By R.A. Weigel
Your Active Listening Journey with the Holy Spirit
It’s a thought that’s faster than your own thoughts.
Years ago I was taught about how God’s spirit he created in you which is now your spirit. Your spirit hears from Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is in you in every part of you. It’s between the molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles of your human body.
Your brain works by way of electrochemical communication between the neurons. Neurons have electrical charges called ions. Every thought originating from your nervous system begins as an electrical impulse. However, the reality of God’s spirit which he created in you occupies every space within the spaces of your body and mind, the thought or idea that you’ll get from the Holy Spirit to your spirit will happen faster than the electrical impulses that you get from your nervous system. When your spirit communicates with the Holy Spirit, the information moves through your brain – faster than the electrical circuits of your human brain. In other words, the thoughts of the Holy Spirit come faster than your thoughts.
It can take some time and practice to recognize the difference between your own thoughts and a thought that happens faster than that, but that too is an understanding that the Holy Spirit can help you recognize.
Love is Not Transactional – It’s Relational.
What is your relationship with the Lord? Are you spending time with Him? Are you seeking His company every day? Or are you calling on the Lord only when you’ve got a problem? A strong relationship is built on trust and companionship. God reveals himself through his Word, so you’ve got to make the Word of God something that you’re consistently installing into the personal hard drive of your mind. You have to want to be in God’s company. Read the Bible memorize scripture. Talk to other people about God, brag about Him, and build that relationship every single day.
1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (NLT) – But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit, (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.
As mentioned before, Jesus said 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 that I have said to you. When you’ve been studying the Word of God, the Holy Spirit teaching your spirit will bring back to remembrance things that God’s Word has already said. When you need inspiration, you’ll suddenly realize what’s already been said and if it’s something that has not already been made clear, you’ll know how to categorize it based on God’s truth.
Build your relationship with God through his Word. Then, that Word will blossom in your mind as light dispels darkness, truth overcomes lies, insights push away confusion, and love eliminates hate.
Write It Down Now!
I’ve had plenty of times when the Holy Spirit gives me an insight into something but perhaps not in the way you might think. There are many times when all I have in my mind is a single word. But that’s when I pull my mind back from whatever thought I had to focus on that single word. Instead of dismissing that word as if it’s a random thought coming from the environment around me, I pay attention.
A good example is the reality that there are certain places and times when I feel that my ability to listen to the Holy Spirit is better than other places and times. Many times when I’m at church, I’ll suddenly have an idea, thought, word, or picture that came “out of the blue.” I might be taking notes on what I’m hearing but then when that idea comes to mind, I don’t ignore it. For years I’ve been using a signal for myself. I’ll write “MT” and then write down the thought that I had. “MT” stands for “my thought.” It may be totally different from what’s happening around me, but I don’t want to lose the thought that comes from the Holy Spirit.
This has also been problematic at times when I’ll have that thought and then dismiss it or hesitate to write it down. Later I’ll come back and recognize that I had the perfect idea, the right word, or the beginning of a plan and it’s gone. There are times when the Holy Spirit will tell you things but if you’re thinking that the Holy Spirit needs to ring the bell or shake you up to hear, you might miss it entirely. When you get that inspiration, write it down. Don’t miss it.
One Word At A Time.
Many times it’s simply a word, idea, or image. I recognize that the Holy Spirit is giving me an idea or information, but it’s still my responsibility to write it down. There have been so many times when I would write down the one word… and that’s when the second word would be there. The Holy Spirit doesn’t always give you the whole picture, the entire sentence, or the complete plan. You get enough to act on but if you don’t act on what you’re given, then nothing else will follow it.
I’ve often thought about Moses and what he must have gone through in his mind to do what he did. In reality, nothing can prepare you for the burning bush, the trip back to Egypt, the miracles, putting your life on the line with Pharoah, the reality that there were people in Egypt who wanted to kill him, and especially not the eventual exodus and the events associated with it. When Moses stood by the burning bush, God didn’t give him the whole plan. He was only given a part of that plan. Well… that’s also hearing from the Holy Spirit. You’ll probably never get the whole plan upfront. You’ll get one part, one idea, or one word. If Moses had ignored any part of what the Lord said to him, then none of it would have come to pass. Instead, he had to take God at what he knew… and walk out in faith.
Exodus 4:18-19 (NLT) – o Moses went back home to Jethro, his father-in-law. “Please let me return to my relatives in Egypt,” Moses said. “I don’t even know if they are still alive.” “Go in peace,” Jethro replied. Before Moses left Midian, the Lord said to him, “Return to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you have died.”
Years ago I wrote a book I was calling, “How to get a better education for your child.” I wrote it when I was recalling personal experiences from my work. I also wrote it when I was angry about people and situations. I can’t say that it was inspired by the Holy Spirit, but more by my anger at what the education system was doing to children. Yet, when I finished that book, I knew in my heart that the Holy Spirit was telling me to, “leave it alone. I knew I was being called to write something else. That’s when I began writing a book to be called “Leading God’s Way.” I’ve been working on that book for over 3 years and haven’t yet come to an end. What matters most is doing what the Holy Spirit directs versus what I think should be done.
Frame Your Need to Hear from the Holy Spirit.
When you’re writing something that brings glory to God, that’s a good way to put yourself in a place where you need to hear from the Holy Spirit in order to write what needs to be said. I’m a fan of Mark Batterson’s writing and over the years I’ve often recommended his book, Chase the Lion. The theme of that book is “If your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s too small.” The premise is that if you can do what you envision doing without the help of the Holy Spirit, you’re essentially robbing God of the glory that should rightfully be his.
That idea can work for your writing too. If you’re fully reliant on your past ability, what you currently know, or some framework that’s totally comfortable, then you’re not really pushing yourself out of your comfort zone for the Holy Spirit to help. It may only be my opinion, but I believe God is always trying to stretch us in our faith. So, moving out of your “comfort zone” and into your “stretch zone” is something that brings joy to the Father. If you want to hear from or be inspired by the Holy Spirit, then run with an idea, venue, or form of writing that makes you a little uncomfortable. Trust that the Holy Spirit will give you an insight that couldn’t happen by your natural knowledge or current ability.
The apostle Paul wrote four of the New Testament books while he was in prison. How do you think you’d do with your writing if you were in prison? While some of Paul’s imprisonment was similar to a “house arrest,” he was still in prison with a guard constantly watching over him. There were also times it was said that Paul was in the Mamertine Prison which was called the “House of Darkness” due to it being dark, dank, dirty, and stench-filled. It’s hard to imagine being disciplined enough to write what the Holy Spirit inspired in a place where people are sent to die from the terrible conditions associated with that location. That too should inspire you to write… no matter where you set up your writing desk.
“In his second letter to the Corinthian Christians, he (Paul) lists some of his sufferings. They included a number of imprisonments, five whippings with thirty-nine stripes each time, three beatings with a rod, and one stoning that left him as dead. He was shipwrecked, endangered by robbers, imperiled by false brethren; he endured hunger and thirst, and experienced cold and nakedness. As a missionary, he traveled back and forth to Jerusalem, crisscrossed Asia Minor, and visited cities such as Corinth, Ephesus, Antioch, Caesarea, and Rome. Everywhere he went, he preached and taught Christ crucified and risen, always trying not only to gain more converts for eternal salvation but also to build up those who already believed. Then in A.D. 67 he was imprisoned in Rome, where the mentally crazed Nero had him beheaded. While awaiting his execution, he wrote from prison to his spiritual son Timothy, assuring him that he had “kept the faith” and that he was ready to depart to go to his Lord.” (Schmidt, A. J. (2009). How Christianity Changed the World. United States: Zondervan.)
Paul was certainly relying fully on the Holy Spirit to write what needed to be written. Despite the hardships, situation, and the lack of human support, Paul had the Holy Spirit to help him with the words and insights he needed to write the books of Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians and Philemon.
I’m not saying you need to put yourself in prison to write, but you can put yourself in a position to frame your life and circumstances, so you need to hear from the Holy Spirit. That might be as simple as setting a deadline or having an accountability partner. It might be as complex as promising someone or some group that you’ll have something written for them that helps, inspires, protects, guides, or changes their future.
Learn From Others.
Who were the people in the Bible who consistently heard from the Holy Spirit? Consider Paul, Peter, John, and all the disciples. Consider the writings of Matthew, Luke, John, Paul, and Peter. What did they do to hear from the Holy Spirit that you should do? They didn’t have electric lights or computers. They didn’t have perfect conditions and they were all in constant threat of being caught and killed. What they did have was a passion for sharing God’s truth that superseded their physical conditions. What about you? Sometimes you have to be quiet in your mind and purposefully ask the Lord for what he might like to inspire in you. It takes an effort to learn to discern God’s whisper.
I like the series The Chosen. Throughout each episode, there are multiple times when Jesus goes off by himself to pray. He needed that time to be quiet to have conversations with the Holy Spirit in order to be prepared to do what he had to do. Jesus was a man, a human with a human brain that had to seek advice from the Holy Spirit. You too have to work with your own brain and get alone, get quiet, and continually seek out the Holy Spirit. Don’t be afraid to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in your writing.
The Holy Spirit searches the depths of the Father’s heart and is constantly desiring to help us to live a life that is probably more detailed and focused than many of us are prepared for.
Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV) – Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’
Paul said that God would reveal things to us by his Holy Spirit. That includes what you need to write. God designed you long before you were born and that design included how you would think, respond, interpret, and frame the things of God’s Word in the most unique and wonderful way. There never was and never will be another person like you. If you don’t write what the Lord inspires you to write, then it will never be written. Right there is a “drop the mic” moment.
1 Corinthians 2:10-12 (NLT) – But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.
Recently I went to a Barnes and Noble bookstore and walked around seeing all the “garbage” that’s out there. People are writing books, magazines, stories, articles, and so much more… and there is so much of it that’s been inspired by a satanic culture. The culture will never change for the better if Christians don’t step up and write what needs to be written.
Your writing is worship and it’s not really any different than singing a song, playing an instrument, or falling on your knees to tell God how much you love him. God has been using the writings of men and women of God since the beginning of time and if you think that’s changing, you’re wrong.
If you’ve been called by God to write, anything less is disobedience. Whatever you write, trust that the Holy Spirit wants to give you more insights and ideas than you’ve prepared yourself to hear. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are powerful tools for you, as a Believer, to use and use well. Your writing is a tool designed by God to help you to help others, so they’ll realize more of the heart of God. What a joy it is to write for God’s glory.