest because  Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth; this builds trust in us.  He is Truth!  He will not lead us in a lie or in ways that are not for our good.  What He hears the Father speak, He speaks to us.  When you understand the attributes and character of God, this is very powerful to grasp!

What He is speaking to us is coming out of the attributes and character of God.  He sees the beginning from the end, His thoughts towards us are good, His love for us is great, He cannot lie, He is full of justice, He is faithful, His Word cannot return void.  When we consider the source and authority behind what is being spoken to us, we can rest in His guiding.

Guide means to literally show the way.  The Holy Spirit was given to be our Guide, to show us the way, to be our leader and our guide.

When we seek out the counsel of the Holy Spirit daily, we walk with more confidence, hope, assurance and rest.  He loves to communicate with us.  He desires to talk with you and walk with you.   Read His Word, ask Him questions today, ask His opinion, ask Him to guide you, to help you make the right decisions.  He may quicken a verse to your mind, He may give you revelation about a verse, causing it to become a Rhema word to you.  He may speak to you in a still small voice, He may send someone along your path, or He may speak to you in a dream or a vision.  He wants to be involved in every area of your life.

Holy Spirit is the source of all Truth.  Seek Him daily. Delve into His Word and ask Him to guide you and show you the way.  He will never disappoint!

Holy Spirit Helps Me

Have you ever felt strength less, weak, sick, or frail?  Do you ever feel like you are trying to do things on your own?  Do you ever feel overwhelmed, wondering how you are going to make it through?

Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. Romans 8:26

Have you ever felt strength less, weak, sick, or frail?  Do you ever feel like you are trying to do things on your own?  Do you ever feel overwhelmed, wondering how you are going to make it through?

Jesus saw all of that and He knew that we were going to need someone to walk with us and help us.   How wonderful is it that He made those provisions for us?  He said, ‘I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever’ (John 14:16).

He knew that we were going to need help.  He recognized, that the assignment that He has given, could not be completed without the help of the Holy Spirit.  He knew what frailties and weaknesses we were going to experience, and He made a provision for us!

Romans 28:6 Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

The Holy Spirit was sent to help us.  The word help means to lay hold along with, to strive to obtain with others, help in obtaining, to take hold with another, embrace to help, to be a partaker of.  We see the idea here of, the Holy Spirit joining together with us to help us succeed and overcome.  He is at work with us.  We are not left alone; we can rely and call upon Him to help us.

I love how Robertson describes this!  ‘Here beautifully Paul pictures the Holy Spirit taking hold at our side at the very time of our weakness and before too late.’   The Holy Spirit comes alongside us, takes hold, and before it is too late He helps us in our weakness!

It is interesting to note key descriptive words, ‘helps, together, lay hold along with, help in obtaining’.  The Holy Spirit works ‘with’ us.  He is not doing the work ‘for’ us, but He is coming along side us to help.  We still have to take responsibility and do our part, but He has promised that He will meet us in our weakness and lay hold along with us so that we can overcome and have victory.

When a parent helps a child walk up a stairway, that child has all the strength and resources of the parent, but the child still must take the steps and walk up the stairway himself.   This illustration still doesn’t describe the full impact of when the Holy Spirit lays hold and comes along side with us, but it gives us a framework and a mind picture to relate to.

When He is active in our lives and helping us,  we are connected with the full provisions of the Godhead – wisdom, peace, strength, wealth, understanding, healing, provisions, discernment, and the list goes on!  He helps us as we grow and walk.  Just like we want to see our children grow and mature, God’s desire for us to grow and mature governs His help for us.  He wants US to do it, He wants US to succeed.  He wants US to overcome.

Oh how amazing!  How wonderful is that?  We don’t have to do life alone!  We have been given a Helper!

*Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament.