Three Ways the Spirit Leads: The Voice of the Spirit
The third way to be led of the Spirit of God is found in Acts 10:19: “While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.” From time to time, the Holy Spirit will speak directly to you. The difference between His voice and the still, small voice on the inside is authority. The Holy Spirit’s voice is authoritative. It’s that sense of command inside you that is so strong that you almost look around. It is as though somebody said something to you. That’s the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking directly to you. He commands or speaks with authority only He can speak with that kind of jars you a little bit.
I’ve never had Him speak in an audible voice, but many people have shared testimonies of this happening. You turn around and nobody is there. He carries that kind of authority with Him.
In addition to an audible (or almost audible) voice, the Spirit can speak directly to you through visions, dreams, and prophecy.
Acts 26:19 gives us one example of the Holy Spirit communicating through visions.
Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision….
We see many different kinds of visions in the Word of God. An open vision is when you perceive the realm of the Spirit through your natural senses. Jesus walks into this room and begins instructing you and you perceive Him as though He is standing right in front of you. That’s an open vision.
A closed vision is where you are in a trance and don’t perceive the Lord with your natural senses. Peter was “tranced” in Acts chapter 12. He had the vision in the eye of his mind.
The Lord may also communicate with you through your dreams. Acts chapter 2 talks about “in that day your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall have visions, your old men shall dream dreams….” I’ve never had an open vision or heard His audible voice, but I have had God minister to me in dreams.
Now, if you have to think about what you dreamed, God hasn’t spoken to you. When God speaks to you in a dream, you will get up and know God has spoken to you. You have no doubt about it because it’s etched on your heart.
The Holy Spirit can minister to you directly through prophecy. One place we see that is in Acts chapter 2. He can have somebody come forth with a word from the Lord in a public gathering or it can be individually.
All of these ways of being led by the Spirit are not something we should ask for or pursue. They are secondary methods of being led of the Spirit of God; the primary way being the inward witness. Many people go around looking for prophecy, asking for dreams or visions, but have no basis in scripture to do so. If you’re asking God to send somebody to you with a prophecy or an angelic messenger or that Jesus would manifest Himself to you, you’re liable to have the wrong kind of spirit manifest. The Devil will accommodate those types of requests so don’t go seeking that kind of direction. Our job is to rely on the Holy Spirit within to give us the inward witness as the primary method of leading.
About Mac HammondMac Hammond is senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, a nondenominational church located in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. Pastor Hammond also hosts the Winner's Minute and the Winner's Way television broadcasts and has authored several internationally distributed books . Mac Hammond is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living. Mac Hammond graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 1965 with a Bachelor's degree in English. Upon graduation, he entered the Air Force with a regular officer's commission and reported for pilot training at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia. Mac received his wings in November 1966, and subsequently served two tours of duty in Southeast Asia, accumulating 198 combat missions. He was honorably discharged in 1970 with the rank of Captain. Between 1970 and 1980, Mac was involved in varying capacities in the general aviation industry including ownership of a successful air cargo business serving the Midwestern United States. A business acquisition brought Mac and his wife Lynne Hammond to Minneapolis where they ultimately founded Living Word Christian Center in 1980.
Mac Hammond is senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, a nondenominational church located in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. Pastor Mac Hammond also hosts the Winner's Way television broadcast and has authored several internationally distributed books. Mac Hammond is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living.
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