Summary: There is a difference between our conscience and God’s Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit knows all of God’s plans and purposes for our lives, and He wants us to know God’s will.
For the last 2 Sundays we’ve been talking about God’s Will in our lives—God’s Will vs. our Will and God’s Will and the Bible. Today I want to talk about the Holy Spirit’s role in us knowing the Will of God.
You might remember last time when I mentioned the statement, “let your conscience be your guide.” And many times that is good advice. But not every time. It’s often easy to be led by our feelings or emotions. It just feels right. I think most of us know that we can’t always trust our feelings.
But there are times when that “inner voice” is right? Today I want to stress that there is a difference between our conscience and God’s Holy Spirit. Our conscience comes from our experience with dealings in our lives. We just have a feeling we need to do or not do something. But God’s Will for us is revealed by the Holy Spirit. I am going to use Paul’s writings in 1 Corinthians 2 to help us to understand this more.
But first let me tell you the true story of a pastor and his wife.
This pastor and wife team once led a marriage enrichment weekend. Here’s how he tells the story. “As we walked to the podium to speak on the first evening, I wiped my nose with a tissue. Somehow, a piece of tissue came loose and stuck to the end of my nose. Mortified, my wife tried to tell me how ridiculous I looked. She muttered under her breath, “Wipe your nose.” But I didn’t hear her. She scribbled on my notes, “Wipe your nose.” But I didn’t notice.
The irony is that we were teaching on communication in marriage. Standing beside me was someone who knew and loved me more than anyone, yet she couldn’t get my attention. It was the last marriage enrichment weekend we ever led.”
Well, I’m here to tell you that to a far greater degree, the Holy Spirit loves us unlike anyone else. He knows all of God’s plans and purposes for our lives, and He wants us to know God’s will. Since we can’t see Him, how does He communicate God’s plan? In the book of 1 Corinthians, Paul spoke on the role of the Holy Spirit in helping us know God’s Will.
Today, I’ll be using a portion of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. 1 Corinthians 2. For Christians, our thinking ought to be different from the way unbelievers think. In our passage today, it tells us that God’s wisdom is a hidden wisdom. That means that God’s truth can’t be understood unless the Holy Spirit opens our hearts and minds to be able to receive it and understand it.
That’s precisely why an atheist can read the Bible a thousand times and be unmoved by it. They can analyze the Greek and Hebrew text and debate with the most brilliant of Bible scholars, but unless the Holy Spirit opens their understanding to the truths of God’s Word, it all seems like foolishness to them.
READ 1 Corinthians 2: 6-8. Paul says that he was speaking words of wisdom to those who were spiritually mature. But those in the world, those who think like the world would be unable to understand what he was saying. You see, the more mature we are in Christ, the more God’s Word makes sense to us.
The writer of the book of Hebrews compared the difference between drinking milk and eating meat. In Hebrews 5:1-14, listen how he explains it, “Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. 13 Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature—for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.”
That passage opened my eyes to the reason why people respond differently to the same sermon. It has to do with where we are in our spiritual growth. When we first come to Christ, we’re spiritual infants. We can only digest “milk” truths. But those who grow in spiritual maturity will be able to grasp the “meaty” of the word and their soul will be nourished. So, don’t get discouraged because other Christians may seem to understand more about the bible than you. That just means you are at different stages of your spiritual growth. As we grow in our knowledge of God’s Word, in prayer, and in faith, God’s wisdom becomes clearer each day.
Some religions think of God as a distant, unknowable guy who can’t be approached. They don’t think of God as someone who you can have a conversation with. When was the last time you sat still and had a heart-to-heart conversation with God? Others see God as a mysterious god who remains hidden.