Why is it not discussed much in detail on how to have a back and forth conversation with the holy spirit. How to listen in order to hear and for how long. Why is it most people don't hear or arent taught to listen to the holy spirit and why is it not discussed more in church.
Most people don't like to discuss it, as most don't hear on a regular basis, and are too embarrassed to bring it up or discuss it - even pastors. The holy spirit is there to teach us - so why isn't it a priority to learn how? And why is it that christains don't have a back and forth communication relationship with the spirit and aren't taught to expect it and hear it. Most say it was put on my heart etc.... Very few know for sure and say "God" said to them - or recognise his voice. Or can even explain things for others to understand, as they don't understand it themselves. They fudge the subject when asked - as most Christains don't hear the holy spirit speak to them and don't like to admit it. They have experienced it but not on a regular basis. I would love this to be covered in more detail than what is usually done.
In answer to Christain's question I would say this. Listening to the HS Is something that has to be learned and practiced and generally the best place to do that is within the secure bounds of a cell group. In that environment you can share what you think the HS is saying and get feed back from other members of the group about the accuracy or otherwise of what you think you hear. The important thing is to expect that the HS actually wants to communicate with you. It is also important to grow in understanding that it is a Spirit to spirit process. As a European Christian I find this difficult because my upbringing was not at all spiritual so I have had to learn how to recognise the promptings of the spirit within me and I am still learning.
The most important thing is to maintain and develop your prayer and Bible study life. That way you get to know God's voice in you inner being, in your spirit. Then when the Holy Spirit wants to say something to you, out of the blue so to speak, you will recognise His voice. It is a bit like answering your phone and recognising the voice of the person calling you even before they say who they are. You can only do that if you have already established a relationship with them.
While we are responsible for ourselves, let us always encourage others to venture into the realm of the Holy Spirit.
Christain's questions echo mine. When God gave so much to bring us into his family, doesn't it seem odd that having a to-and-fro conversation with him seems rare?
In 2Corinthians 13:!4 we read of the 'fellowship of the Holy Spirit' - koinonia - a close relationship. When a Christian has been doing life in fellowship with God for a while, isn't it reasonable to think that we should recognise the Holy Spirit's voice as clearly as our spouses, and perhaps as frequently? Is it really (koinonia) fellowship without it?
Can we be filled with the holy spirit 24\7?
How do we know when the holy spirit is upon us?
Does the holy spirit affect us physically?
to Lisa's questions.
1. 24/7 is the reality of being filled with the Holy Spirit. He does not go to sleep when we do, nor does He take time off and come back later. When Paul says in Ephesians 5:18..."but be filled with the Holy Spirit" it is in the present continuous verb tense, meaning go on being filled, do not stop being filled.
2 and 3: How do we know when the Spirit is upon us and does He affect us physically? He is in us all the time so I assume you are asking about when He comes on someone for a particular purpose, like for healing someone or prophesying. From my observations, experience and asking others, is that it is different for everyone but there is one thing in common, the Spirit brings a sense of peace internally to get our attention. In my own experience I can give a few examples. One time while about to pray for a friend, he said in his own prayer "Lord I know that when these two brothers of mine lay their hands on me and pray, you will heal me". I thought that was really presumptuous, but soon as he said that I felt an amazing sensation rise up from my feet to my head and I just knew that the power of God was on me so I simply said "Jacko, in the name of Jesus be healed" and God instantly healed him of his severe asthma. It had a little if anything to do with me. Jacko was really happy, I was completely stunned! But the Holy Spirit does not always bring physical sensations when He is present for a special purpose. We need to learn how to hear Him without that happening.
I suggest you talk to your cell members on this subject, and to others you trust and see what experience that he have had. It will be very helpful.
Reply to David 04 June 2015 10:06 am.
It never ceases to amaze me what God gave for us to be in His family. It is absolutely staggering. As for your statement "it seems odd that having a to-and-fro conversation with him seems rare?", I not sure about that. When I look at my own early Christian experience it seemed like the people in the churches I frequented did not have any understanding of the need for a personal conversion to Jesus, to be born again and to be filled with the Holy Spirit and nor did I at the time. Consequently it appeared that there was no "conversational" interaction with God on anything other than a very formal basis on Sundays. But you just do not know about that for sure. My Mother would have fitted that assessment, but one day, when I was about ten years old, she said to me that it was her habit to "talk to Jesus" as she walked down the road to go shopping. Later on she said to me that she "had always felt close to Jesus". She would not have spoken in such intimate terms if she had not been born again and filled with the Spirit. On reflection I can see that her life showed all the signs of someone in communion with God, but she never spoke about it other than at those two times. Then once I became a Christian at twenty two, there was absolutely no doubt that the Christians I was then associated with had this "to and fro" conversation in abundance. Certainly that is the case at GCC, not rare but common, usual, evident.
As for recognising the Holy Spirit's voice as clearly as our spouse's? In forty years as a Christian I have yet to meet anyone who has achieved that and I have met some very tuned in Christians. Jesus exhibited that ability in its fullness ("I only do what I see the Father doing") and as such set the example for us to follow and I personally have a lot to learn about that and to grow into.
I also think many Christians just don't talk about it even though they experience it. Others just don't realise it is happening in their lives because it has become such an integral part of their existence, like breathing. Its always happening but we rarely register it consciously.
So let us encourage one another to a greater love for God and obedience to His Word and that will result in the on-going develoment of our "to and fro" conversation with Him.
Observation of many Christians, and my personal experience, is as you describe - clear evidence of a walk with God and of God working in and through us. The Bible is clearly God's primary means of communicating with us. Still I wonder about recognising the voice of the Spirit as distinctly and unmistakeably and in detail a we do a spouse or friend. The Old Testament is replete with such examples - go there, do that, say such and such. The New Testament similarly. These incidents were not just feelings, they often included precise words in considerable detail. Frank Laubach has been cited as a modern example of someone who lived this out. At GCC we often hear people say, 'God told me ...". How can that be without, 1) a clearly identified (inner) voice, 2) specific details rather than a general feeling. Anything less seems to make the claim, "God told me..." to be wishful thinking or even presumption.
I remain puzzled as to how to and fro conversation can be any less than clearly recognisable both in voice and content.
Hi To David from 09/06/2015 12:31pm.
Just a quick answer for now. Wishful thinking and presumption are risks. That is why a sensible Christian will always check it out by confiding in other Christians who can be trusted to be honest with us about these things. As time and practice go by it gets easier. The means of it varies considerably depending to a large measure on the personality ogf the person.
The full answer to your questions are best dealt with verbally in some forum rather than via this medium whci is prone to a lack of clarity, like emails are prone too.
We'd love to hear questions you have following on from any of the sermons.