How to test for the Holy Spirit
Our connection and relationship with God are spiritual, not physical. With help from His Holy Spirit that lives in all believers, we can learn to worship God in our spirits and become the “true worshippers” that God seeks.
John 4:23-4 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
How the Holy Spirit works in us
The Holy Spirit conveys God’s will to us. He is the voice we all need to learn to recognise, so we can follow our Father in heaven.
1. He communicates as a still, quiet and gentle prompting
God is spirit and He will connect with us spiritually. He can but will seldom communicate in an audible voice. Instead, His “voice” will often feel like a gentle knock on the door of our hearts or a “knowing” in our spirits.
1 Kings 19:12 NIV After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
2. He brings supernatural peace
We will experience a deep peace and certainty when we “hear” from the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
3. His promptings are always in line with the Word of God
The Holy Spirit will always convey things that are in line with God’s Word and His will for us. He may sometimes use Bible verses, Bible teachings or sermons to “speak” to us.
John 14:26 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 that I have said to you.
4. He always glorifies God, not man
It is not in God’s nature to glorify people or create idols. The Holy Spirit will always point to God’s higher ways, not our own understanding.
John 16:13-14 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
5. He brings about the Fruit of the Spirit
As we heed the Holy Spirit’s promptings to follow God’s higher ways, we will be transformed in our thinking, passions and love for others. There will increasingly be the Fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
What the Holy Spirit will never do
1. He will never bring a sense of “heaviness”
There is freedom and rejoicing when we are filled with the Holy Spirit. There is never a feeling of heaviness or sorrow. He will not cause us to feel fatigued and worn out. There is always a lightness and sense of joy.
Isaiah 61:1,3 KJV The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me… to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…
2. He will never accuse or condemn us
The Holy Spirit will lovingly correct and guide us but He will never accuse, blame, shame, belittle or condemn us. It is Satan, the accuser of believers, who denounces us, not God.
Romans 8:1-2 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
3. He will never lead us to sin or to gratify fleshly desires
The Holy Spirit desires to sanctify us and free us from sin. He will never lead us to immoral desires or behaviour.
Galatians 5:17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
4. He will never cause division in the Body of Christ
When believers ask the Holy Spirit for revelation and guidance on a subject, He will deliver and confirm the same message to all who ask. There is always unity in the Spirit. He never causes confusion, conflict or division.
Jude 1:19-20 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit…
Ephesians 4:1,3 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
5. He will never impose rigid religiosity
The Holy Spirit always brings spiritual joy and freedom. He is never legalistic, stifling or rigid.
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
6. He will never cause fear or panic
Fear is not of the Spirit. Sometimes the Holy Spirit will convey a message with some urgency, but He will never cause alarm or panic. He brings deep peace and joy.
2 Timothy 1:7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
7. He will never lie to us
God will never lie to us. We can trust His Holy Spirit.
Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.
2. He will never curse God or deny Jesus as Lord
The Holy Spirit is God. He will never do anything to discredit Himself.
1 Corinthians 12:3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.
How to test for the Holy Spirit
Whenever we receive a prompting of any sort in our spirits, we need to test whether it is from the Holy Spirit or from Satan.
1 John 4:1, 2 ESV Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God… By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,
1 John 4:3,5 ESV … every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them.
We can test the spirits by asking a few quick questions.
Is this in line with God’s Word and His character?
Does this lead to the Fruit of the Spirit?
Am I experiencing a supernatural peace?
Have I waited enough to ensure I am not being impulsive?
Will I be responding in love and humility?
Will this ultimately glorify God or people?
Or we can simply ask, “Holy Spirit, is this from You?”
As we tune our spirits to become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit, we will walk in greater confidence in the Lord. He will help us to experience God’s peace, joy and hope.
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