Last week I began a series on Who’s Voice is it?, with the main focus on how to determine whether or not it is the Holy Spirit, devil or you speaking, and how do you know when to respond and obey, and when to ignore the voices? Today’s focus is on the characteristics of the Holy Spirit and how we can recognise if it is him speaking. Take note what Galatians 5:22-23: We often scan right over this verse because it is so common, popular and well-known. But in all honesty, very few people actually understand what is being said. If you look at the definition of love, you will notice that a lot of the fruits of the spirit are the same words used to describe love. So it is safe to say that the Holy Spirit is love itself: We need to understand who the Holy Spirit is, and what love means. However, diving into love will have to be a whole entire different series of posts as that could easily take a few weeks to cover – which I plan to share sometime soon.
What we need to know is that the Holy Spirit only has good plans in mind for you, absolutely not wanting to hurt or destroy you. Many people think that if you have good feelings and that when life is perfect, that is a Holy Spirit moment and life. But that is exactly where we are so very wrong.
Let me explain: Jesus never said that there won’t be trouble, but he said that the Holy Spirit will be with us during the troubles and trials of life (Psalm 138:7 and John 16:33).
I will never forget what this one pastor said years ago in a sermon: “A miracle cannot take place if there was not an impossible problem. So, God can only do miraculous things through you if you are struggling through impossible and troublesome situations.” Now, I am NOT saying that it is the Holy Spirit causing all the troubles and problems in your life. No, not at all. What I am saying is, that to choose a life lived by the Holy Spirit, a life that is pure and set apart by God, a life willing to stand up and fight for God, will upset people who do not want to face the truth and refuse to admit that they are doing wrong. As a result, this is where trouble and frustrations and problems will come from. And yes, when the devil finds out that you are living a Holy Spirit life of purity and truth, the devil will do anything and everything to make your life miserable and change your mind, so that you will decide to stop doing what the Holy Spirit wants you to do.
Now, I would like to show the contrast between the devil and the Holy Spirit’s voices. But let me mention Guy Saffold’s post where he shares the differences, which is an excellent starting point:
As you will notice in his article, there are very clear differences. As you will notice, the Holy Spirit will always encourage you, while the devil will try everything to discourage you. So, pay close attention to it: whether the voice you are hearing is encouraging you, or discouraging you.
Now, what about those times where the Holy Spirit promises to answer your prayers, fulfil His promises, and then nothing happens for weeks and months on end, and it feels like all “hell broke loose”? First: love is patient. Remember, our time is not the same as God’s time, PLUS, while God gives you time to prepare for the things He promises to fulfil, He is busy working in the background, putting things in place, sorting out your character and mind set (renewing your mind). It is not always easy when going through attitude and character adjustments, and few people like it when things change. Such as people suddenly disappearing out of your life; did you ever think that it is because God is allowing the people who are poisonous in your life tlto leave you to make room for good people and good friends / business partners?
God never does or allows something without a purpose or a reason.
When the Holy Spirit tells you, “I am going to fulfil my promise” he is basically giving you a pre-warning, so that you know that the final preparations are about to take place, to make sure that you are ready in every way for when it happens.
Just remember though, the devil will try everything to stop what the Holy Spirit is doing in your life. He will blame you for being selfish, and he will push you, saying that “It should have happened already”, while the Holy Spirit reminds you to be patient. The devil keep giving you negative thoughts, and push you to become critical. If you resist the critical thoughts, he will cause people around you to become critical and miserable until you get dragged down by their attitude, losing focus of God’s promises. While the Holy Spirit will continue encouraging you with prophetic words, scriptural promises, and confirmation of the promises being fulfilled.
Pay close attention to what builds your character, and what has a positive influence on your life, no matter hard it is. After all “Choosing what is right is always harder than choosing what is wrong”. Rather a difficult no, than an easy yes.
The devil will try to confuse you with, “What ifs”, “but”, “should I rather”, “why is it taking long”, “give up”, “no one cares”, “you are all alone in this”, “this is a lie / hoax”. While the Holy Spirit will bring clarity to the situation, even if he only reveals things bit by bit, saying things like, “stay strong”, “be courageous”, “be patient”, “I am with you”, “this is the truth”, “do not give up”, “it will change the lives of those around you”.
More often than not, the devil will always make you concerned with money, and he will find ways to make worry about provision and tomorrow and even make you bankrupt. Whereas the Holy Spirit, he will always remind you to trust him for provision, never leave you hungry, and always provide for you in ways unknown, which mankind and the world will term as “impossible”. Satan will make the possible impossible, while the Holy Spirit makes the impossible possible.
I wont forget this time when I was 10 years old, and my dad was fired from his job for refusing to join his boss and colleagues in a theft set-up, causing my family to lose everything we had. Going from rich, with a big fancy house and cars to being in house that we rented, while another family lived in the back half of the house and a student in the garden flat, was a huge adjustment for my family. My dad was without a job for 11 months, and in the 8th month of joblessness, my dad’s bank account read 1 cent.
What my mom did was take the whole family and together we prayed for provision for finances. Then each one of placed our orders and desires for the food we wanted. I honestly dont remember what my family members asked for, but I do remember asking God for bread, butter and jam – jam on toast is always delicious. The following day, friends of parents, who knew nothing of our prayers, arrived at our house, containing all the food that each one of us had asked God for, including my bread, butter and jam, plus an extra box-full of food. God provided financially in miraculous ways to cover the rent, internet and petrol bills as well.
Do not look at your situation or the negativity involved, but hold on to the promises and God’s words, no matter what. The Holy Spirit will always encourage you, and cause you to grow, change your character and renew your mind during difficult times. The devil will always discourage you, keep you in a comfort zone, break down your character and destroy your mind.
Trust the Holy Spirit: you will see amazing things happening in your life.
Will the voice you are listening to prevent you from growing and moving forward in your life? Or will it give you a testimony worth sharing, something that will not only change your life for the better, but also change the lives of those around you?