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How to Hear the Holy Spirit

DDCommunity: How to Hear the Holy Spirit

Is it possible to hear the Holy Spirit? Do you know when God is speaking to you? God desires to be in an intimate relationship with you. He wants to hear your voice in prayer. And God also wants you to hear His voice. He speaks through the Holy Spirit, who lives in believers of Jesus Christ. So, God’s voice is not heard audibly because the Holy Spirit lives within.

Depend on God

In John chapter 14, Jesus teaches His disciples about the Holy Spirit, who indwells believers.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever.”

John 14:16 CSB

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.”

John 14:26 CSB

Nehemiah also spoke about the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He emphasized the fact that God gave the Israelites everything they needed to depend on Him. But the people refused to hear the Holy Spirit and did not listen to God. The Israelites thought they had a better plan.

You sent your good Spirit to instruct them.

Nehemiah 9:20 CSB

The Holy Spirit Is a Wonderful Gift

Believers receive the gift of the Holy Spirit when they accept the wonderful truth of the salvation from sin provided through the gift of Christ’s sacrifice.

In him you also were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed. The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of the possession, to the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 1:13–14 CSB

But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy—through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.  He poured out his Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior so that, having been justified by his grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3:4–7 CSB

Joyfully, we are indwelt by God’s Spirit.

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then he who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through his Spirit who lives in you.

Romans 8:11 CSB

Die to Self

But it is often difficult to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit because we are consumed with our own thoughts. We have ideas about how everything should happen. And we want things to happen the way we think they should happen. Therefore, we must choose to be filled instead with the fruit of the Spirit and sacrifice our selfish ambitions to God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22–25 CSB

Desire to Be Taught by the Holy Spirit

“Well, how can I connect to God to hear the Holy Spirit?” Ask for God’s wisdom, guidance, and understanding. And after you ask, be willing to be taught by the Spirit. Why should He try to teach you if you are not willing to listen?

Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God.
May your gracious Spirit
lead me on level ground.

Psalm 143:10 CSB

“But what if I don’t know the right words to say?” God makes provision for that, too, through the Holy Spirit!

In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Romans 8:26–27 CSB

But it is the spirit in a person—
the breath from the Almighty—
that gives anyone understanding.

Job 32:8 CSB

Be Still

But this is one of the most challenging points: Be still to listen for direction.

“Be still, and know that I am God.
     I will be exalted among the nations,
     I will be exalted in the earth!”

Psalm 46:10 ESV

The Christian Standard Bible translates Psalm 46:10 this way:

“Stop fighting, and know that I am God,
exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.”

Psalm 46:10 CSB

We should stop fighting to get our own way. And stop fighting to come up with our own solutions. Instead, we must allow God to be the authority in our lives. He will be exalted among the nations and exalted on the earth. Therefore, exalt Him in your life.

To be still and listen to the Spirit, we must let go of our own understanding and trust in the Lord.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:5–6 NKJV

We can hear the Holy Spirit at any time and place when we listen.

Where can I go to escape your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I live at the eastern horizon
or settle at the western limits,
even there your hand will lead me;
your right hand will hold on to me.

Psalm 139:7–10 CSB

Confirm Wisdom, Guidance, and Instruction with Scripture

It is always wise to confirm what you believe is the voice of the Holy Spirit through the written word of God. The Bible is God’s primary revelation of truth to us.

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit—which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6:17 CSB

The Spirit of truth enlightens us to the words of God.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come.”

John 16:13 CSB

If you believe you are hearing something from the Holy Spirit that you cannot find evidence for in God’s Word, you need to pause before acting on what you heard. Keep searching for God’s answers and confirmation in the written word of God.

Pray and Ask for Assurance

The Spirit blesses us with assurance as we seek Him.

The one who keeps his commands remains in him, and he in him. And the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit he has given us.

1 John 3:24 CSB

The power of the Holy Spirit fills us to overflow with hope, joy, and peace.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13 CSB

Blessings upon blessings abound as we connect to God through His Spirit.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.

2 Timothy 1:7 CSB

Proceed Humbly

We must proceed humbly to accomplish His purposes for His glory while paying attention to further instructions. When we depend on God, He will teach us the wisdom of God as we listen to the Spirit’s voice within.

Now God has revealed these things to us by the Spirit, since the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except his spirit within him? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who comes from God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God. We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people.

1 Corinthians 2:10–13 CSB

Therefore, don’t grieve the Holy Spirit by resisting the work that God is accomplishing in and through you by His Spirit.

And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by him for the day of redemption.

Ephesians 4:30 CSB

But they rebelled
and grieved his Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 63:10 CSB

Consequently, anyone who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.

1 Thessalonians 4:8 CSB

God gives us everything we need to accomplish everything He is giving us to do.

Based on 2 Peter 1:3

The Holy Spirit, who lives within, is our greatest resource. Therefore, listen well to hear the Holy Spirit and follow His directions in your life.

I pray that he may grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power in your inner being through his Spirit.

Ephesians 3:16 CSB

Do You Want to Learn More?

Want to learn more about the ministry of the Holy Spirit? Here’s a list of some great sermons about the work of the Holy Spirit and how you can hear the Holy Spirit.

Pastor David King of Concord Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN preached a sermon series entitled, “Hello My Name Is Holy Spirit.”

Our friend, Kerry Johnson, preached a sermon series, “The Ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Life of the Believer,” and posted on Facebook.

Also, see more of our blog posts about the Holy Spirit.


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