This time we will be looking at the method and means the Holy Spirit uses to convey messages to us.
In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.
We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.
Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.
“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me — the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.
I chose the above four reading to show that the Holy Spirit sends messages to us. This seemed like a routine thing to the apostles and other early Christians. The Holy Spirit seems to have directed them as to where to go and what to do when they get there. Do we get those kind of messages today if so do we really listen for them?
Another thing about messages from the Holy Spirit from earlier posts are that people back then seemed to know if they didn’t have the Holy Spirit. Peter and other asked if the new converts had received the Holy Spirit and they often said “No we haven’t but we have been baptized” or “No we have not been informed that there is a Holy Spirit”. They seemed so sure that they have not received him in their comments. How could they know that they don’t have something? That is strange to me.
At one particular moment in my life I think I did receive a clear and distinct message from the Holy Spirit. That moment brought me to tears. I wish I could report others like it but I can’t truthfully do that. I think I need some lessons in how to effectively listen. I am hoping to discover them in the days/weeks/years ahead. Come Holy Spirit come.