ON THE JOURNEY

JAMES HASSELL, CO-PASTOR

How do you know when the Holy Spirit is talking to you? Jesus had a specific name for the Holy Spirit: “Advocate.” The word Advocate is used in reference to God’s Spirit at least five times in the New Testament. It’s a word that basically means, “one who walks alongside and helps.” We all could use someone who walks alongside us in order to give us wise guidance!

 

I spoke with a few people at a block party last Saturday as a part of our JourneyCares Weekend and was reminded about our need for an Advocate. We’re all dealing with a buffet line of difficulties—from raising kids, to finances, to broken relationships. I’m so glad that Jesus promised his presence and powerful encouragement that we may cope more effectively what life throws at us.

 

Sometimes, however, it may seem like we can’t quite hear what the Advocate is saying. What are some ways to hear that still, small voice with greater focus and clarity? Here are a few suggestions for us to practice.

 

God will speak to your imagination. Often God will give you a sense of leading to imagine the way situations in your life would like different and better under God’s guidance. These imaginative thoughts will be directly in line with the teachings of Jesus and the Bible.

 

God will speak through the community of Christians. Some of my best Christian friends often can see my “blind spots,” or those behaviors in my life that I have trouble seeing and correcting. This kind of guidance is much, much different than judgmentalism. Our Christian friends can correct us in love and help us to be obedient.

 

God will use repetition. Praise the Lord for this one! God often has to use multiple events and people to help me understand exactly what he is saying. I’m glad God is patient with me.

 

God will give a sense of direction. Sometimes our decisions seem like they are less “black and white” and more “gray.” Pray and trust God to give you wisdom as you discern what steps you must take in order to follow Jesus effectively. God promises to give us wisdom as we ask for it. 


-James