I love this verse from Isaiah: Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a Voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21). This foreshadowing of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian is powerful.
The Voice can be an audible voice, but not always. Sometimes the Holy Spirit says, “This is the way” through different modes. Things like:
- Discernment. This is the Spirit’s help when we would normally rely on our own common sense (see Acts 5:3 and Acts 16:6-7).
- Prompts. These motivate us to do something productive (Acts 8:29).
- Checks. The flip side of promptings, these checks are to stop us from doing something unproductive (Acts 10:9-20).
But here’s an important thing to remember: The Voice of the Holy Spirit is not perceived by those people intent on doing things their own way. The Voice may be speaking, but those people are simply not tuned-in. The individuals that hear the Voice saying, “This is the way” are those who are determined to obey what the Voice says to them.
In Romans 12, Paul says that as our act of spiritual worship we lay our lives on the altar: we give up trying to control our own lives. He goes on to say that when we do this, we will quickly discover what God’s good, perfect and pleasing will is. In other words, we will be receptive to His Voice leading us into His perfect plan for us. So the Holy Spirit can direct us only after we’ve given up trying to direct our own affairs. Or said another way—
I altar my life, and the Holy Spirit will alter my life
“Oh, this baptism of the Holy Spirit is an inward presence of the personality of God that lifts, prays, takes hold, and lives in us with a tranquility of peace and power that rests and says, ‘It is all right.’ …Oh, this God of grace! Oh, this willingness for God to let us see His face! Oh, this longing of my soul that cannot be satisfied without more of God!” —Smith Wigglesworth