Listening To The Voice of the Holy Spirit

There was a tiny whispering sound. (1 Kings 19:12)
Israel was at a critical juncture in its history, and Elijah had retreated to Mount Horeb to hear the voice of the Lord. First a strong wind, then an earthquake, then a fire passed before Elijah—all very impressive manifestations of God’s power, each one seeming to bear the kind of majesty that befitted Israel’s need. But God was in none of them. Instead, Elijah heard the Lord through a “tiny whispering sound” that was so intimate and so intense it made the prophet hide his face in his cloak (1 Kings 19:13).
How do you know when God is speaking to you and when you’re just thinking good thoughts? We may think that heroes like Elijah found it easy to hear God, but history shows that they were ordinary people just like us. They, too, had to learn the art of discernment. Was God speaking in the whirlwind? Or was that just the prophet’s emotional turmoil? Was that faint whisper in the back of her mind the Holy Spirit? Or was it just wishful thinking? Only trial and error could sharpen their skills.
The same is true for us. God speaks to us in many different ways: in the events of the day, in the Scriptures and teachings of the Church, in the words and actions of friends, and, yes, in powerful manifestations of his presence. In all of these situations, God wants us to learn how to discern the voice of his Spirit.
So how do we begin? It’s really quite simple. Jesus once said, “By their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:16). This can apply to our own thoughts as well as to other people. For instance, if a thought in your mind helps you love God more or be a little kinder to someone, it’s probably from the Lord. But if something makes you anxious, fearful, angry, or resentful, it’s probably not God speaking to you.
God wants to speak to you. In fact, he’s probably trying to tell you something right now. Take a moment to quiet your heart and listen.
“Holy Spirit, open the ears of my heart. Teach me to hear you clearly, so that I may follow your plan for my life.”           http://wau.org/meditations/current/

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