Supernatural Biblical Guidance 2
The Holy Spirit, Your Inner Umpire, Part One

by Pastor John Hamel

"Success is always the result of following the leading of the Holy Spirit." Dr. Kenneth E. Hagin

“And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia.  And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein.  And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone; And, hardly passing it, came unto a place which is called The fair havens; nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea.  

"Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives.  Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.” (Acts 27:5-11)

The Apostle Paul was in prison for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  As we pick up the narrative here in Acts chapter 27, we find him being transported to Rome to stand trial.  In verse ten you will notice that Paul said to his captors aboard the ship, “Sirs, I PERCEIVE that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage…” 

If you were to read the rest of this chapter, you would discover that Paul’s perception was one hundred percent accurate.  They encountered a major storm that resulted in the loss of the ship and all of its cargo.  Paul was actually saying to his captors, “Sirs, I don’t have any peace about continuing further with this journey.  I believe we should wait a day or two before continuing.” 

Another way of looking at Paul’s perception would be that he had “unrest” in his spirit about continuing on the journey.  This inner perception, this lack of peace, or unrest that Paul had in his spirit is the primary way that the Holy Spirit guides New Testament Believers today.  Unfortunately, many Believers reject it, insisting on more spectacular forms of guidance such as visions or dreams and completely miss this primary form of guidance. 

When Believers do not have Scripture to reveal the will of God to them, God expects them to turn inwardly listening to what is commonly called the “Inner witness” of the Holy Spirit. 

The Holy Spirit Is Our Inner "Umpire"

“And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (ACT AS UMPIRE CONTINUALLY) in your hearts [DECIDING AND SETTLING WITH FINALITY ALL QUESTIONS THAT ARISE IN YOUR MINDS, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live].” (Colossians 3:15 Amplified Bible)

Paul referred to inner peace as an “umpire.”  An umpire’s job is to keep an eye on the players/participants making sure that they stay within certain parameters.  This is also the job of the Holy Spirit, our inner umpire.  He lets us know by an inward perception, by peace or by unrest, whether we are safely pursuing the will of God for our lives or not. 

The Holy Spirit within can be illustrated by the internal guidance systems that are commonly used by ships, planes and spacecraft today.  These vehicles all have an inner gyroscope that is based on the magnetic pull of the Earth.  A gyroscope sends signals to instruments indicating the attitude, or the position of the vehicle.  Pilots spend years, decades and thousands of hours training themselves to trust the readings given by the internal gyroscope, not outside reference points.  Many pilots have died overriding their instruments and depending on their human senses in a crisis situation.  The human eye and the inner ear particularly can give false readings leading a pilot to believe that they are in one position when actually they are in another. 

For example, in the dark with no visible horizon or outside reference points, a pilot can easily believe that he is right side up when he is upside down.  This is known as spatial disorientation.  If a pilot will choose to believe his instruments over his inner ear, he can pretty much be assured of safety.  The inner ear can give a false reading but the magnetic pull of the Earth, although it may vary ever so slightly at the poles, will never give a false reading.  Pilots are trained to trust their lives to this fact.

The human mind, outward circumstances, trusted loved ones, however well meaning, can all give wrong guidance that appears to be right, just like the inner ear of a pilot can.  The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, is like the inner gyroscope based on the magnetic pull of the Earth.  He will never give a false reading because His guidance is based on the pull of the Father Who is All Knowing. 

I refer you back to Paul’s journey on the prison ship to Rome.  His “inner gyroscope” or the “inner witness” of the “inner umpire” / Holy Spirit was giving him a reading indicating that there was a problem.  Yet outwardly everything appeared to be just fine.  The sun was shining.  A cool breeze was blowing.  It appeared to be perfect sailing weather but every one of those outside reference points turned out to be wrong.  

Paul knew that his inner guidance system, the Holy Spirit, his Umpire, was sending him a signal or a perception from down in his spirit indicating that they were about to head off in a wrong direction.  The Holy Spirit still guides Believers this way today.  No doubt, you, the reader, are recalling a time or two where you overrode this form of inner guidance and ended up in a peck of trouble.

So many make the mistake of taking the path of least resistance, allowing other people to guide them when the Holy Spirit wants to guide them directly.  Others make the mistake of only looking for “emergency” guidance in a crisis.  A crisis is not the time to attempt to develop sensitivity to the “inner witness” of the Holy Spirit.  

Others insist on more spectacular forms of supernatural guidance such as voices, dreams, visions, prophecies and Angels.  These are all Biblical forms of supernatural guidance, indeed, but they are not the primary way that the Holy Spirit guides Believers today.  

The primary way the Holy Spirit leads is by the “inner witness” or “inner perception” or “peace” or “unrest.” 

If you are about to make a decision in your life concerning investments, a move, marriage, school, a job change, etc., and something on the inside is telling you to back off, you would do exceptionally well to heed that inner perception.  That “something” is actually “Someone.”  That is the “inner witness” of the Holy Spirit and it is the primary way that God guides when there is no Scripture to tell you what to do.  Override it and drink from a bitter cup.

Putting the Holy Spirit in Position to Answer You

I always like to get some sort of a witness in my spirit as to what God wants me to do in every situation.  For instance, if I am in position to choose between Pastoring in Maine or Pastoring in Idaho, I do not say to the Holy Spirit, “Sir, I’m going to the grocery store.  If they have Maine potatoes, I’m taking the Church in Maine.  If they have Idaho potatoes, I’m taking the Church in Idaho.”  That is being led by outside reference points.  The devil can put Maine or Idaho potatoes in my local store just as easily as God can, because he, Satan, is the god of this world. (2Corinthians 4:4)  He can do lots of things that most Believers do not realize.   

Rather, I say to the Holy Spirit, “Holy Spirit, Sir, I’m impressed that You want me to take the Church in Maine, so here’s what I’m going to do.  I’m going to make the decision to go to Maine.  I’m going to sit on it for a few days or more.  If I continue to have peace about my decision, I know that You are giving me the green light.  If I continue to have unrest about my decision, I know that You are giving me the red light.”  

This way, I am always putting the Holy Spirit in position to where He is never being forced to speak to me in a voice, vision, dream or visitation form.  I am always putting Him in position to where He only has to answer me “Yes” or “No,” “peace” or “unrest,” “green light” or “red light” down in my spirit where He lives.  After all, I am a spirit, not a body or a soul.  He is not going to talk through my body or my soul.  He is going to talk to me from the spirit realm on the inside of my spirit. 

Let me say this again at the risk of being redundant.  

When I need supernatural guidance, I will make a decision to the best of my ability and put the Holy Spirit in position to where He only has to tell me through an inner perception whether I have made a right decision or a wrong decision.  

This is so simple that most people miss it.  The world calls it “intuition” or “gut instinct.”  The Apostle Paul called it “perception,” “peace” and the inner “Umpire.”  

More people, saved and unsaved alike, have overridden this inner instinct walking headlong into crisis and tragedy.  When it was all said and done, they have been heard to say, “What was I thinking when I did that?  Something was telling me not to do that.  Why didn’t I listen?”  

You Must "Let" the Holy Spirit Guide You

The Apostle Paul said in Colossians 3:15, “And LET the peace … act as umpire continually … deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds…”  (Amplified Bible)

This is a decision you must continually make, daily.  The Holy Spirit will not force you to obey Him, but He will continually bear witness within you as to what is right and what is wrong for your life.  He will continually give you peace or unrest about things.  He will continually give you the green light or the red light, but you must LET that witness rule within you.  

You must decide whether to stop or to go ahead.  You must make the decision constantly to not be led by outward circumstances, well meaning individuals or anything else besides the inner witness of the Holy Spirit.  Even if you should receive one of the Holy Spirit’s two voices, a dream, a vision, a prophecy or an Angelic visitation, you absolutely must have peace on the inside about any of them.  Any form of guidance that comes that is not in line with the Written Word of God and causes unrest in your spirit is not the Holy Spirit. 

Satan can counterfeit all forms of guidance with the exception of the inner witness.  He does not live within you anymore; therefore, he cannot counterfeit the inner witness from within, anymore.  This is why the Holy Spirit insists that everything comes back to the inner witness when we are dealing with supernatural guidance.  It is the only area where Satan cannot slap you with a counterfeit!

Inner Peace Vs. Relief in the Flesh

It is time for the Body of Christ to grow up and to recognize the difference between inner peace and relief in the flesh.  I will give you an example that will help you.  The simple fact of the matter is that there are a lot of lazy, compromising Christians within the Body of Christ.  They are not the majority but they do exist and it is not critical to say so.  These are the individuals who will sit in a Local Church for a few months.  They enjoy the praise and worship.  They enjoying hearing about things like the power of Jesus’ Name, their authority over Satan, Divine healing and Biblical prosperity in perspective.  But then one day the Pastor feels led of the Holy Spirit to start teaching about consecration, sanctification, holiness and living a sin free lifestyle. 

All of a sudden going to Church is not as comfortable as it used to be.  All of a sudden we are not just talking about the blessings, we are now talking about the blessings of obedience.  I call obedience the “O” word.  Baby Christians do not like the “O” word.  It is a cuss word to them and the Pastor should not be cussing in Church.  So they get all offended, they get all restless, they get all irritated and agitated and decide it is time to go somewhere else where the Pastor does not cuss in Church.  They go looking for a new carnal hide-out and people begin to wonder where they went.  So begins the search for the lost sheep.  The brothers and sisters finally hunt down the prodigal asking why they suddenly just up and left.  The explanation is always the same.  “I just didn’t have peace about going to that Church anymore.  The Holy Spirit led me to leave that Church and to go to this new Church.  I have complete peace about where I am.” 

In reality a more truthful answer would be, “That Pastor started preaching about obedience and my flesh started crawling.  My flesh started really bothering me because it was as if he was talking directly to me, although he never called my name.  But as soon as I left, I had the most unbelievable “peace” knowing I wasn’t going to have to listen to the “O” word anymore.  That’s why I’m going to this new Church for the next couple of months, at least until he starts irritating my flesh by using dirty words like “obedience” and things like that.  When he does, I just know the Holy Spirit will give me “peace” about leaving there, too.”  So on and on goes the game of musical Churches. 

You see, this individual had “relief in the flesh” that they did not have to sit under the Pastor’s convicting preaching any longer.  They were calling it “peace” and “being led by the Holy Spirit.”  This is what spiritual babies do. 

However, there is a major difference between the inner peace of the Holy Spirit and the outward relief of the flesh when one is under conviction.  We will never learn how to be properly led by the Holy Spirit of God until we first learn the difference between the Holy Spirit’s peace and the carnal relief of the convicted flesh. 

We will continue this lesson in our next study.  Be sure to obey the Holy Spirit and stick with us now.  Don’t say, “The Holy Spirit gave me peace about not finishing those lessons.  That Preacher uses the ‘O’ word.”

Be Blessed ... John and Barbara Hamel



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