The Voices in Your Head

“How do I know the voice isn’t just me but is the Holy Spirit?”

“Excellent question. I promise not everything you think is from the Holy Spirit.”

My students flooded me with a series of questions that shifted my original lesson plan into something much more valuable. I went with the Voice in my head telling me that it was the right call to talk to my class full of eager students about how to discern the Holy Spirit in their lives and not to make wild life decisions on a whim and blame their break ups on the Holy Spirit when they couldn’t think of a nice way to end a relationship.

To be clear, I’m not one of those people who gets an audible voice in my head. I just had a strong impression and peace that this was the right call. I was doing an enrichment activity anyways, so it’s not like it messed up my curriculum.

Sometimes I’ve felt a nudge to send an encouraging note or a verse to someone and found it to be just the thing they needed to hear. Thursday night, the Holy Spirit nudged one of my alumni to do just that for me. I had a heavy night and had pretty much prepared to give up a fight that I’d been praying about for a long time. Then I woke up at 3:30 with a nudge of my own to pray – but not before I checked my phone to see what time it was and saw a notification from an hour and a half earlier that just said “Hebrews 10:32-39.”

You can look up the context on your own, but verse thirty-six is what mattered to me at 3am. For some reason, by the grace of God, my Bible app was set to NIV when I looked it up (it’s normally set on the ESV or lately has been in the MSG). This is what I read: “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

This struck even more significantly as the dorm brother of the kid who messaged me that reference this week had three months ago near the start of this wearying journey messaged me at 3am that he’d been praying for me and felt like God told him the words “patience” and “perseverance” were important for me. Somewhat ironically, the kid to message me those words said he felt like the Lord gave him the reference 1 Thessalonians 5:19 as significant to the person I was praying for…

But what I love about these links is the way I can see the Holy Spirit at work when teenage boys (okay, they are 20 and 21) spend time in intentional prayer and then send an encouragement to someone they feel like the Lord gave them a word or verse for. Of these two kids, one of them is super comfortable acknowledging the voice of God in his life because he’s been practicing it and has a mom who’s super in tune with the Holy Spirit; the other kid is new to the language of listening in prayer, and we’ve had some incredible conversations over the last year about expecting God to show up without making demands on God.

Both of them have taught me valuable things about listening to God and have been tools that God has used to speak profound truth into my life.

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