We are learning to trust the Holy Spirit. On the one hand, trusting the Spirit is a no-brainer. Obviously He is trustworthy and good. The challenge, however, is that our communication mechanisms are not always trustworthy. In other words, the Spirit often speaks and His message gets filtered through some of our non-trustworthy “hearing” mechanisms. This lesson is intended to show three of our filters that we need to shape so that we can hear the trustworthy message of the trustworthy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is a Gift from Father God and both the Father and the Spirit are Trustworthy. James 1:17, Luke 11:11-13
However, the Trustworthy Spirit’s communications are understood through our filters, which must be shaped and formed in order to be trustworthy.
Three extremely important filters through which my understanding of the Spirit’s communication is filtered are: My conscience, my understanding of the Bible, and my spiritual community.
Shaping your understanding of the Bible is exceedingly important for trusting the Holy Spirit.
A very common situation is, “I know what 2 Corinthians 6:14 says about being unequally yoked together with unbelievers, but the Holy Spirit is leading me to date this non-Christian.”
Shaping your conscience is also vitally important for trusting the Holy Spirit.
Conscience is a natural facility of our reason that does three things:
- Reminds us always to do good and avoid evil.
- Makes a judgment about the good and evil of particular choices in a specific situation.
- Bears witness after the fact to the good or evil that we have done. (I.e., having a guilty conscience.) http://www.beginningcatholic.com/conscience.html
Consider the following Identifiers of the human conscience.
- A good or clear conscience. This person has not violated their conscience. This does not mean that the conscience is properly shaped by God’s word. Acts 23:1 and 24:16
- A defiled conscience. This person’s conscience tells them that they have violated their internal sense of right and wrong. 1 Corinthians 8:7
- A seared conscience. This person’s conscience has been melted with a hot iron. Habitual violation of the conscience has deadened its ability to tell right from wrong. 1 Timothy 4:2
- A weak conscience. This conscience is untrained, doesn’t have God’s knowledge, and has not been properly taught. 1 Corinthians 8:7
- An evil conscience. This conscience is struggling with un-confessed sin. It is a conscience with sin “on” it. Hebrews 10:22
- A pure conscience. The blood of Jesus has cleansed this conscience. 1 timothy 3:9 and Hebrews 10:22
Listen – Your Story
- What is the best book, movie, or sporting event you have enjoyed in the past three months?
- As the Winter Session of MCA Church Life Groups launches, what would you like God to do in and through you?
Learn – Dig Deeper
- What may we learn about God’s trustworthiness from the Apostle Paul in 2 timothy 1:12?
- According to the Psalmist, is the Old Testament trustworthy? Psalm 19:7
- According to the Apostle Paul, is the Bible trustworthy? 2 Timothy 3:16, 17
- How would you respond to a person who thinks the Holy Spirit is leading them to violate a Bible principle?
- Review the six identifiers of human conscience. Do you see yourself in them? Is there anything on your conscience that should be washed away by the blood of Jesus?
Live – Taking it Home
- Looking back on this weeks teaching and study, what is the most important thing to remember?
- What can you do this week that will bring greater Bible shape to your conscience?
Lift – Prayer
- Do you have any prayer requests you would like to share with your group?
- Please pray for a stronger ability to trust the Holy Spirit.
- Please pray for MCA Church’s funding of the exciting Youth Development Center.