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Many times Christians try to receive guidance other than how the Bible says we are to receive.

For example, nowhere in the Bible does it say God guides us through our souls. People sometimes use the words "spirit" and "soul" interchangeably. But they are not interchangeable, and people who don't understand that can become hopelessly confused.

We know from the Word that a man's soul and spirit do not refer to the same thing because the Bible differentiates between them. It says,
The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the DIVIDING ASUNDER of SOUL and SPIRIT.
(Heb. 4:12)
Actually, the Word of God teaches that you are a spirit, you have a soul, and you live in a body.

In Your Spirit
Since God dwells in you, in your heart or spirit, that is where He is going to speak to you. He does not communicate directly with your mind, because He's not in your mind; He's in your spirit.

You see, you are a spirit being, and you contact the spiritual realm with your spirit. You contact the mental realm with your intellect. And you contact the physical realm with your body.

It is your spirit that becomes a new creation in Christ when you are born again. When we are born again, we still have the same body we had before. The outward man doesn't change. But the spirit man on the inside has become a new man in Christ. And because God guides us through our spirit, it's important to allow that inward man to dominate our lives.

Let me explain what I mean by the "inward witness."

Suppose you pray about going in a certain direction in your life, and you get a check or a red light in your spirit. Or to say it another way, on the inside of you there is something that tells you no or to stop. On the inside, in your heart, you just don't feel good about going in the direction you're praying about.

That check in your spirit is the Holy Spirit telling you not to go in that direction, no matter how good circumstances look on the outside. On the other hand, if you pray about a matter and you get a go-ahead signal or a velvety-like feeling in your heart, that's the witness of the Holy Spirit telling you to proceed.

Various Ways
First, God leads His children by the inward witness. Second, He leads us by the inward voice. With the inward voice, our own spirit speaks to us what it picks up from the Holy Ghost. God also can lead us by the more authoritative Voice of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Ghost within us speaks, it can almost seem to be an audible Voice.

You can't base your Christian walk on your physical senses or your feelings. Many times your feelings will tell you that you're not even saved!

Write this down and don't forget it: Feeling is the voice of the body. Reason is the voice of your soul or mind. And conscience is the voice of your spirit. Your inward man has a voice; it is your conscience! Is your conscience a safe guide? It is if your spirit has been born again and your mind renewed by the Word of God.

If you are being led by your feelings or by your physical senses instead of by your conscience, you are heading for trouble. You contact this world where Satan is god with your physical senses. If your mind or body is dominating you, Satan can find entrance into your life and begin to control you through your feelings or senses.

You can't walk by faith if you're led by your feelings. It makes no difference whether or not you feel like something is so, or whether or not you feel like God heard you when you prayed. If the Word of God says it, then it's true!

Keep Emotion Out Of It
Base your faith on the Word, not on your feelings or senses. Feelings, the voice of your body, may tell you a lot of things that are contrary to God's Word. But the Holy Spirit will communicate to you through your spirit, and it will always be in line with the Word.

In John 16:13 it says,
How be it when he, THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH; that is, the Holy Spirit, is come, he will GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
Every Christian ought to have a certain amount of that kind of spiritual perception. I'm not talking about a manifestation of a gift of the Spirit here, such as the word of wisdom or the word of knowledge. I know when the word of knowledge is operating, because it has operated through me more than any other gift of the Spirit. But I also recognize that inward witness or perception of the Holy Spirit in my own spirit.

You see, you can make all the faith confessions you want to, but if the Holy Ghost has already told you to do something, you'd better obey Him. If you don't, you're in disobedience, and your faith confessions won't do a bit of good.

The inward witness often takes waiting before God to discern what He's saying. The problem with a lot of Christians is they don't want to take the time to seek God until they know what God's will is concerning a matter. They just don't want to take the responsibility of finding God's will for their lives.

It may take longer for some people than for others to get their flesh under subjection to their spirit so they can hear God, because they've allowed their flesh to dominate them for so long. But once they get their mind and their physical senses under control, they'll be able to hear what God is saying to their spirit.

Learn To Train Your Spirit
A key principle to following the inward witness I learned early in life was to develop and train my spirit. Throughout my Christian walk I have endeavored to do that as diligently as I could. How do you train your spirit? Number one, feed on God's Word. Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4).

Number two, make sure you walk in love. When I was still a teenager, I made a quality decision that I was always going to walk in love, regardless of whether or not anyone else did. Number three, pray much in other tongues. I know from experience that praying in other tongues is one of the best ways to develop your spirit man.

Too many of us spend most of our lives living in the mental and the physical realms. Many times we've developed our intellects at the expense of developing our hearts. Our intellects take the throne in our lives, and our spirits, which should guide us, are kept locked away in prison and are not permitted to function. But whether or not we listen to our spirits, the Holy Spirit through the inward witness is always seeking to give guidance to our minds.

Let's learn to be sensitive to the Holy Ghost! Let's get acquainted with the One who lives in us. I think many Christians have never really gotten acquainted with Him. They only know Him in a general or a vague sense, as if He is some sort of far-off something. But the Bible says the Holy Spirit is in you as your Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby (John 14:26 AMP).

If you will learn to let your spirit dominate your mind and flesh, then "He will guide you into all truth, and He will show you things to come" (John 16:13). Train your spirit man to listen to the Holy Spirit who dwells inside you.

Renew your mind with the Word of God and refuse to allow your flesh to dominate you. As you do, you will learn to follow the inward witness!

Source: Classic Sermons by Kenneth Hagin.
Excerpt permission granted by Faith Library Publications

Author Biography

Kenneth E. Hagin
Web site: RHEMA
Rev. Hagin served in Christian ministry for nearly 70 years and was known as the "father of the modern faith movement." His teachings and books are filled with vivid stories that show God's power and truth working in his life and the lives of others.

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