The Holy Spirit, Intuition, Spirit Guides and the Universe

Christians say that the Holy Spirit is leading them to do so and so.
Others say it their intuition, that gut feeling, that guides them do so and so.
Others say that their spirit guides are leading them to do so and so.
Others say it is the Universe.
How do you explain all these differences?

I am a committed believer and have experienced how I was clearly being led to decide on things because I believed I had a prompting from the Holy Spirit, a sense of peace, and timely confirmation while having my daily Bible reading. However, you hear people with other worldviews saying the same things but calling it different names. How could you explain that? Do you have any suggestions of authors and books I can look into to understand more about the connection between God, our religious experiences, our consciousness, etc.

Thank you

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I am sure that there are others far more qualified than me to answer this question. I, too, am interested in resources on this topic.

I do have a couple of thoughts. We cannot forget that there is a spiritual realm that does interact with humanity. There are the “rulers of the darkness of this world” which we know can interact to influence humans, as seen in the Garden of Eden (even if this is a rather overt interaction).

Also, we know that God is able to speak to those who are not in relationship with him. We see this with pharaoh and many other people and nations in the Bible. Nebuchadnezzar seems to be led by God to conquer Jerusalem and Cyrus seems led to release them.

Perhaps this approaches an explanation for such occurrences?

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Hi @kaeduy26, I love your question because I wrestle with the same fairly often. God, religious experiences, our consciousness, how everything relates to one another… these are all tough questions.

As for what we experience and feel guided towards, I think the thing that sets us Believers apart is discernment. Throughout our whole lives we learn to distinguish between our voice and the voice of God. For many, their intuition and experience come from within, but for the Christian it’s a divine intervention from outside of himself. How does one know that it’s not just his own thoughts bubbling up from inside him? - Discernment - bought by diligent prayer and meditating on the Word. Can we make mistakes? Sure. But the more time we spend with him, the more we learn to discern His voice from the rest of 'em.

I found this video to be helpful:

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Thanks for the reply.
So do you mean to say that when we have this inner “prompting” to do such and such it is possible that this leading isn’t always from the Holy Spirit and can either come from our own gut feeling or all these other possible sources?

Thanks for the reply.
I asked the same question to the other one who replied but I’ll ask it here too.
So you mean to say that it is possible that when we have the “promoting” to do such and such it isn’t always the Holy Spirit but the other possible sources such as our intuition? And you mean that when we have a sense of this prompting we should always make sure to take it to prayer and consideration thru the Word?

Thanks for the video

Hello again @kaeduy26,

I think that we can make mistakes and misinterpret what we think the Lord says to us. I can feel prompted to do many things, and the source of that prompting may vary. It could be my will, my subconscious thoughts, etc., however, when I feel something is from God, even when I’m confident about it, I need to run it by the Word in prayer.

Intuition is very archaic and we don’t fully understand where we get our “gut feelings” from. Let me try to give you an example from my life:

We had a guest pastor at our church one time and the sermon was really good, but I had a bad feeling about the guy. I tried to suppress this weird feeling during the service, because the message was really powerful. The feeling persisted, but I brushed it off. My wife liked the sermon so much she wanted to start going to his church once in a while, but then I happened to speak to a friend in congregation about said pastor. He told me he used to go to his church before and ended up leaving because of him, in-spite of his good and passionate sermons. I won’t go into detail as for why, but I received a confirmation of my “gut feeling”, and retroactively knew it was from the Lord, because I had absolutely no reason to doubt the man.

That was a positive example, I had other times when I had a gut-feeling about something and I was totally wrong. Discernment is important; prayer, reading the Word and a community of believers to keep you accountable are all a great part of cultivating that.

Hope this helps.

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I think you’ve articulated a question that more people should be asking out loud.

The ideas many Christians assume with this kind of stuff may not be 100% accurate regarding how spiritual and spiritual-ish powers operate. I am no expert but here are 3 or 4 initial thoughts I’ve borrowed from the bible to account for some of the would-be-issues you require clarity for on the subject you’ve introduced. Certainly a book could be written, but these are several take off points to get you pondering and studying in a decent direction:

Thought number 1:
Consider this: Giftings and miracles, even “angles of light” and supposed “words from the lord” aren’t always from the true and living God. “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” Matt 7:22

Thought number 2:
Remember the story of Baalam and his talking ass? Baalam was known to have some kind of line to power in connection with blessing and cursings as it were… And although Baalam failed to obey God’s command to not curse Israel, Baalam set out to do it anyhow. The story shows us that God blocked Baalam’s path with an angle holding a flaming sword rather than dis-enabling Baalam’s aparrent gifting when he dared to go out and curse Israel at the king of Moab’s request:
“Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed” Num 22:6

Thought number 3:
It seems that the gifts and giftings of God are not just given to Christians. For starters, the rain falls on both the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45) … Also note that God uses his goodness (presumably gifts and blessings) to lead men to repentance (Romans 2:4). Those who give God the glory for these things and honor Him accordingly, respond not only to the gospel, but they honor Him with thankfulness for all He’s done and given to them. (see Romans 1) “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Rom 1:21)

Thought number 4
Regarding the guidance you get from your “gut”. The bible gives some very important instruction about this… From what I understand, the biblical name for what you’re referring to by this, is your “reins”: “I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.” (Psa16:7)

For your conveinience you can confirm this and gain understanding of it it by looking up the following and taking a look at the context :slight_smile:

His archers compass me round about, he cleaveth my reins asunder, and doth not spare; he poureth out my gall upon the ground. (Job16:13) | Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. (Job19:27) | Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins. (Psa7:9) | I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. (Psa16:7) | Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. (Psa26:2) | Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. (Psa73:21) | For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. (Psa139:13) | Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things. (Prv23:16) | And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. (Isa11:5) | But, O LORD of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause. (Jer11:20) | Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins. (Jer12:2) | I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jer17:10) | But, O LORD of hosts, that triest the righteous, and seest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I opened my cause. (Jer20:12) | He hath caused the arrows of his quiver to enter into my reins. (Lam3:13) | And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. (Rev2:23)

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First of all, Happy New Year!!

I apologize for the very delayed response. It has been months already. Thank you so much for the reply! And the thoughts are great.
Thank you for including all those Bible verses. They really help to establish your point, and it reminds me to study the Word more to be able to do the same.

Happy new year also to you:
No worries about timing… Your timing is perfect. I’ve been so busy and turned around since my last comment on this forum I haven’t known what to scratch and what to keep up with :slight_smile:

First off, I’ve got another super great resource relevant to your question about feelings and following God… (From someone who really messed it up, and was then restored by the hand of God) and here’s a link for that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=OBda3vWOBsU&feature=emb_logo

Secondly, It’s a privilege to be able to share in this discussion and to contribute bible verses and explanations for you to consider. I very much understand the need to have clarity about these things in a world so often blurred by the author of confusion. It makes all the difference however that I am encouraged by the author of life… the author and finisher of our faith… who has also “authored” an amazing book through which he imparts the most amazing, useful, and lovely things.

So, I’d like to extend an encouragement to you, that indeed you can do “the same” (as you say)…

The basis I posses to say this to you, is that you have come right out and asked this very relevant question which many others hold secret, too timid to ask. This sets you apart in a unique way. (No doubt you have more great questions where that one came from). These are not just “regular” questions you’re asking. These are very important answers you’re seeking. These are potential journeys in your future and potential landmarks of your adventures if, that is, you answer the call to seek and follow God with all your heart.

Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things (2 Timothy 2:7)

For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matt 7:8)

This is an important conversation—thanks to everyone for your thoughtful and prayerful contributions on this topic around divine guidance. I’d love to really underscore something that @aschwartzman7 has mentioned:

Great summary, Arthur. One critical thing you have shared here which we are prone to drop out of our practices is the “community of believers to keep [us] accountable.” Speaking broadly, many of us in Western Christian contexts tend toward an individualistic engagement when these “guidance” questions come up; we struggle to submit our impression or leading to a spiritually invested community for prayer, input, or biblical evaluation. (Problematically, many among us feel they do not have such a community to begin with.)

While this practice of discernment may strike some people as unglamorously practical or somewhat commonplace and natural (ostensibly in contrast to something more spiritual or supernatural) it is deeply important to embrace it as a gift and blessing, a means of grace in our discernment processes. There is an essential humility required of us to bring our impressions to the table with fellow believers and allow them to prayerfully speak into our process; in doing so, we posture our hearts against the deceit of pride, and we bind ourselves to the body of Christ, availing ourselves of the the wisdom and gifts the Lord has supplied to us through our brothers and sisters.

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1 NIV

7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, …to another distinguishing between spirits…11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 NIV

We need discernment. And we need each other—and this is true explicitly in the context of discernment.

I am really encouraged that this conversation has marked the often-overlooked importance of placing our discernment in the context of Christian community. Stepping into this practice may be uncomfortable and counterintuitive to many of us—it is certainly countercultural, and that on multiple levels—but we deeply need to recover this if we hope to develop a biblical framework for discernment.

For sure…
As iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. (Proverbs 27:17)

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