HAVING AND HEARING THE SPIRIT

One of the beliefs our church holds dear is that every believer receives God's Spirit. It is through God's Spirit that we come to know God, to understand what He wants, and to be transformed until we are like Him. And because every believer has God's Spirit, we believe that every believer can hear from God. In other words, every believer can have direct contact and communion with God without needing any sort of human intermediary.

But what if I told you that just because you have the Spirit doesn't mean that you will always be able to hear the Spirit? The Bible actually presents many different scenarios in which genuine believers will not have God's thoughts on a topic or issue.

Sometimes this is because of our own sin. Sin works much like ear wax, blocking our ability to hear God's Spirit clearly. A person living in sin—like rebellion or bitterness for example—is unlikely to hear God well.

Our own sin can also cause us to become deceived. In other words, sin doesn't just mean that we might not hear anything. It could also mean that we hear from the demonic and believe it is God!

Other times we don't hear from God because He doesn't want to share with us directly. Sometimes God will speak to us through other believers or through those in authority over us in order to keep us humble or to reinforce the reality of the body for us.

Other times we don't hear from God in particular circumstances because there's nothing we need to know! Often God gives insight and understanding on a "need to know" basis. Sometimes not having clear direction from God can be a signal that He doesn't intend to use us or involve us.

Hearing from God, then, is something that we cultivate in our lives as believers. It's not something we take for granted. So let us work in cooperation with the Spirit to remove anything from our lives that might hinder us from hearing God when He speaks. And let us remember that, while God's presence is constant in our lives, He may not always have something to say to us on every issue and in every circumstance!