Do you ever have trouble hearing from God? Do you find yourself caught in confusing circumstances needing guidance, and yet even after praying and reading the Word—you're still not sure what God wants you to do?
I've had that experience. I knew His written Word and acting on it changed my life. But I was uncertain when I had to make decisions about things the Word didn't specifically address. Things like whether to move to one city or another, for example.
What held me back was my ability to know that I was doing the right thing. You see, God's written Word and the inward witness are two different things. They never contradict each other, but they're both a vital part of our walk with God.
God expected Israel, for example, to obey His written Word. But He also said to them, "Obey my voice" (Jeremiah 7:23) because He wanted them to know His will in specific situations. That's what happened when Israel invaded Jericho. They heard God's voice. Where else do you think they would have gotten that strange battle plan? It wasn't written in the law of Moses. And certainly, no human being would suggest a seven-day march around a city as the most effective form of invasion!
But exactly how, you may wonder, does God speak to us? Does He just shout down at us from heaven?
Not usually! Romans 8 says the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit. That means that God's directions come from inside, not outside, of you.
At times when you hear His guidance, you may even wonder, Was that me, Lord, or was that You? That's because God doesn't normally inject thoughts directly into your mind from the outside. Instead, He speaks to your spirit, and your spirit translates it into a thought.
Tune in today to that inward witness, to that quiet knowing, that urging, prompting and leading arising within you.
If when you hear it, it sounds like you, don't be surprised. It is you! It is your spirit being influenced by the Spirit of God! After you're born again, your spirit is a safe guide because you are born of God's Spirit. You have His nature. And the Holy Spirit lives in your spirit to teach you and to give you direction.