When God Speaks: How to Recognize Godâ€™s Voice and Respond in Obedience
The theme for this week will be the Holy Spirit and is aptly titled God Speaks By The Holy Spirit. Blackaby uses many passages from the Tanach to remind us that the concept of the Holy Spirit isn’t new and guided and instructed men and women to accomplish things throughout history that would have been impossible otherwise.
It’s interesting to read these passages one after another like that. Numbers 11:17, Judges 6:34, 1 Samuel 16:13, Isaiah 11:2, Joel 2:28-32, Psalms 16:8-11 all contain references to the Sprit amongst many more. And to read anew how Peter used the passage in Joel on the Day of Pentecost was eye opening.
One of the things that these types of journaling style Bible studies force you to do is reflect upon the things that have come to pass in your life that you would otherwise overlook. Coincidence is not something that I believe in but it is easy to retrofit things that occurred in the past and make them fit into a pattern that isn’t necessarily there. So I try to remember that when I’m reflecting upon the various events in my past and why they occurred.
With that in mind, there are many, many things that I can honestly point to and know that the hand of God was involved in. The different jobs I’ve held, the various things I’ve experienced, the marriage to my sweetheart, all influenced by the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit, even during the times that I wasn’t faithful. Awesome stuff.
I’ve never noticed the comparison made in 1 Cor 2:11:
1 Corinthians 2:11 For who among men knows the things of a man except the man’s spirit within him? So too, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
I mean, I’ve read it but haven’t absorbed it. Paul seems to be comparing the Holy Spirit to the soul of man. Interesting to think about.
Another thing that caught my attention today, again not for the first time but absorbed a bit differently, was the way Peter, from the very beginning of being filled with the Holy Spirit, interpreted the passages in the Tanach as pointing towards Christ. This is the way the Orthodox Church looks at every passage of the Tanach; again, nothing new here but maybe a different way that it hit me.
I need to review basic tenets of my faith to make certain that they are in alignment with this type of interpretation rather than the very literal interpretive methods that were instilled in me at an early age. Just food for thought.
I suppose if I had to pick one thought from today’s study that stood out, it would be this: The Spirit of God enabled ordinary people to do things that were impossible apart from His help.
John 16:13 But when he,ï»¿ï»¿ the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guideï»¿ï»¿ you into all truth.ï»¿ï»¿ For he will not speak on his own authority,ï»¿ï»¿ but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell youï»¿34ï»¿ what is to come.ï»¿ï»¿