By Pastor David M. Choi
What does it mean to listen to the Holy Spirit? Listening to the Holy Spirit means courage, because it is nothing less than wholly entrusting ourselves to the Lord and his direction for our lives. Equally important, listening to the Holy Spirit also means prudence, because it requires that we discern the genuineness of God’s voice and calling. Paul and Barnabas, the great missionaries of the early church, both knew this, which is why they were able to hear the Lord Spirit when he called.
However, for all their courage and prudence, they did not hear the Spirit on their own terms. The hearing occurred within the context of church-community and worship no less, because, when listening to the Holy Spirit, that is where courage and prudence develop and truly work themselves out (v.2).
Whenever the Spirit of God calls us to do something, he has various ways of making known to us his will. At times, he makes his will known through those we’ve been put in community with, most likely because God is aware of our own incredulity. At other times, when we feel like we possess inward clarity, God demands that we test its veracity through worship, lest we end up being deceived somehow. In this way, Paul and Barnabas, along with the church at Antioch, knew how to listen to and for the Holy Spirit.
Do you know how to listen to the Holy Spirit? That is, through the gift of your church-community, do you have the courage to hear the Spirit of God speak? Moreover, are you growing in prudence through true worship, for greater clarity and understanding?
Father, through the promptings of your Holy Spirit, help me to hear your voice. Grant me courage to obey, as well as prudence to understand. Amen.