Gloria Copeland addresses the issue of hearing from God and dividing between soul and spirit in an article in the Believer’s Voice of Victory magazine issue for Oct. 2010.
I wanted to put together some of the highlights from this article that might help you if you’re really trying to learn how to hear from God clearly, like I am!
Most of the time I would hear my own spirit speaking to my soul, which is my mind, will and emotions. The audible voice of the Lord is rare in most of our lives. Almost every leading we will receive in everyday life will be a prompting, an impression, a thought, an inward witness, a leading or an unction from our spirit.
The reason it sounds like us is because it is ourselves that we hear. The Holy Spirit communicates with our spirit, and our spirit prompts, or enlightens, our mind.
When we start our day by praying the will of God by the Holy Spirit, many times we will have already prayed concerning the problems we will face during the day. We will perceive an interpretation, a prompting, an impression, a word or a sentence that will enlighten us and give us the answer to the situation. It will be so natural to us that we might not even realize it is the Holy Spirit leading and revealing Himself to us. Things that would have been stumbling blocks to us before will now be handled with ease by hearing and obeying the will of God as the Holy Spirit leads us.
I don’t think there is any way to cultivate this communion between the Holy Spirit and our spirit, and between our spirit and our mind, except by spending time in prayer and in the Word of God. Only the Word of God will separate or differentiate between the soul and the spirit. Our soul relies on natural knowledge to form its opinions until natural knowledge is replaced by the supernatural knowledge of God. In Romans 12:2 this process of replacing the thoughts of natural, carnal man with the thoughts of God is called “the renewing of your mind.”
You might be asking, “How can I tell the difference and be sure when it is God or just me?” You will have to begin a quest for the things of God. The Scripture lets us know that if we seek God, we will find Him. Spiritual things do not come without serious effort.
We are told in Hebrews 11:6 that “without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” We know that we have to approach God in faith – that is, without being able to see proof in the natural realm. We must learn to believe Him without seeing Him. From that verse we also find another key to knowing God: He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
There is no selfish, easy way to walk with God while we live in the earth and in a natural body. We will do it God’s way or not at all.
Remember, God’s Words comes to us in two ways: (1) by the written Word, and (2) by the Holy Spirit speaking to our spirit. We begin with the assurance that God’s written Word is our sure word. The Holy Spirit will never lead you contrary to the written Word of God. If you receive a prompting that is in opposition to the written Word, you will know it is not from the Holy Spirit.
Simply ask the Holy Spirit to teach you how to follow Him. Give Him control of your life and He will reveal to you the will of God, step by step. He knows how to bring you to maturity. All He requires of you is your attention and your obedience.
~Excerpts from article entitled “Was that Me, Lord, or was that You?” by Gloria Copeland in BVOV mag. Oct. 2010, pp. 12-13.