How Do I Know What the Holy Spirit is Showing Me?

I have wrestled with the question, “how do I know what the Holy Spirit is showing me?” I sometimes think it is my mind playing tricks on me. I desire to please God, not only in my walk but also where I work.


Dear Patti,

Thank you for this sincere, beautiful question. I love your heart to want to please God not only in your walk, but where you work. I want more of a heart for those things too.

I have just two quick thoughts I’ll share. First, while I was gathering thoughts to answer Dan’s question, above, I was struck by Jesus’ words about the psalms, where he says that David was “speaking by the Holy Spirit” (Mark 10:36). This is something we see in other parts of the New Testament (2 Peter 1:21, 2 Timothy 3:16-17), but it was precious to see it in the words of our Saviour as well. This just was a reminder to me that the primary way we as believers hear the Holy Spirit is through reading God’s Word. That’s the revelation of the Spirit that we can be most confident in, though it’s not the only direction the Spirit gives.

I think when it comes to discerning about what the Holy Spirit says beyond (though not against) Scripture, a passage like 1 Corinthians 14 comes to mind, which touches on the topic of prophecy. Giving instruction about orderly worship, Paul writes, “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said” (1 Cor 14:29). I love this because Paul is valuing the gift of prophecy, but he’s also valuing the need for the Church community to “weigh” and discern whether a prophecy really is from God, by the Holy Spirit, or whether it is not. Paul acknowledges here that it is possible for us to mishear God. I can think of a few occasions in my life where I thought God was telling me something, but looking back, I’m not so sure anymore. This is where our brothers and sisters, and the guardrails of Scripture, can be a real help to us when it comes to hearing the Holy Spirit speaking to us today.

I hope that’s helpful as a start, Patti! I pray God would continue to grow your heart for him and your desire to yield your ever hour to him! Ravi’s passing has put that on my heart recently.