Why We Should Test the Holy Spirit

The more and more I walk with the Lord, the more I learn about Him and the more I learn about myself. Sometimes I feel like my life is a movie, and God is obviously the writer. I’m currently living out the movie where He is the teacher and I’m the student, kind of like the karate kid.

As the student, I’m impulsive, I’ve gotten the hang of things, and I’m ready to take on the world without realizing that I haven’t been properly trained. Or I’m like the fearless teenager who’s ready to move to another state to start my own life without any proper preparation. Or the young medieval knight who’s won a few fights and is ready to take on the reigning champion in a battle. I’m sure you get the picture.

Becoming more self-aware of where I am spiritually, I’ve noticed how impulsive I am. And I mean it’s so hard to demonstrate patience or wisdom when you serve a God who is capable of doing anything. It’s all over the Bible:

Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Mark 11:23

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Knowing scriptures like these really gets me riled up. How amazing and humbling it is to know that God gives us such power. It challenges our faith and reassures us that we can actually dream again. Sometimes we fail to see just how much fear bounds us because of our past hurts and failures.

But when we really think about it, we can cast out all of our fears and doubts because there’s no need to have them. We can truly dream, and not only can we dream, but we can dream big. And why does God give us this gift? Because His grace is always sufficient and He loves us. It is a testament to His character that when He blesses, He gives exceedingly abundant.

But I’m sure you’ve heard that with power comes great responsibility, and to receive such a gift or blessing also means that you must know how to use it. Thinking about the movies with superheroes, witches, or any character who has some type of power, they each had to go through some type of training in order to learn how to harness their power and use it.

As Christians, it works very similarly. Walking this walk of faith, the Lord always uses our present life to train and prepare us for our futures. We may not know what exactly those plans are, but I know without a doubt that they are good and perfect (Jeremiah 29:11).

Quick story on how I realized: I recently joined the worship team at my church, and I have been feeling led to pray for everyone who is serving in the ministry. One night at rehearsal, I strongly felt led to pray for the worship leader, and without taking any time to meditate on whether that was what the Lord actually wanted, I acted on impulse. I prayed for the worship leader after rehearsal in front of the other members of the worship team.

Going home that night, I didn’t feel guilty about praying for the worship leader, but I did feel off. For some reason, I felt insecure about how I acted. I was nervous about what other people thought of me, and I was nervous about how the worship leader himself felt about it. It wasn’t until I talked to my mom about the entire situation that I realized what the issue was.

I wasn’t wrong about praying, but I learned that I should have done it during a better time. Like it says in Ecclesiastes 3, there is a time for everything. For my situation, verse 7 specifically spoke to me in that there is a time to speak and a time to remain silent. Having wisdom is knowing when to act within a situation and knowing when to go home, pray about it, and ask the Lord to reveal it to you when it is His time for you to move. That’s the beauty of the Holy Spirit.

1 John 4:1 says,

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

And Ephesians 6:12 says,

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

We have to be careful about what we think is God. We have no idea how the devil is using what we think we know against us. He only comes to kill, destroy, and separate us from the love of God (John 10:10). That’s why God tells us to test the Holy Spirit and see whether it is Him who is speaking. All throughout the Bible, it talks about how God is gracious, patient and slow to move. And this is because He is methodical and intentional about the plans He has for us.

When God wants you to move, He will constantly tell you to do so until you’ve done it. Think about God constantly calling on Jonah or Samuel. I am praying that God gives us the wisdom to test the Holy Spirit and know when it is Him telling us to move. I pray that we completely rely on Him to act and continue to pray without ceasing.

Is there something in your life where you’re constantly jumping the gun and being impulsive? What training do you need so that God can prepare you for your future?

Meet Hanha!

Hanha Parham is a Christian author and speaker. Her personal mission is to help woman overcome fear and self-doubt so that they can confidently believe who God has called them to be. She holds a Masters in Divinity with a concentration in pastoral counseling and is currently pursuing her PhD in Christian leadership. Hanha has published two books, Jesus is Bae and The Confessions Project and she is passionate about teaching, equipping, and discipling the body of Christ. When she is not encouraging others or writing her heart out, she loves spending time with loved ones or exploring new coffee shops. 

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