Supernatural Biblical Guidance 4
Understanding the Holy Spirit's Voices & Guidance

by Pastor John Hamel

“The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly.” (Proverbs 20:27)

Notice that our text Scripture does not say, “The body of man is the candle of the Lord,” nor does it say, “The mind of man is the candle of the Lord.” 

Somebody once said concerning supernatural guidance, “God gave me a brain and He expects me to use it.”  To which I responded, “Not always.  He doesn’t want you to use your brain when it’s telling you to disobey the Bible.  He doesn’t want you to use your brain when it’s telling you to disobey all the forms of supernatural guidance outlined in the Bible.” 

This is why the Apostle Paul tells us that we are to renew our mind on the Written Word of God. (Romans 12:2)  A mind that has not been renewed on the Word of God will tell you to do wrong things and to obey wrong voices.  

A human being can get into big trouble when attempting to reason the things of God out with their mind.  Yes, God gave you a brain.  However, He does not intend for you to use it to override His Word or His supernatural guidance. 

We are studying supernatural guidance in this series.  We have covered some very foundational yet pertinent information up to this point.  

We have seen that man is a spirit and it is through man’s spirit that the Holy Spirit is offering guidance.  

We have seen that the primary way the Holy Spirit guides, next to the Bible, is what we have called the “inner witness” of the Person of the Holy Spirit. 

In this lesson we will be studying the second most common way through which the Holy Spirit speaks to His people.  

This is often referred to as “the still small voice” or “the still small voice of our own human spirit.”  It is also referred to as “the inward voice” of the Holy Spirit.  This is how we will refer to it throughout this study.

The Inward Voice of the Holy Spirit

“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, MY CONSCIENCE ALSO BEARING ME WITNESS IN THE HOLY GHOST,” (Romans 9:1)

Even as the outer man, the physical man has a physical voice, the inner man or the spirit man has a voice of its own.  Your human spirit most definitely has a voice and it will speak to you.  The Apostle Paul referred to this inward voice of the Holy Spirit as “conscience.”  Paul knew that the Holy Spirit was living on the inside of his spirit, making him the Temple of the Holy Spirit. (1Corinthians 6:19

Paul is revealing here that when the Holy Spirit speaks into the human spirit, it rises up into the human mind and becomes what is commonly called “the voice of conscience.”  Anyone who is familiar with Paul’s Epistles (Letters) knows that he never violated his conscience.  He realized that his conscience was his spirit saying what the Holy Spirit was saying to him.  This inward voice is not as forceful as the actual voice of the Holy Spirit, which we will talk about later in this lesson.  The inward voice of the Holy Spirit can actually be rather placid or mild in comparison, yet when you hear it, it is as clear as a new bell.  If you are Born Again, you can trust the inward voice or the voice of conscience. 

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, HE IS A NEW CREATURE: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2Corinthians 5:17)

The Bible reveals that at the New Birth everything about your spirit becomes brand new.  As we explained in the first lesson of this series, this change occurs in the human spirit, not in the body, not in the mind.  This is a very safe and reliable means of guidance because your spirit is now new with nothing but the life and nature of God within it.  A Born Again human being can avoid a multitude of heartaches simply by following the voice of conscience.  It is the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to your human spirit. 

Many years ago I woke up around 3:30 am and began to pray in the Spirit.  My wife was pregnant and I had been perceiving that there was some sort of a problem.  I prayed in the Spirit for about 1½ hours when suddenly a quiet, clear, firm voice rose up from my spirit into my conscience and said, “Change doctors.”  I knew it was the inward voice of the Holy Spirit.  I very wrongly began to reason that there was going to be a delivery problem, so I figured we had some time to make the change.  Boy, did I ever figure wrong.  Within a matter of days we were standing in a cemetery saying a temporary goodbye to a little boy who had returned to the God Who had sent him.  A complication had arisen and we needed a more experienced doctor. 

We do not blame God for what happened, nor do we blame our young, inexperienced physician.  The Holy Spirit did His part by speaking to me.  The young doctor did his part by operating in what little knowledge he had.  I did not do my part by obeying the inward voice of the Holy Spirit immediately.  This is one lesson I will never forget and one that you can learn from as well.  I am a Born Again man.  The voice that rose up out of my spirit into my conscience was the inward voice of the Holy Spirit and I am without excuse for my lack of promptness in obeying Him.

On the other hand, if you are not Born Again, God does not live in your spirit and you are not the Temple of the Holy Spirit.  I realize that some people are not going to like this.  However, unsaved people cannot trust anything that rises up out of their spirits because they are in union with Satan and are his children. (Ephesians 2:1-3)  An unregenerate spirit will permit a human being to do practically anything and find a way to justify it. 

“Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even THEIR MIND AND CONSCIENCE IS DEFILED.  They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and UNTO EVERY GOOD WORK REPROBATE.” (Titus 1:15,16)

An unregenerate spirit is defiled and is capable of permitting anything.  An unsaved human being simply cannot trust their conscience.  These are not fighting words.  These are Bible words and they stress the importance of being Born Again in order to hear from God accurately. 

The Actual Voice of the Holy Spirit

"And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.  And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see; And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.  And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down."  

"And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again. Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.  And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me.

“And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child.  Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.  And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.  And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle." (1Samuel 3:1-11) 

Here we find the Lord through the agency of the Holy Spirit speaking to Samuel in what is commonly called “the audible voice of God.”  It was so clear, and it came with such authority, Samuel actually thought that it was Eli calling from the other room, three times.  This would be the third most common way that the Holy Spirit speaks to Believers when there is no Scripture addressing their need. 

First, He will speak by the inner witness.  Second, He can speak by the still small inward voice.  Third, He can speak by what we are calling the actual voice of the Holy Spirit.  This voice is far more authoritative than the still small voice.  The question has been asked, “Is it an actual voice that you hear with your ears?”  I have heard the actual or the audible voice of the Holy Spirit.  It certainly comes across as if everyone present could hear it.  However, the audible voice of God rises up out of the human spirit and usually only the one being addressed can hear it.  This is not to say that God cannot address a group audibly because He certainly has done so on numerous occasions. (Matthew 3:16,17; Mark 9:1-9) 

There is a major difference between the inward still small voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to our spirits and bearing witness with our conscience and the actual voice of the Holy Spirit.  When you hear it, you will find yourself looking around to see who spoke to you because it is as real as the voice of another human being, even more so.  It will definitely set you to thinking. 

The Apostle Peter heard the actual voice of the Holy Spirit after his vision in Acts chapter 10.

“While Peter thought on the vision, THE SPIRIT SAID UNTO HIM, Behold, three men seek thee.  Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.” (Acts 10:19,20)

Notice the Holy Spirit “said” to Peter.  The Holy Spirit did not impress Peter nor did He bear witness with Peter’s conscience.  He actually “said” something to Peter. 

When I first heard the actual voice of the Holy Spirit as a baby Christian, I just about jumped out of my skin.  I was working for a Hollywood Production Company driving semi-trucks for popular entertainers.  My semi was sitting out front, loaded with over one million dollars of sound, lighting and stage equipment.  Believe it or not, I was praying in the Spirit before going on the road and the actual voice of the Holy Spirit said, “Don’t go.”  It scared the fire out of me.  I went all through the house looking to see who was speaking to me but I knew that I was alone.  He spoke to me again, “Don’t go.” 

To make a long story short, I disobeyed Him and paid a bitter price.  By the time I got to my destination I realized the trouble I was in.  I handed the keys to the truck over to another individual and flew home immediately.  Let it suffice to say that within weeks I had gotten completely out of that industry and answered the call of God to go to Bible School and enter full time Ministry.  You can read the details of my disobedience and its consequences by clicking on “The Albuquerque Fire Pit.” 

Was the voice that said “Don’t go” supernatural?  Absolutely.  Was the voice spectacular?  Beyond all doubt, yes.  Is it the primary way God guides all Believers?  Absolutely not.  Because I was a baby and particularly dull at that time, the Holy Spirit had mercy on me and spoke in an audible voice.  He wanted me out of that industry and He wanted me out immediately. 

Since then I have learned to trust my life to the inner witness first, the still small inner voice of conscience second and the actual, audible, much more authoritative voice third.  These forms of supernatural guidance are followed by dreams, visions, prophetic utterance and even Angelic visitation at times.  I have experienced all of these, multiple times, but I do not sit around waiting for them to occur.  I build first and foremost on the written Word of God and the inner witness of the Holy Spirit.

Do Not Sit Around Waiting for the Spectacular

People who make the mistake of insisting on the more spectacular forms of guidance are frequently accommodated by the devil.  He knows when we are disobeying God, rejecting the inner witness, insisting on dreams, visions, prophecies and Angels.  He will step right up to the plate with his counterfeits and knock the will of God for your life right out of the park if he hears you insisting on the more spectacular forms of supernatural guidance. 

The inner witness may not be spectacular but it is absolutely supernatural.  Learning to be led by the inner witness does take a little trial and error at first, but the Holy Spirit will protect you and keep you on track.  If you are going the wrong way you can be sure He will correct you. (Isaiah 30:21) 

Learning to be led by the inner witness can be illustrated by learning to play the piano.  You start off with little things, hunting and pecking, finding your way around the keyboard.  At first it seems that you will never learn and that failure and inability will plague you forever.  But suddenly, through persistence, one day you realize, “Hey, I’m really doing this.  I really am being led by the Spirit of God supernaturally.” 

Keep in mind that there are many voices besides the voice of the Holy Spirit clamoring for your attention.  Learn the Bible.  Demand Scripture for everything. 

Everything the Holy Spirit says and does can be backed up and proven with Scripture, multiple verses of Scripture in context. (Deuteronomy 17:6; Matthew 18:16; 2Corinthians 13:1)

Be blessed … John and Barbara Hamel



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