Simple Steps to a Grateful Heart

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries5 Minutes

Excerpt taken from Simple Steps to a Grateful Heart by Inspiration Ministries

Knowing the Spirit of Truth

The Bible is God’s love letter to you, so take time to read it. Express gratefulness to your loving, Heavenly Father for providing direction and peace in your life. Draw near to Him in prayer and thanksgiving…and you’ll begin to hear the power of His voice, whispering in fullness of spirit and in love.

Just as God’s Word is truth (John 17:17), Jesus also said the Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of truth,” who “will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). Like two rails of a railroad track, the two – the Bible and the Holy Spirit – are meant to work together to reveal God’s plan for your life. The Spirit will never lead you contrary to the written Word of God, but He will at times give you specific guidance on how to implement and obey what the Bible says.

Are You Hearing Clearly?

The more you spend time in His presence in worship, prayer, and thanksgiving, the more you will gain sensitivity to His leading. Each day you walk with the Lord, your intimacy with Him begins to grow. You’ll begin to know Him in a personal way as you are drawn to His presence.

One of the benefits of having a close personal relationship with someone is that you learn to recognize their voice. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). In contrast to this close bond between a shepherd and his sheep, Jesus also said, “They will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers” (John 10:5).

Notice that Jesus’ voice will not be the only voice you’ll hear. There are countless voices in the world today, and many of them are not accurately speaking for God. Sometimes the voice of the devil can seem very convincing, even though he’s a liar and a counterfeiter (John 8:44, 2 Corinthians 11:14-15).

That’s why you need to be firmly grounded in God’s written Word, using its truth as a sword to counteract Satan’s lies (Ephesians 6:17). When you know the truth, you can banish the devil from your thoughts, your mind, and your home. He has no place there unless you grant it to him. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, the devil is now a defeated foe.

At other times, the devil isn’t the primary cause of deception. Your flesh may also be at work, leading you into self-deception. It’s easy to convince yourself you’re hearing from God when you’re actually just rationalizing to affirm what you’ve already decided you want to do.

In addition, beware of making decisions based on anger, “for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:20). The Lord isn’t telling you to do things that are illegal, immoral, or would harm someone else. He will faithfully direct you toward life-affirming decisions that will bless and not curse the people around you.

Keep in mind: God’s voice will never come from just a single, solitary source. At times, you may hear directly from His Word as you read and meditate on the Bible. You may even hear Him as He speaks to your spirit in that “still, small voice” in your heart, helping you discern His will for your life.

Seeking His will through the Word and listening for His voice through the Spirit involves spending time in His presence. It also requires believing Him when He speaks to you, for without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).

Order your copy of Simple Steps to a Grateful Heart by Inspiration Ministries