God still speaks to His people today. He speaks to us through the Bible, which contains His general will, the record of His presence and work in history, and the plan of salvation.
He also speaks to our hearts and minds through the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit…if we want to hear and are diligent to listen. First Corinthians 2:9-16 records, in a most clear fashion, the reality and importance of listening for the guidance of God’s Spirit. It is to this passage we now turn.
9 but just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.” Those who have no relationship with Jesus have no way of understanding the rich relationship and joyful existence that union with God makes possible. They have rejected the source of all the wonderful things that a relationship with God brings…things too wonderful even to imagine. Too many people pursue wealth, fame, prestige, and other worldly things thinking that they will find fulfillment and peace in them. However, the only true lasting peace one can be assured of is found in a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.
10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. However, God does reveal His wonders to those who love and follow Him. These words from 1st Corinthians were addressed to believing Christians, so this verse pointedly shows us that the Holy Spirit speaks to we who are believers today. The Holy Spirit knows God’s heart, even ‘the depths’ of it, and He reveals it to believers.
11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Verse 11 is an analogy that makes clearer the meaning of this passage. Who knows a person’s thoughts better than the person himself does? No one. Therefore, the Holy Spirit who speaks to us also possesses the thoughts of God Himself.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. These two verses tell us that the Holy Spirit not only speaks to us, but through us also. If we allow ourselves to be used by God as He sees fit, He will use us as a conduit through which He speaks to others.
A couple of words of caution must be made here. First, that we do not become arrogant simply because God chooses to guide us in this manner. It is His power at work, not ours. Secondly, we must remember that God will not guide us to do something that is contrary to His revealed will contained in the pages of the Bible. As with anything man has a hand in, the possibility of abuse exists. We must take great care that we allow God to use us and make sure it is never we who seek to use Him.
14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. A contrast is set forth here between the ‘natural’ man who rejects the things of God, and the ‘spiritual’ man who receives the things of God. It is important to keep verse 14 in the correct order. The ‘natural’ man ‘does not accept’ the things of God first, then he cannot understand. He has already decide that the basic spiritual things are ‘foolishness’ and this renders him incapable of understanding any deeper spiritual truths.
By contrast, the ‘spiritual’ man understands the deep things of God. These truths are so imbedded in him that they cannot be shaken from him by unbeliever’s arguments. This kind of confident walk with God only comes from an intimate conversational relationship with Him.
16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. No one knows the ‘mind of the Lord’ better than the Lord does. Simple. The wonderful thing about all this is that God wants us to know His mind. Having the ‘mind of Christ’ means that we look at things the way Jesus does, we react to situations the way Jesus would if He were us, we see others the way Jesus sees them.
He does not hide Himself and send us on a wild goose chase for Him and His Will. If we are prepared to do what He says, He will lovingly and whole-heartedly show us how He wants us to live and guide us in every decision we make.
God has given us the promise and provision of the Holy Spirit’s presence, we must practice living in that presence.
All we have to do is listen and be willing to obey.
(All Scripture quoted from the New American Standard Bible)