Keys To Increasing In Spiritual Awareness Part 1

Today we are going to begin a new series focused on developing in spiritual awareness. We’ve just concluded a discussion focused on the Holy Spirit and there are three key things regarding our relationship with Him that we will focus on in this series:

  • We must recognize His presence in our lives
  • We must reverence the Him
  • We must learn to respond to His leadings

Would a person shut God out purposely? I do not believe anyone would but unconsciously many are without even realizing it. The Holy Spirit is working to lead them but they do not even acknowledge His presence at work in their lives.

Most Christians shut God out of their lives ignorant of what they are doing. They have never been taught the truth about the Holy Spirit and are therefore unaware of the fellowship He desire to have with them.

One problem with Christians is that we have a natural tendency to desire the supernatural. We run around trying to hear an audible voice or experience physical manifestations of God’s presence. In most cases this is not how He works.

Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
1 Kings 19:11-13

God did not reveal Himself to Elijah in a spectacular way. These verses tell us that God spoke to him with a still small voice. This is how He is speaking to us today. Hearing His voice and receiving direction requires for us to be still and wait in His presence. This may require us to turn off our devices and spend time quietly with Him.

So Gideon said to God, “If You will save Israel by my hand as You have said— 37 look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will save Israel by my hand, as You have said.” 38 And it was so. When he rose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece together, he wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more: Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew.” 40 And God did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only, but there was dew on all the ground.
Judges 6:36-40

The account of Gideon’s fleece is often referred to by Christians seeking to find answers from God. Gideon did put out a fleece and God did lead him through it. There is no dispute that this happened. People living under the Old Covenant did not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in their spirits. They had to be led externally.

Gideon was not born again. He did know God the way we can and he did not have the Holy Spirit living inside of him.

We are not to be led externally by circumstances or fleeces. Christians must not look to other people for guidance. The Holy Spirit lives in our spirit and lead us internally.

“What do you think I do?”

How many of us can look back and see mistakes or issues experienced as a result of following other people’s advice? People mean well but we must learn to check everything with the Holy Spirit before taking any action.

It is not easy to spend hours locked away alone waiting in prayer. Our flesh will fight us every step of the way but the reward will be worth it.There are great blessing awaiting anyone who will pay the price required to learn to be led by the Spirit of God!

I went through some terrible things as a young man as a result of following the counsel of my pastor. He was not in tune with the Spirit of God and provided guidance based on his training and denominational traditions. Unfortunately this led me down the wrong path but the resulting situations were not his fault. I chose to listen and act instead of taking the time to allow the Holy Spirit to guide me.

There will be times that people will receive something from God for us. This is true but in each case we will find what they receive will be confirmation of something God has already given us. If it is not then we should put it on a shelf and not take action unless explicitly led to do so by the Holy Spirit.

As we spend time waiting in His presence we will learn to trust our ability to sense His leadings. These will not usually come in a spectacular way but they can always be trusted.

“There was something that didn’t seem right inside but they have been a Christian much longer than I have.”

This is the attitude many people take. It is the one that led me into some very dark places when I followed the guidance of my pastor. He had been in ministry more than twenty years and I a Christian less than a year. There are countless numbers of Christians who have found themselves in equally bad places as I did by following people’s guidance.

Humans can miss it. This applies to all of us. Godly men and women may be right ninety-eight times but miss it the one time we are talking to them. The Holy Spirit will never miss it and He is living in our spirits if we have accepted Jesus.

The Holy Spirit is never wrong. Our interpretation of His guidance can be wrong. This is why we must give time every day to spend in fellowship with Him.

Our goal in this series is to learn how to be led internally. This will require us to increase in our awareness of spiritual things.

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