As born-again believers in Jesus Christ, we serve a triune God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In Genesis 1:26a (AMP), God says, "Let Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) make man in Our image." This verse reveals God as the Trinity, and we need to worship and have relationship with each person of the Godhead.
It seems more common to hear people talk about God and Jesus, but the Holy Spirit does not get enough of our attention. It's important to understand that He is a person who has a personality, a will, knowledge, a mind, and He thinks and knows things. For example, 1 Corinthians 2:11b tells us that "no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God."
In John 16:7b, we learn some of the facets of His personality and how we need Him to work in our lives. In this verse, Jesus says, "If I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor–Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you]."
- This Scripture teaches that He is our: Counselor—Always go to God first for counsel and let Him speak to you His way, through the people or things He chooses.
- Advocate—He pleads our case when we're in trouble.
- Intercessor—He prays for us and through us when we don't know how to pray on our own.
- Standby—He stands by us, ready to act on our behalf when we need something.
- Strengthener—He gives us God's grace to do whatever we need to do in every situation.
He's all these things and so much more! God is literally everything we need, and as we fellowship with the Holy Spirit, we can have "the mind of Christ [to be guided by His thoughts and purposes]" (1 Cor. 2:16).
The Holy Spirit is the only One who fully knows the mind of God, so when we pray for God to give us wisdom or the knowledge we need, it's important for us to realize the Spirit is in us (1 Cor. 2:12; 6:19). And He communicates to us what He hears God say. John 16:13 (AMP) explains that He is "the Spirit of Truth," and He guides us into the truth. "For He will not speak on His own initiative, but He will speak whatever He hears [from the Father]."
One way we learn how to hear the Holy Spirit is by understanding that He has emotions and He can be grieved. Ephesians 4:30a (AMP) says, "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God." Because He lives in us, when He feels grieved, we will feel it too.
Ephesians 4:29-31 (AMP) lists some behaviors that cause Him to be grieved: unwholesome (foul, profane, worthless, vulgar) speech, bitterness, wrath, anger and clamor (perpetual animosity, resentment, strife, faultfinding), slander, every kind of malice (all spitefulness, verbal abuse, malevolence).
When we choose to think and speak in ways that go against His nature, we will feel conviction, and the best thing we can do is confess our sin and repent immediately.
James 3:8a teaches that no one can "tame the human tongue," and sometimes we make mistakes and say wrong things. But we can learn from our mistakes; we can pray and ask God to help us only say things that are right and pleasing to Him.
I know it's easy to be insensitive and say the wrong things sometimes. The other day I was wearing a blouse that didn't fit me right, and I said to someone, "This thing is way too big for me, but it would probably fit you." Afterward, I couldn't believe I had said it.
We need to pray for God to help us hear His voice, giving us wisdom and direction in the thoughts we choose to think about and the words we speak. As our Counselor, He wants to guide us in everything we do, and we can learn how to hear His voice.
Listen for the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to your heart. You can hear it as you wait quietly in His presence, while you're studying His Word, in the midst of your circumstances and even through nature. God is talking to you!
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Get Your Hopes Up! (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.