How to be Led by the Holy Spirit
by Mike Bradley
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How to Be Led by the Holy Spirit
Since we have opened up this site, we have received many questions from people all across the world. If I had to rank one question that might be one of the most frequently asked questions, it might be the actual title of this article – exactly how am I to be led by the Holy Spirit – and exactly how does the Holy Spirit communicate to all of us in this life?
As we all know, the Bible very clearly says that the sons of God are led by the Holy Spirit in this life. Once again, here is this most important verse:
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)
Now that we know that the Holy Spirit will lead us in this life because the Bible now tells us so, exactly how does He do this?
This is where you have to take some other verses from Scripture on this topic and put them all together like you would pieces to a jigsaw puzzle. Once you put these additional Scripture verses all together on this topic, then you will see very clearly the different ways that the Holy Spirit will help guide us and lead us in this life.
For the record, based upon the revelation that are in these additional verses, we believe there are 8 basic ways that the Holy Spirit will use to not only guide us in this life, but to also directly communicate to all of us from time to time. In other words, you can learn how to hear direct from the Holy Spirit Himself.
If the Bible calls the Holy Spirit our Guide and Teacher in this life, this means that He will attempt to communicate to all of us from time to time. Otherwise we will never be able to pick up from Him exactly what He is trying to teach us or tell us to do.
But before I get into these 8 basic way that the Holy Spirit will use to communicate to us and lead us in this life, I want to make one more comment on this subject matter.
If there are two subject matters that are rarely discussed in many churches today, it has to be in the area of spiritual warfare like we discussed so many times in our articles in that section, and in the area on how to hear from God and how to be led by the Holy Spirit.
My best guess on why most pastors do not attempt to educate their flocks on how the Holy Spirit will lead us and communicate to us in this life is either because they themselves do not have a full understanding on this subject matter, or they are too afraid to open up this subject matter to their flocks for fear that it will open up a door to the spiritual realm, and from there, they could possibly make contact with demonic spirits who will try to masquerade as the Holy Spirit or God Himself.
In other words, they look at this subject matter as being a kind of pandora’s box. They are afraid if they open up their flocks to supernatural communication from the Holy Spirit, then they may also open them up to communication to demonic spirits as well.
Granted, this is a possibility, but just because demons can attempt to counterfeit what God does, does not mean you have to throw out all of the supernatural ways God will use to communicate to His people.
For example – per the 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit, demons can counterfeit the gift of tongues. But just because demons can counterfeit the gift of tongues does not mean that the gift of tongues from the Lord is still not real and that many of His people can still receive it in this day and age. We just have to be careful and learn how to discern when something is coming in from God and when something is coming in from demons.
Demons can also give false visions. false dreams, false healings, false prophecies, etc. But again, just because demons can do this does not mean that we totally shut God down in those areas of our life and refuse to accept the supernatural ways that He still likes to use to communicate to all of us.
Again, if there is one major area that many Christians are weak on because they have never been taught much about it, it has to be in the area of spiritual warfare, and in the area on how to be led by the Holy Spirit and how to hear directly from God themselves.
If you really study the Bible from cover to cover, God was supernaturally communicating to His people on a fairly regular basis. And if God is still the same today as He was yesterday, then that tells us that He still wants to communicate to all of us in those same supernatural ways.
We just have to learn what those different supernatural ways are – and then learn through a process of trial and error when it really is the Lord communicating to us, when it is demons, or when it is just our own natural imaginations, feelings or emotions talking to us.
I will break down these 8 specific ways God will use to communicate to all of us under the following 8 captions so you can keep all of these different ways properly sorted out. But before I do, I want to give you some very key verses from Scripture on the Holy Spirit Himself so this part of the walk will not scare you or intimidate you.
Key Scripture Verses on the Holy Spirit
The following verses I will now give you are major, key verses on the Holy Spirit Himself, and they will all set the stage for you to be able to receive direct, supernatural communication from Him from time to time.
Again, I know some pastors are afraid to open up this supernatural realm to their flocks, but these verses all are all straight forward and they are meaning exactly what they are saying.
As a result, I believe these verses should be taught by the churches so their people will at least know what the Bible has to say about this subject matter, and from there, each person can then make up their own mind as to whether or not they want to tread into these kinds of deeper waters with the Lord.
If God did not want this kind of information and knowledge in our lives, then He would have never put these kinds of verses in the Bible. But since He did, this tells me that He wants His people to have access to this revelation and from there, they can then decide if they want to try and develop this part of their walk with the Lord.
Now onto to some very key Scripture verses on the Holy Spirit that will set this kind of stage up for you.
1. You Can Develop a Personal Relationship With the Holy Spirit
The first thing you will need to know if you want to learn how to be led by the Holy Spirit is that you can develop a direct, personal relationship with Him just like you already have with God and Jesus.
If the Holy Spirit is going to start to supernaturally communicate to you in a wide variety of ways, then the first thing you are going to want to do is to make direct, personal contact with Him, since you are now going to be working very closely with Him if you want to develop this part of your walk with the Lord.
Here are two very key verses from the apostle Paul telling us that we are allowed to have direct communication and direct fellowship with the Holy Spirit Himself:
1. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14)
2. “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit …” (Phillippians 2:1)
The two key words in these two verses are the words “communion” and “fellowship.” And both of these two key words are being tied in direct to the Holy Spirit Himself. In other words, the apostle Paul is telling us that we can have direct communion and direct fellowship with the Holy Spirit Himself.
Put those two key words together and they spell one thing – personal relationship. Not only can we develop a close, personal relationship with both God the Father and Jesus Christ, but these two additional verses are telling us that we can also develop a close, personal relationship direct with the Holy Spirit Himself.
These two verses will now set the stage for the next two verses.
2. The Holy Spirit is Our Personal Guide and Teacher in This Life
Before you can believe that the Holy Spirit can guide you, lead you, and teach you in this life, you will need the specific Scripture verses showing us that He does have this kind of personal ministry with all of us. And these next set of verses are going to give you that specific revelation. Here they are:
1. “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)
2. “However, when He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth …” (John 16:13)
When the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit will “teach us all things” and “guide us into all truth,” this tells us that the Holy Spirit has the ministry with each one of us as being our personal Guide and personal Teacher in this life. And if He is going to be our personal Guide and personal Teacher in this life, then this means He will start to communicate to us so He can teach us what He wants to teach us.
And our part will then be to learn how He will communicate to us so we can pick up that communication when He does start to release it to us.
Put these two verses together with the first two verses above about having direct fellowship and direct communion with the Holy Spirit, and you can tell that God is letting all of us know loud and clear that we can enter into this supernatural realm with the Holy Spirit. If God is telling us that the Holy Spirit will be guiding us and teaching us in this life, then we can comfortably enter into that realm with Him so He can then begin to do that kind of work with each one of us.
3. Do Not Resist, Rebel, Grieve, or Quench the Holy Spirit
These last set of verses I will now give you will put the icing on this entire cake. Not only does God want us to establish a direct, personal relationship with the Holy Spirit, along with allowing us to be led and taught by Him in this life, but now God is going to take it one more step further.
These next set of verses are now going to tell us that we are not to resist, quench, rebel, or grieve the Holy Spirit. In other words, once the Holy Spirit starts to become very active in your life and He then starts the process of guiding you and teaching you in this life, from there, God will want you to work very closely with Him. God will not want you to resist Him, quench Him, grieve Him, or rebel against Him.
Here are four key verses giving us these four specific words:
1. “But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; so He turned Himself against them as an enemy, and He fought against them.” (Isaiah 63:10)
2. “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22)
3. “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.” (Acts 7:51)
4. “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30)
When you study the intense wording of these verses, you can tell that God the Father is telling all of us loud and clear that once the Holy Spirit starts to move in on you and your life, that He will want us to work in cooperation with Him.
God does not want us resisting Him, quenching Him, grieving Him, or trying to rebel against Him. If you rebel and resist the Holy Spirit, then you are rebelling and resisting God Almighty Himself and His Son Jesus Christ. And that is not a place you want to be in with the Lord.
The other thing to pick up on these verses is that they are more proof that the Holy Spirit does have a specific ministry with all of us and that He can become very active in our daily lives. If the Holy Spirit did not have the job and the ability to become very active in our daily lives, then the Bible would not be using the words quenching, resisting, rebelling, or grieving the Holy Spirit.
If you are quenching the Holy Spirit, then this means He is already moving in on you to try and help you out. Otherwise, there would be nothing to quench. Same thing with the other three key words – resisting, rebelling, and grieving. If the Holy Spirit was not becoming very active in your daily life in the first place, then there would be nothing to resist, grieve, or rebel against.
All 4 of these words are very strong words, once again showing that the Holy Spirit is not only living on the inside of each one of us, but once He is in there, He wants to become very active in our daily life so He can help us complete our divine destiny with the Lord, along with helping us to become the kind of a person God wants us to become in Him through the sanctification process He wants to do with all of us.
You cannot fulfill your true purpose and your true calling in this life, and become the true, sanctified saint God is wanting you to become in Him unless you have the Holy Spirit helping you out with all of this. That is why the Holy Spirit is called “The Helper” in the Bible. That is why Jesus has said that without Him, we can do absolutely nothing in this life.
Bottom line with these first three captions – the Bible is telling all of us very clearly that not only do we have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us as a result of accepting Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, but these verses are also giving us additional information that the Holy Spirit has a specific ministry with all of us – and that specific ministry is to guide us, lead us, and teach us in this life.
And if the Holy Spirit has the job of guiding us and teaching us in this life, then this means He is going to try and supernaturally communicate to all of us from time to time. And your job will then be to learn the different ways He will communicate to you – which will now take us right in this next section – the 8 different ways that the Holy Spirit will lead us and communicate to us in this life.
The 8 Different Ways the Holy Spirit Will Use
to Lead Us and Communicate to Us in This Life
Now I will list the 8 different ways that the Holy Spirit will lead us and communicate to us in this life. So you can have all of them right at the top of this section, I will go ahead and list all of them in a bolded, numbered format so you can have all of them at a quick glance.
1. The Inner Witness – The Inner Knowing
2. The Word of God
4. Check in your Spirit
Again, I know some people freak out once you attempt to step into this kind of supernatural realm with the Holy Spirit. But this is where each Christian has to make their own choice as to whether or not they want to tread into these kinds of deeper waters with the Lord.
You can either learn how to do all of this with the Holy Spirit, or you can choose to let this supernatural realm go and just stay on the path that you are already walking on if you have never had any of this kind of activity before with the Holy Spirit.
Many of you will know exactly what I will be talking about below, as you have already stepped into this realm with the Holy Spirit and have learned how to play this kind of game with Him.
However, if this is all new to some of you because you have never been taught any of this in the churches you have been raised up in, then you will need to make a decision with the Lord as to whether or not you will want this supernatural realm opened up for you by God the Father.
If after reading the captions below you decide you would like God to open up this supernatural realm for you, then all you have to do is go direct to God the Father in prayer and ask Him to allow the Holy Spirit to become very active in any of these 8 different ways in which He uses to communicate to us. Tell God that He has a solid, green light from you to open up this realm if it will be His perfect will to do so at your present level of spiritual development with Him.
If you put that kind of special request before God, then He will take you very seriously and He will then very gradually lead you into this realm and from there, the Holy Spirit will start to move in some of these different areas for you. The Holy Spirit will also show you how to discern when it really is Him communicating to you as versus when it is just your own emotions or your own imagination talking to you.
Now I will take you into the 8 different ways the Holy Spirit will use to supernaturally communicate to us in this life.
1. The Inner Witness – The Inner Knowing
In my opinion, this is the number one way that the Holy Spirit will communicate to us in this life. Here is the specific verse where this piece of revelation is being given to us by the Lord:
a) “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” (Romans 8:16)
b) “I tell you the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit …” (Romans 9:1)
The first verse is telling us that the Holy Spirit Himself bears witness in our human spirit that we are children of God. And if the Holy Spirt can bear witness in our human spirits on that issue, then I believe He can also bear witness in our spirits with other things as well.
And then the next verse will prove that to you. The apostle Paul gives us additional revelation when he says that his conscience was also bearing witness in the Holy Spirit. In other words, the Holy Spirit was bearing a good witness for Paul in his conscience, which I believe is part of our human spirit.
The key word in these two verses is the word “witness.” The Holy Spirit is bearing witness to something in our human spirits. And what exactly is a good “witness” when we do receive one of these from the Holy Spirit?
Jack Hayford, in his excellent book, Hayford’s Bible Handbook, defines a witness or witnessing as the following:
Giving evidence, attesting, confirming, confessing, bearing record, speaking well of, giving a good report, testifying, affirming what one has seen or heard, presenting the gospel with evidence
The first verse above where the Holy Spirit is bearing witness with our spirits that we are saved lines up with some of the above definitions from Mr. Hayford such as confirming, attesting, confessing, and bearing record. In other words, the Holy Spirit is confirming in our spirits that we are saved and that we are now children of God.
When you really cut into this word as it is being used in the first verse above, another word for the inner witness would be that it is an inner knowing. The Holy Spirit will transmit the knowledge He wants you to have on something as a strong, inner knowing.
I am sure you have all heard many people say, “I had a good witness on that pastor’s preaching today.” Some people say that the inner witness is a “knowing without any shadow of a doubt.” They will use the slang expression, “You know, that you know, that you know, without any shadow of a doubt.”
Other people call this inner knowing an illumination, an enlightenment. All of a sudden you receive supernatural illumination, supernatural enlightenment on what a Scripture verse may mean. I personally like the term an “inner knowing” to best describe how the Holy Spirit supernaturally communicates to us in this life.
When the Holy Spirit communicates something directly to you through this inner witness, it will be a knowing without any shadow of a doubt. When you receive one of these for the first time, you will know that it has come from the Holy Spirit due to the strength and conviction of it. After you start to receive these kinds of inner knowings from the Holy Spirit, you will soon learn how to discern when one is really coming in from Him, or when one is just coming in from your own natural imagination and emotions.
A true, inner witness from the Holy Spirit will come out of your spirit – it will not come out of your head, your imagination, or your emotions. That will be the first “tell” that what you are receiving is coming directly from the Holy Spirit.
Some people refer to these inner witnesses as a “gut knowing or gut feeling.” How many times have you heard people use the slang expression that their “gut” was telling them what they needed to do, and then later on it turned out to be right. Those “gut knowings” or “gut feelings” are many of the times the inner witness from the Holy Spirit.
If you get a strong gut feeling not to get on a plane, and you then decide to heed that warning and hours later that plane ends up crashing, then you know that gut warning was coming in direct from the Holy Spirit since you do not have the ability to see into the future like He can.
Many, many people have received those gut warnings not to do something specific, and many of the times, those gut warnings turned out to be 100% accurate, which again means that many of them were coming in direct from the Holy Spirit.
My take on the above two verses is this:
if the Bible says that the Holy Spirit can bear witness in our own human spirits that we are saved and that we are truly the children of God – and He can also help out the apostle Paul on the issue he was dealing with where the Holy Spirit bore witness with Paul’s own conscience, then this tells me the Holy Spirit can also bear witness with many other things in our life as well.
What I have personally found out in this realm is that the Holy Spirit will communicate knowledge to you through this inner knowing, through this inner witness. When you receive this inner knowing about something specific, you will not hear an audible voice or hear any type of inner words coming up on you. What you will receive is just a good, clear, inner knowing on the message being transmitted to you.
For instance, say you have been meditating on a particular Scripture verse, but you just cannot seem to get the correct interpretation on what it may mean or how it can apply to your life. And then all of a sudden one day, the Holy Spirit gives you a strong, inner knowing as to exactly what this verse means and how it can apply to your personal life.
What the Holy Spirit will do is transmit the interpretation of that verse through the inner knowing. All of a sudden you will “understand” what this verse means and you will then be able to “see” the true meaning behind the words.
This is supernatural enlightenment and illumination that the Holy Spirit can give you on many of the verses in the Bible. It is His job to actually open up the meaning of Scripture for you so you can understand what you are reading and from there, how to get some of these incredible, spiritual truths worked into your daily walk with the Lord.
And not only can the Holy Spirit communicate to you the meaning of certain Scripture verses through this inner witness – this inner knowing, but He can also do this on many of the other things in your daily life as well. He can give you strong, inner knowings on the following:
- Who you should be marrying in this life
- When you should take the next new job God will want to give you
- How to solve any problems you may be having in school or at work
- How to handle a problem or roadblock that may have occurred in your marriage
- How to handle all of the problems that will occur if you have just lost your job
- When to move in on someone to witness to them
- There is just an infinite number of things that the Holy Spirit can communicate to you on so you can try and get through this life in one piece and try to handle all of the problems that may come your way.
Per our article on the 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit, two of the 9 gifts are the Word of Knowledge and the Word of Wisdom. And for the most part, we believe that a lot of those words of knowledge and wisdom will come to you through this inner witness, this inner knowing.
That is why it is extremely important that each Christian learn how to receive these inner witnesses from the Holy Spirit, so they can then receive actual communication from Him as to exactly what He wants them to be doing with some of the specific issues that will be occurring in their daily lives.
The Holy Spirit is called the Helper in the Bible, but He cannot help you with some of the things you will need help on unless He can first communicate directly to you on exactly what He wants you to do.
The ability to pickup up these inner witnesses, these inner knowings from the Holy Spirit will only come to you through a process of trial and error. Your mind will receive the inner knowing out of your spirit. And if it is truly from the Holy Spirit, then you can totally depend on it and from there, act on it if any kind of action will need to be taken.
2. The Word of God
The next way that the Holy Spirit will communicate knowledge to you is sometimes by giving you a direct verse from Scripture. All of a sudden, you will see a Scripture verse float up right in front of your mind’s eye. And when you see this particular Scripture verse, you will see the meaning of the verse and how it will answer the particular problem or dilemma you may be dealing with.
The Bible is just loaded with an unbelievable amount of spiritual truths, and many of these spiritual truths will be the answer to many of life’s problems that we will all encounter. And if there is a particular Scripture verse that will answer a problem you may dealing with, then there is a very good chance that is how the Holy Spirit will help you solve the problem – by giving you the actual Scripture verse that will solve the problem.
I cannot tell you how many times over the course of my life that the Holy Spirit will bring back up to my remembrance a certain Scripture verse that will solve or answer the problem I may dealing with. I have actually come to the conclusion that if there is an actual verse from the Bible that will solve the problem, that will be the first thing the Holy Spirit will want to give you.
That is why it is so important for each and every Christian to spend as much quality time as they can in loading up their mind with the Word. If you do, then the Holy Spirit can bring back up to you remembrance certain Scripture verses when you may need them because you have already done your part by getting the Bible verses “in you.”
In addition to communicating a direct message to you, the Holy Spirit can also give you “leadings” on what to do and what not to do. Again, here is the verse that will show us that it is the job of the Holy Spirit to lead us in this life, along with another verse showing us that Jesus Himself was also willing to be led by the Holy Spirit when He was walking down here on our earth in the flesh.
a) “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)
b) “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” (Matthew 4:1)
If God is telling us that we are to be led by His Holy Spirit, and then He shows us that His own Son Jesus was also led by the Holy Spirit, there can be no other conclusion to come to other than God wants all of us to learn how to be led by the Holy Spirit in this life.
When it comes to these basic leadings, some people have different terms to describe it when it does come in on them from the Holy Spirit. Some people will say I had a “leading” from the Holy Spirit to take that new job. Other people will use the terms “unction” or “prompting.” They will say they felt or sensed an unction or prompting from the Holy Spirit to do something specific.
These leadings from the Holy Spirit can be anything from a very gentle nudging to something that could be much stronger. When you get a real strong leading to do something specific, it will feel like God has His big hand on the small of your back pushing you forward. You will feel the wind at your back to move in that certain direction. You will feel or sense a very strong unction, a very strong prompting to move in that direction.
However, if God does not want you to move in that certain direction, then you will feel or sense no leading at all from the Holy Spirit. When you think of moving in that direction, you will get a real flat witness from the Holy Spirit. There will be no inner witness to move forward. You will have no peace to move in that direction.
If that is what you are picking up when thinking about moving in a certain direction, then that is the Holy Spirit’s way of telling you to let it go and not to move in that certain direction.
Again, being able to pick up these kinds of leadings from the Holy Spirit is something that you will learn through a process of trial and error with Him.
After you have received quite a few of these leadings from the Holy Spirit, you can then become quite adept at being able to tell when a leading is coming in directly from Him or when it is coming in from your own natural desires and emotions.
4. Check in Your Spirit
In addition to the Holy Spirit leading you to go in a certain direction, He can also do just the exact opposite. He can tell you not to move in a certain direction, especially if there is going to be any kind of danger right around the corner. When He does not want you to move in a certain, dangerous direction, many of the times what you will pick up from Him is a “check in your spirit.”
A check in your spirit is like a a stop sign being put up by the Holy Spirit. It is His way of telling you to stop right where you are at and not to proceed any further. For instance, many people will get a check in their spirit when they are about ready to board a plane that is going to crash. Some people will then heed that check and not get on the plane. Others will ignore it, thinking that is is their own natural emotions or fear and that it is not really coming in from the Holy Spirit.
That is why it is so vitally important that each Christian learn how to pick up these kinds of inner warnings from the Holy Spirit – so you can keep yourself from being seriously injured, if not possibly killed. How many people have died in car accidents and plane crashes – all because they chose to ignore that check in their spirit not to get in that car or plane that day.
These checks in your spirit can also prevent rapes, abductions, assaults, car accidents, plane crashes, taking the wrong jobs, marrying the wrong people, getting hooked up with the wrong people in this life, etc. As you can see, there can be an infinite number of situations where the Holy Spirit will tell you not to keep going in that specific direction.
Here is a very good verse from the Bible where the Holy Spirit did exactly that for the apostles:
“… they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia … They tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them.” (Acts 16:6-7)
This verse tells us that the Holy Spirit forbid them from going to Asia and Bithynia. And if the Holy Spirit was forbidding some of the apostles to move in a certain direction back in the beginning of the NT, then He can still do the exact same thing for all us in this day and age. And one of the ways that He will let us know not to move in a certain direction is by giving us that check in our spirits.
The other thing the Holy Spirit can do in this realm besides giving you a good, strong check in your spirit, is that He may take it one more step further and He may then start to churn your stomach. Your stomach will start to churn, and you will feel like you have a million butterflies swirling around in your stomach.
You will get a very queasy and uneasy feeling about going any further in the direction you are looking to move into.
If the Holy Spirit takes that check in your spirit and moves it into an actual manifestation where He is literally churning your stomach, then it would be my very strong recommendation that you heed this kind of intense warning from Him, and immediately stop and turn away from the direction you were initially going to take.
I remember a girl I used to work with saved herself quite a bit of trouble as a result of heeding that check in her spirit when she was on vacation one day up in Canada.
About 10 years ago, she went on vacation to Toronto, Canada. Her and her friend were getting ready to get on a trolley type train car. Right before they were getting ready to board the train, she said she got a very uneasy and queasy feeling about getting on this train. She said she had a strong check in her spirit not to board that train. Knowing that this could be a direct warning from the Holy Spirit, she chose to listen to it and decided not to board the train.
When they got home about 4-5 hours later, they turned on the TV and saw that the train they would have gotten on had been involved in a wreck on the tracks that were up in the air.
Apparently, the train somehow had got derailed and had partially come off of the tracks. It took 3-4 hours to finally rescue all of the people who were still on board. Several people were killed in the accident.
Had my friend not listened to that uneasy feeling and check in her spirit that the Holy Spirit was conveying to her, she would’ve at the least been stranded on that derailed train for 3-4 hours, not to mention the possibility of being seriously injured or even killed.
These checks in your spirit can be major lifesavers depending on what the Holy Spirit is telling you not to do. Again, this is another one that you will learn through a process of trial and error with Him. As with the above other ways He will communicate to you, you can become quite adept in knowing when a check in your spirit is really coming in from Him, or when it is coming in from your own natural fear and emotions.
Another very interesting way that the Holy Spirit will use to communicate something to you is through an actual quickening. A quickening from the Holy Spirit is when He will “jump” something at you. For instance, if you are reading the Bible, you may find a verse or two that will jump off the pages at you and hit you right between the eyes.
Whenever the Holy Spirit quickens something like this to you, this means you are to grab a hold of it and examine it to see exactly what the message is that He is trying to convey to you. If you are dealing with a specific problem, He may quicken a verse to you that will help solve your problem.
You can also have words from preachers jump at you. You could be driving down the road in your car listening to a pastor teach on the radio when all of a sudden something he says jumps right out at you through the radio. And again, when this happens, this is the Holy Spirit’s way of bringing you knowledge He may want you to have on something specific.
Another area where this could occur at is at your local Christian bookstore. You will be in the bookstore browsing all of the books in there when all of a sudden a particular book will jump off the shelf at you. When that happens, there is a very good chance that is the Holy Spirit quickening that particular book to you.
If that should ever happen to you, you should pick up the book to see what it is all about. There may be information in there that will help you in your walk with the Lord, and the Holy Spirit may want you to buy the book so you can add it to your storehouse of knowledge in the Lord.
I cannot tell you how many times He has personally done this to me over the years. And every time He does it, I always end up buying the book because there is key information and knowledge in that book that I need to have for my own personal growth in the Lord.
I know many of you have had these kinds of experiences with the Holy Spirit. Some people will use the slang expression that something really “jumped” at them when they first heard it. And in most of these cases, that word or message that was quickened to them by the Holy Spirit was something they really needed to hear at the time it happened.
Again, after you have received quite a few of these quickenings from the Holy Spirit, you can easily learn to sense and discern when it really is the Holy Spirit doing this for you. Also, do not go “looking” for these quickenings to occur. Let them come naturally to you by the Holy Spirit.
The next three ways the Holy Spirit will communicate to you – visions, dreams and prophecies – are all coming from this one verse out of Joel. Here is the next verse that will completely set the stage for you on these next three ways the Holy Spirit will use to communicate something specific to us:
“And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions; and also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2:28-29)
Notice that visions, dreams and prophecies are all directly connected to the Holy Spirit Himself. This verse is also implying that when He is really poured out, dreams, visions, and prophecies are going to be given to many of God’s people, not to just a few select saints. Many people believe that this outpouring has already begun, but that it will intensify in the coming years ahead.
In this caption, I will discuss the different kinds of visions you can receive from the Holy Spirit. There are two basic types of visions that you can receive from the Holy Spirit. One is called an “open vision.” The other is called a “closed vision.”
A) Open Vision – an open vision is when you receive a vision with your eyes wide open. Many of these visions will be in actual 3-D and if God should allow it, you can actually be a part of that vision itself.
John the Revelator was receiving these kinds of heavy, open visions when God was giving him visions on what was going to happen at the end of times. Some of the prophets in the OT also received these kinds of heavy, open visions. But for the most part, they are very rare, and most Christians will never receive these kinds of open visions from the Holy Spirit. But please note, that could all change in the coming years as more of that verse from Joel starts to come to pass.
B) Closed Vision – the second kind of vision you can receive from the Holy Spirit is what is called a closed vision. A closed vision is when you receive a vision in your mind’s eye. Another word for this is that you will receive a “picture in your mind’s eye.” Though a closed vision does not seem to be as heavy or as dramatic as an open vision is, do not let that fool you. They are both visions and a closed vision is just as powerful and just as dramatic as an open vision is.
Though many people will never receive an open vision in their life, not so with the closed vision. The Holy Spirit loves to give these closed visions and He will do it quite frequently to those who will be open to receiving them, since a closed vision is receiving a picture in your mind’s eye. Again, you will have to learn through a process of trial and error when a vision is coming in from your own natural imagination or when it is coming in direct from the Holy Spirit.
The reason the Holy Spirit loves to give these inner, closed visions is because a lot more information and knowledge can sometimes be communicated to you through a vision or picture in your mind’s eye. You have all heard of the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words.
That saying right there perfectly describes why the Holy Spirit loves to give you these closed, inner visions – because sometimes He can communicate a lot more knowledge and information to you.
However, these closed visions can come in on much smaller matters as well. For example, say you just lost your car keys and you cannot seem to find them anywhere in the house. What you don’t know is that your dog has just knocked them underneath your bed.
If the Holy Spirit wants to tell you where they are located at since He is called the Helper in the Bible, He can either give you an inner knowing, an inner witness to look underneath your bed, or He could give you an actual closed vision, with the vision showing you that the keys are lying right underneath your bed. Many of the times, He will choose to give you that picture in your mind’s eye of where the keys are located at.
What I have found from personal experience is that the Holy Spirit can give you these closed, inner visions on very small and trivial matters like where you may have misplaced your cars keys at, to much larger and heavier issues in your life. In other words, there is nothing He cannot give you a closed vision on to help you out with something, or if He wants to use a closed vision to communicate a specific piece of knowledge to you.
What you will have to learn on this is how to discern when a picture in your mind’s eye is really coming in from Him, or when it is coming in from your own natural imagination, since your own natural imagination has the power and the ability to draw up its own pictures in your mind’s eye.
One of the ways that you can tell when you are receiving a closed vision from the Holy Spirit is how it will come in on you. Many of the times these visions will come in out of the blue. You may not really be thinking about anything specific or you are not using your own imagination to draw up any kind of picture’s in your mind’s eye. And then all of a sudden it will come in very quickly and very suddenly.
Another tell you will get when one of these is coming in from the Holy Spirit is that not only will it come out of the blue, but the picture you are receiving in your mind’s eye is not something that you would normally conjure up for yourself.
Sometimes these visions will need interpretation, other times they will not. But if you get a picture in your mind’s eye that comes in out of nowhere, and it is something that you would not naturally conjure up on your own, then examine the vision very carefully to see if it may be from the Holy Spirit and if you think it may be, try to interpret what He is trying to tell you.
Another tell that the Holy Spirit will give you so you know that the vision is coming in directly from Him, is that He will give you a good, inner witness that it is coming directly from Him, which is the first way I gave you above on how He will communicate something to you.
Again, you will only learn all of this though a process of trial and error with Him. After you have received quite a few of these closed, inner visions, you can again become quite adept at discerning when a vision is coming in from Him, or when the vision is just coming in from your own natural imagination.
The next way that the Holy Spirit can use to communicate something specific to you coming from the above verse from Joel is in your dreams. In other words, you can receive a dream direct from the Holy Spirit. Another word for dreams is that they are “visions of the night.”
As you all know, the Bible has many examples of people receiving dreams from the Lord. God used an angel in a dream to tell Joseph to immediately flee to Egypt right after Jesus had been born, as Herod was getting ready to kill all of the first born. King Nebuchadnezzar was given dreams on end time events, but he needed Daniel to interpret those dreams for him. Daniel himself was also given dreams and visions on coming end time events.
Dreams in your sleep are nowhere near as common as closed, inner visions are, but every once in a while God can give you a dream direct from Himself. So how do you know when you are receiving a dream direct from God, since psychologists have told us that everyone dreams every single night when they are sleeping?
I do not consider myself an expert on dreams. But there are several men in the body who are considered somewhat experts in this area. Two of them are John Paul Jackson and James Goll. James Goll has written a good book on dreams. The title of his book is, “Dream Language.”
Another good book is, “Understanding the Dreams you Dream,” by Ira Milligan.
I personally have only had about 10 dreams from the Lord over a 20 year period. But what I can give you is what God does to me personally so I know that the dream is really coming in from Him.
The first thing God will do with me when He is giving me a dream from Him is the actual timing of it. I always get these God-dreams close to when I am getting ready to wake up. For instance, if I go to bed at 11 PM and I am going to be getting up at about 7 AM, the dream will be coming in between 6-7 AM. The reason He does this with me is so the dream is basically right in my face right as I am starting to come out of that deep sleep.
The second tell I will get so I know that the dream is coming in from the Lord, is that the dream will not fade away from me once I wake up.
If you will notice, on most of the dreams you will have during the night, you will either have no memory of any of these dreams when you wake up, or if by chance you do remember one of them as you wake up, that dream will then fade away from you within the first 1-3 hours. After the three hours is up, you will have completely forgotten about the dream.
But if the dream is coming in direct from the Holy Spirit, then the dream will not fade away on you. It will be as clear in your mind’s eye 6 hours later as it was when you first woke up. It will stay with you for days, if not forever.
If you wake up with a very strong, vivid dream being right in your face and you think it may be from the Lord, what I would do is grab a piece of paper and pen and write down what the dream was all about and if need be, draw actual pictures of what you saw in the dream. Sometimes these dreams will need some kind of interpretation and you will need to carefully examine the dream to see exactly what God is trying to convey to you.
If God gave some of His people dreams back in the OT and NT, and we now have the above verse from Joel where God is telling us that once the Holy Spirit has been poured out on all flesh, that dreams from the Lord will become quite common, then you know this is one of the supernatural ways that the Lord will want to use with some of us from time to time.
So again, do not be afraid if you ever receive what you think may be a dream from the Lord. If God is giving you a dream direct from Himself, then there will be a personal message in there for you. Your job will be to get it down on paper and examine and analyze it for what that personal message may be.
As I said above, there are some men in the body who are very good in this area. Some of them have written books on dreams and what certain things may mean in the dream. I have never delved that deeply in this area, so I do not have the knowledge or expertise to tell you what every little thing in the dream may mean or represent.
For the most part with myself, most of the dreams I have had from the Lord have all been very straight forward. God was either giving me a heads up on what was getting ready to come my way, or He was giving me a dream to help me solve a particular problem or issue I was dealing with at the time.
The third way God can communicate directly to you coming from the above verse from Joel is by prophecy.
As we explained to you in our article titled, “The 9 Gifts of the Holy Spirit,” one of the 9 gifts from the Holy Spirit is the gift of prophecy. As we explained to you in that article, the gift of prophecy is when you receive a direct word from the Lord. And when I say a direct word, I mean a direct word. Every word that you receive in the prophecy will be direct words from the Lord.
Since I have already talked about this gift at length in the above article, I will not go any further with it under this caption. If you would like to see a good, detailed explanation on what this gift is all about and how God can use it with you, just click on the link below and then scroll down to #3 and this will be our explanation of what this gift is all about.
The 9 Gifts of the Holy Spirit
When you really study each of the 8 ways that the Holy Spirit will use to communicate to us in this life, every single one of these ways is a supernatural type of communication.
To think that we are able to receive the Holy Spirit in our human spirits at the moment of our conversions to Jesus – and then to add this kind of icing to the entire cake where the Holy Spirit can literally supernaturally communicate to all of us in these different ways – it just does not get any better than this!
Again, I know some pastors are afraid to open up this supernatural realm to their flocks, but when God the Father puts these kinds of specific verses in the Bible, then I can only come to the conclusion that God wants all of us to learn how to do this with the Holy Spirit.
If the Holy Spirit is going to be our personal Guide and Teacher in this life, then not only can He teach us everything we will need to know in this life so we can fully complete our divine destiny in the Lord, but He can also teach us how to hear directly from Himself in these different ways as well. We can thus fully trust Him to handle all of us in this supernatural realm.
What I have found in this realm is that the Holy Spirit will only usually do this kind of supernatural work with the people who will really want it. If this realm is just too scary for some of you, or you would prefer to stay away from it at this time, the Holy Spirit will respect your thoughts and wishes on this, and He will not try and push Himself or His ways on you.
This realm is basically for the real seekers, for the people who will want more of God and who will not be afraid to tread into these kinds of deeper waters with Him. It is one thing to know that God and Jesus are up in heaven, but it is quite another thing to realize that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit can all supernaturally communicate to any one of us at any time They should want to do so.
God was always supernaturally communicating to His people back in both the OT and NT. And if God has not changed, and He is still the same today as He was yesterday, then this tells us that He still wants to supernaturally communicate to all of us in these same ways.
God does not change, nor does any of His ways. And if any of His ways are not going to change, then these 8 different ways that He has used in the past to supernaturally communicate to His people will still apply to all of us in this day and age. It is now up to each and every Christian as to whether or not they will want to learn how to do all of this with the Holy Spirit.
Again, I know this kind of an article may end up being a bit controversial with some people – but with all of the above verses being so clear on exactly what God has set up for all of us to enter into, I felt I had no other choice but to put all of this out for you, and from there, you can each make up your own minds as to whether or not you will want God the Father to open up these different ways in which He still likes to use to communicate to all of us in this day and age.
Michael Bradley of Bible Knowledge Ministries
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