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Sam Tan• Timely Word •

Listening for the Holy Spirit’s Voice

By 5 April 2023No Comments

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:13-14)

When Jesus announced his imminent death to his disciples, the security of the believers crumbled. Jesus assured them saying, “It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper (Holy Spirit) will not come to you. But  if I go, I will send him to you (John 16:7). “You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:17b-18). They would never be alone.

Fear of a situation or an unknown outcome in life decisions can often be debilitating. What we need then is to stay centred in God’s will for our lives – in and through Jesus, who is our Good Shepherd and the Word. But we often simplify God’s Word into a set of rigid and quick rules and apply them resolutely and equally to all situations. In addition, Jesus often uses the same words to speak to us differently for different situations. What then?

This is where we rely on the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was sent by Jesus after the Ascension to dwell in every believer. One of His roles is to “teach you all things”  (from the Word).  In every situation and life decision, He will “bring to your remembrance all that I (Jesus) have said to you” (John 14:26 NLT). The indwelling Holy Spirit “will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future” (John 16:13-14). The result is peace (shalom) amidst storms (John 14:27, 16:33) and rejoicing at the end of trials and temptations when we are able to see Jesus’ work in our lives (John 14:28, 16:20).

Reflecting on Easter, I am so thankful to Jesus for the Cross and for His Holy Spirit sent to dwell and speak to me always through my life’s journey; for the world is rough, fast and noisy.

So, let us learn to recognise the voice of the Holy Spirit from the many others voices which surround us. (eg, our own, others, the world’s and Satan’s). I am personally dissatisfied with the level of my ability to clearly discern the Holy Spirit’s voice for  I want to have a keener sense of Him: like that of a parent recognizing their child’s voice. So I am praying expectantly, asking God to train me to be still and to sharpen my discernment. May we all heed this command repeated 4 times in Revelation: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev 2:29, 3:6, 13, 22)

By brother Sam Tan