One morning, one of my students in the Leadership Development Programme called me to inform me that while he was just praying about his College project and he started thinking of me. In my mind I said of course every student will think about the examiner. He felt that while he was praying for me that God had showed him some things pertaining to me. He asked if this resonated within me. I told him that at that point I could not relate but I had taken note and written his “revelation” down. But you see he heard something in his spirit and he acted on it. What was brought to his attention was just my name, but as he started praying he started getting a sense, it’s called impression. It was not very clear to him because a sense is sometimes not very clear. All he knew was that he was supposed to pray for me, and I agree with him he needed to pray with me, but the impression he got was still to be judged. The spirit of God was speaking to his spirit.
Listen to Romans 8:14-16
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:(KJV)
Or better still in another version:
“ For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children* of God.
So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into his family*—calling him “Father, dear Father.”* For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children. NLT
In other words the bible is saying the sons of God are led by the Spirit of God as he communicates with their spirit. The Greek word for adoption is “iuothetisia” which means the spirit of being placed into sonship. The Spirit that we have received and works in us is the spirit of sonship. So this is how the spirit communicates with our spirits, he bears witness; he deposits a part of the mind of Christ into our spirits, because we are sons of God. He speaks into our spirits by bearing witness that we are sons of God and also by bearing witness of the things that God wants to do in our lives and in the lives of others. We need to be sensitive to the voice of the spirit when he begins to speak to us. So this may be a spontaneous thought that is just planted into your spirit and you recognise that this thought is not mine. But you see the inward witness is a function of how your renewed your soul is. So if your soul is not renewed, if your mind is not renewed with the word of God, you can hear things and that are not of the spirit of God because there are other spirits which also want to speak to you. That is why it is necessary for every thought and voice to be judged by the word of God. The standard of judging every manifestation of the voice of God is the written word of God. So don’t just come to me and say Pastor while you were preaching I had this inward witness that I am going to have a wedding when I know that you are already married. So which spirit was speaking to you? So when you have an inward witness, it’s not only God who is speaking to you by the spirit, the devil may also whisper his thoughts into your mind. That is why it is important that every inward witness should be judged, and it is judged by the authority of the word of God. I said it’s a sudden knowing, a sudden understanding that something is happening. As a matter of fact, those people who operate by the word of knowledge, it’s mostly by the inward witness. Have you heard somebody as they minister and start to say I sense there is somebody like this? In most cases, they are a little bit unsure there but as they begin to speak they become more accurate. It’s because it’s an inward witness; the spirit of God just says there is somebody with cancer and he begins to reveal. As he obeys, the spirit of God begins to deposit more information. And for most prophetic people, one of the fundamental ways in which God speaks to them is by the inward witness. So we need to train ourselves to hear the voice of God, when he speaks to us by the inward witness. Some people call it an inward intuition, and some people call it a check in my spirit: e.g. as I heard this guy speaking something in me did not resonate, something in me just got upset. And sometimes it’s God who is saying you should not believe all prophecies. When a prophetic word is being given, sometimes your spirit will resonate with that word; there is something in you that say although I don’t understand I’m comfortable with it. Sometimes it’s something that will give you discomfort; it’s a check in the spirit, it’s an inward witness that is saying proceed with caution, you have to judge this word, you have to go back to the Word. It may still be a correct word but it’s spoken wrongly. So God is warning you to be careful. Sometimes it just like a green light saying yes, maybe you have been praying wanting to make a decision and you just sense lightness in you that feels like a green light that says proceed; that is also the inward witness. But when you feel a tightening in your spirit about a decision or about a word being spoken to you, that says be very careful. Sometimes we try to bind the inward witness because all of a sudden you have a bubbling inside you and you start saying what is this, how can I be thinking of other people. By the way, I am not talking about young girls having names of boys thrown into your mind and beginning to fantasize, that is of the devil. Don’t come to me and say Pastor I just had this thought planted in me and I began to see his picture. That’s not what I am talking about.
Now listen, I said it’s a function of your spirit. That is why you have to be very careful. If your soul is tainted, if your soul is bruised, sometimes you hear things out of your woundedness and not what the spirit of God is saying. You have to be very careful about people who are always sensing things especially if those things are negative. Sometimes when people who give prophetic words begin to say oh I sense there is adultery here; you want to check their lives, they may be prophesying out of their own sin. You can have an inner witness that is tainted, the same way that you can have a prophetic word that is tainted by the weakness of the person. That’s why you need to judge prophecy, that’s why you need to judge the inner witness. For example if I had an intense moment of fellowship with my wife and now I am praying and I have an inner witness that says this lady needs to be disciplined, now you need to proceed with caution because I am conflicted. When you have had a negative encounter with somebody and suddenly “God” speaks to you a negative word, then you say brother I am burdened about you and I say of course you are burdened because you are angry, it’s your wounded spirit that is speaking to you. It’s not the spirit of God. God will not use an angry person or a bitter person to go and minister healing to somebody they are bitter with. If you feel somebody has hurt you and you have this strong inner witness to say I have to talk to her, I have to talk to him and tell him my mind; yes you are getting that witness but it’s not from God. God can raise somebody else to go and speak to that person.
Unfortunately in our days there are so many people flashing prophetic words or words of knowledge either out of their woundedness or out of a sense of insecurity or out of trying to correct the saints in a “spiritual manner”. Pastors, be careful about using the Holy Spirit to settle your own scores.