Tuning in to the Holy Spirit

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Before the era of digital radio, it was common for radios to simultaneously receive signals from two separate stations—particularly while driving. Generally, neither station was especially clear as each vied for dominance. When this happened, the radio dial would need to be slightly adjusted to retune to the preferred station. Once this adjustment was made and the signal was strong again, the other station could no longer be heard. The signal from the suppressed station was still being transmitted across the airwaves, but the strength of the other signal, combined with the fine tuning of the radio, prevented it from being heard. This is a superb analogy of our spiritual struggle.

The apostle Paul teaches, “Let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions” (Gal. 5:16–17). When we are “tuned in” to the Holy Spirit, we no longer hear many of the appeals by our sinful nature—not because they are no longer present but because they pale in comparison to the Holy Spirit’s voice. However, we must continually fine-tune our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit through prayer and Bible reading.

When we walk according to God’s commands rather than our lusts and passions, we release the Holy Spirit to lead us. Moreover, we experience an increasing desire to be led by Him. There are many ways we can adjust our minds to tune in to the voice of the Holy Spirit:

  • We can read and memorize the Bible, which is the Word of God (Psa. 119:9–11). The Bible reveals God’s heart and mind, and it teaches us how to please Him.
  • We can surround ourselves with godly influences (Heb. 13:7). The apostle Paul encouraged the Philippian Christians to grow in their relationship with God by following the example of his own life (Php. 4:8–9). Likewise, the apostle Paul taught the Hebrew Christians to challenge and encourage each other toward love and good works (Heb. 10:24–25).
  • We can submit ourselves to those who have spiritual authority over us, such as our pastors (Heb. 13:17).
  • We can confess and repent of every sin God brings to mind (Acts 24:16; 1 Peter 1:14–16; 1 John 1:9).
  • We can draw close to God in obedient submission, and He will draw near to us (James 4:7–8).
  • We can ask God for greater sensitivity toward, and reliance upon, the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13; Eph. 5:18; 1 John 5:14–15).
  • We can pray (Eph. 6:18). Every healthy relationship requires frequent and effective communication. When we pray, we are talking to God. This builds our relationship with Him, and it can align our hearts with His. As pastor, missionary, and author Henry Blackaby says, “We are filled with the Holy Spirit through prayer. When I get up from my knees, I am a different person than when I first went to prayer.”[1]

If we hope to see cultural transformation, then we must rely upon the Holy Spirit’s guidance. As such, becoming God’s cultural influencers requires that we tune in to the Holy Spirit by intentionally seeking His voice and guidance in our lives.

This article comes from Heart of a Forerunner: How to Be a Relevant and Influential Voice in a Wayward Nation

Heart of a Forerunner

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Timothy Zebell

As a former missionary to Asia for twelve years and the author of several books, Timothy is passionate about helping people understand the relevancy of God's Word in today's world. His goals are to help Christians discern truth from error, empower Christians to speak into cultural matters with relevancy, and to help Christians capitalize on the opportunities that these matters provide for sharing the truth about God and His gospel message.
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Blackaby, Henry. Seek Week Conference at Life Action Ministries, n.d.


Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. Biblegateway.com.