God Speaks Through the Holy Spirit
In the church many sincere, born-again believers have divided themselves into two camps. There are the “Spirit” people and the “Word” people. The “Spirit” people put their emphasis on the experiential aspects of Christianity: power, anointing, supernatural manifestations, and so on. The “Word” people prefer a more cerebral approach. They think of themselves as serious students of the Word and shy away from anything that seems to be emotionally driven. To me these distinctions are nonsense.
If any form of emotional and experiential Christianity is not based on Scripture, it is nothing more than New Age mysticism. And if any form of Christianity is entirely cerebral and has no impact on real Word experience, it is nothing more than an empty shell. People of the Word must also be people of the Spirit, and people of the Spirit must also be people of the Word. There is no need to separate the two. In fact, to do so is dangerous!
In Ephesians 6 Paul talks about the "Armour of God,” which includes the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (vv. 1417). I want you to notice that we have no offensive weapon in this list. Now you will invariably disagree and point to the sword, the Word of God, but look carefully. The Word of God is not called “the sword of the Christian.” It is called the sword of the Spirit. In other words, it belongs to the Spirit.
He alone can wield it properly. Without the illumination that the Holy Spirit brings, the Bible is just black ink on white paper. This is why some of the most disciplined students of Scripture, even professors and scholars, can be atheists and agnostics. These are people who are studying the Scriptures from a purely intellectual and cognitive perspective. These people have used the Bible to commit the sin of idolatry. All they see are objections, and all they gain is doubt. “The letter kills,” Paul says, “but the Spirit gives life” (2 Cor. 3:6, NKJV).
At the end of Jesus’s earthly ministry as He was preparing to die on the cross, He told His disciples, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26, NKJV). The Holy Spirit is not a doctrine or denomination or optional experience reserved for only a few Christians.
The importance of this truth cannot be overstated. He is the third person of the Trinity given by the Father in response to the prayer of Jesus to be and to do everything Jesus would do in our lives were He still here physically. Hearing the voice of God is actually hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Without His active participation in our lives the heavens would be silent, for He is the one who reveals the voice of God in our hearts.
The more we give the Holy Spirit’s presence a place of honour in our lives, the more sensitive we become to His voice. It’s this fellowship and communion with the Holy Spirit that sharpens our spiritual sensitivity and makes our hearts better able to hear the voice of the Lord when He speaks to us.