How do I explain having a relationship with the Holy Spirit? What is it like? The Holy Spirit speaks to us in many ways. Holy Spirit communication is often verbal, but not always. I was having a conversation with my friend who also happens to be male. He was telling me about his recent interaction with the Holy Spirit and how the Holy Spirit was talking with him. What my friend described, is different than how the Holy Spirit speaks to me but I sensed that it was the same spirit in part because many of the things my friend conveyed was confirmation in conversations I had with the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit did not speak to me with the same inflections as He did with my friend.
Later, I asked the Holy Spirit about this. Why was His interaction with my friend different from His interaction with me? “Because”, said the Holy Spirit, “Your friend is a man and you are a woman.” The Holy Spirit further explained that because we are uniquely made, He communicates with us based on our uniqueness. The Holy Spirit is there to assist us in our spiritual growth but most importantly, He’s there to assist us in growing in our relationship with the Father and Son.
Many Christians are quick to say it’s not the Holy Spirit speaking to another person because the message was either different or the person didn’t receive a message at all. Likewise, too many people are quick to say it is the Holy Spirit speaking when in truth it is a person’s own will. This is sometimes referred to prophesying out of one’s own will instead of the will of the Lord. A person can want to get their point across so badly that they put the Holy Spirit in the middle of a conversation that He has no part of. The person will say it’s God or the Holy Spirit that’s speaking through him when in truth it is them and them alone. It can become a competition among spirit filled Christians. Unfortunately, it is these kinds of conflicts that will open the door for the enemy to sneak in and cause havoc in a relationship, whether it is husband and wife, or the relationship between a pastor and his congregation.
As Christians, we have to learn to discern better. We can go beyond our own will and perceive the truth. The problem is there are several things that can block the reception such as pride, anxiousness, fear, anger to name a few. Only when we are at peace, God’s peace can we be sure of a clear reception. It’s not that we can’t hear through anxiousness, it’s just that what we hear may be clouded or fuzzy. This leads to misinterpretation. Misinterpretation can lead to saying the wrong thing or making the wrong decision in a given situation. Part of having a relationship with God and Jesus is learning to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “My sheep will know my voice”. A baby knows the voice of his parent but may not understand the words that are spoken. So too with us; we have to learn how to understand how the Holy Spirit speaks to us and understand how we can be used as a personal vessel of the Holy Spirit in which His power can flow through us.
Having a relationship with the Holy Spirit is probably the most important aspect of being a Christian. I say this because through the Holy Spirit, the body of Christ is connected with one another. This connection first starts with Christ and then connects through each one of us. We each have an internal ear piece in which we can hear His voice. It is up to us to learn how to tune in so that we get the messages correct.
The next few submissions will be about my personal experiences in learning how to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. Since the Holy Spirit is heard uniquely in each of us, It might be helpful if I told of my own experiences, including my experiences with other Christians who also had ears to hear. Some experiences are positive, some not so positive. But even in the not so positive experiences, we can learn and continue to grow.
“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:15-18, NKJ)