Are We Listening to the Holy Spirit?

Dear Wake Up Family and Friends,

Have you ever been sitting in your home early morning or late afternoon and seen a ray of sunshine come through the window? If you looked closely, you could see dust particles floating in the light, but outside of that ray of sunshine you couldn’t see them.

This happened to me in the office last week while working on the upcoming Righteousness by Faith book. As I sat watching the dust particles waft through the air, I thought about how the Holy Spirit shines His spotlight on our lives to reveal things we wouldn’t see otherwise— things that need changing. It reminded me of several articles Larry wrote some time ago. One was about how inspiration works, and the other about the process of sanctification.

Here is an excerpt from Larry’s article explaining inspiration. It’s the best explanation I’ve heard. “Suppose you, an ordinary person, are blindfolded and taken onto the stage of a totally dark auditorium filled with hundreds of people. The blindfold is then removed, but you can’t see or hear anything because it’s dark and silent. Your guide shines a beam of light to your left and you see three people. Then, he shines the spotlight toward the back of the auditorium and you see two people. Last, he shines the spotlight toward the right of the auditorium and you see one person. Your blindfold is then replaced, and as you exit the room, your guide says that you should tell others everything you experienced and saw.”

The question that always comes to mind when I think about this parable is, am I sharing what God has graciously given me the opportunity to know?

The excerpt on sanctification comes from another book manuscript we’re putting together based on Larry’s Tahoe seminar in ’96 and the Ezekiel series in ’02. He says, “A number of Christians believe God accepts us however and from wherever we are, and that’s all we have to do—but this isn’t true. Yes, He accepts us when we come to Him however and from wherever we are, but, He doesn’t want us to stay there. He wants us to mature, to grow, and become more like Him. Sanctification is the process of Jesus taking us through school, grade by grade. And over time, if we’re submissive to the Holy Spirit, He will lead us into a happier and higher state of existence.”

Humans aren’t naturally inclined to be submissive. That’s why the Holy Spirit wrestles with us until we surrender. It’s His way of engaging us with the spiritual awakening necessary to begin first grade in His school. Here’s Larry’s explanation: “Through the years, I have found there is a consistent way to identify a spiritual awakening. I call it a spiritual nagging or guilt. It’s something that is going on inside and won’t let you rest. Now guilt inherently isn’t bad. God designed us so that we can sense guilt. And when it’s present, the nagging motivates us to feel remorse about guilt, which then motivates us to make things right. Remorse is a horrible emotional state if not dealt with properly. When a person becomes born again, the Holy Spirit comes and begins working on the heart by bringing a relentless nagging, and the nagging is always about doing something we prefer not to do.”

Larry had a way with words, didn’t he?

When I think about his illustration of sanctification being a school, I ask myself: What is the Holy Spirit trying to teach me this week? Do I hear anything? Certainly, the Holy Spirit speaks to all of us. The question is, are we listening, and do we have ears to hear what He’s saying. “For nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing concealed that will not be made known and brought to light.” (Luke 8:17 NET)

Rex Johnson

Rex Johnson

Rex Johnson

Rex Johnson

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