Jesus always has more to say
by IAN GREIG writing in FOLLOW THE WAY
“I have much more to say to you… But when… the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth… He will glorify Me because it is from Me that He will receive what He will make known to you.”
John 16:12-14 NIV excerpt
Jesus is always speaking. And the Holy Spirit is continually reporting to us what the Lord is saying. But the question is, how much are we listening? How much are we valuing this vital channel of God’s truth and guidance coming to us as the Holy Spirit imparts it?
Most of the time, we are very happy to carry on in life without guidance. We know how to live. We have a routine. We can manage OK, without needing help, thank you. This is the independence of our humanness which always wants to assert itself.
But we can make a choice to come off this kind of ‘auto pilot’ and to intentionally check out what God is saying to us.
It takes a bit of work. It takes a bit of attention, and spiritual awareness. But this is how we can live in the wisdom of God, with Jesus Himself guiding us, and His Spirit coaching us as to how we follow that guidance.
The immediate objection that is often raised, is this: God doesn’t always answer prayer — God doesn’t always even answer questions! So how do we receive this guidance?
The answer is, it’s more about us and our hearing than with God and His answering. Yes, there are occasions where God is silent — possibly because He wants us to act in the last thing He said. But we are so attuned to receive what we want to hear, we find it difficult to recognise something which is outside our comfort zone — or just different.
It is like the cartoon picture of the man on the roof of his house in a severe flood, watching the rising water and praying “God save me”.
On the edge of the picture there’s a fire engine with a long ladder and a lifejacket…
…and there’s a rescue boat departing on the horizon…
…And above there’s a helicopter moving away with a harness dangling.
The man keeps asking. “God, save me!”
And God answers him and says, “What do you think I was doing when I sent the fire engine with its ladder, and then the rescue boat, and after that (at great expense) the helicopter!”
How do we do this — the hearing?
Briefly, here is some guidance which comes under the general heading of ‘Be a spiritual person’. Affirm that Jesus is your Lord as well as your Saviour and it is Him you are listening to, and no other.
God speaking to us, and hearing what He is saying, is a spiritual process. So we need to be in touch with the spiritual part of ourselves to do this.
First tip: be aware of three particular spiritual channels which God uses:
(1) He speaks into our attitude of praise and worship;
(2) He speaks through His word, the Bible; and
(3) as the Holy Spirit is the One who speaks to our human spirit, it is helpful to invite Him and show ourselves to be receptive.
Move from reading to faith
Second tip: Any spiritual engagement or transaction requires faith — not reason. So, in asking God for his direction, it is good if we believe that we have received it. That means taking note of the fleeting or incomplete impression that we get from within the human spirit. Write it down, or share it but above all, believe it!
Resolve to act on it
Third tip : act on it. What God has begun to reveal, He will often reveal more, adding clarity as we show ourselves ready to move out on it.
Jesus said:The Spirit of Truth… will guide you… He will glorify Me because it is from Me that He will receive what He will make known to you.”