The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God—except that he not only knows what he’s thinking, but he lets us in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us. We don’t have to rely on the world’s guesses and opinions. We didn’t learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us person-to-person through Jesus, and we’re passing it on to you in the same firsthand, personal way. (1 Cor. 2:10–13 The Message)
This passage is incredible and I love the way it reads in The Message translation. God speaks to us through the Holy Spirit, and many times that manifests through the words of others who share what the Spirit places on their hearts for us. This is one of the many reasons why we need each other. We also need the Scriptures to learn the mind of Christ—how God works and has worked in the world and through his people. One of the major aims of a discipleship band is to learn to pay attention to the way the Spirit of God and the Word of God (Scriptures) are speaking in our lives.
How Might the Spirit Be Speaking in Your Life?
When we are inviting the Spirit to speak to us, we must tune in to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. First, simply invite the Holy Spirit to speak in your life. Ask him to help you learn his voice, his promptings. God speaks to us in a variety of ways—through thoughts, impressions, feelings, or our inner voice (but with a sense that it’s more than our voice, but God speaking within). In some rare cases, people hear the audible voice of God. This takes attention and practice, which is why it’s such a central part of the band meeting. The Spirit is always connecting us to the Father and the Son. He delights to have us experience the Father’s love and affection for us as dearly loved sons and daughters. He delights to have Jesus heal us, restore us, forgive us, and make us new.
How Might the Scriptures Be Speaking in Your Life?
In order to have the Word of God speak in our lives, we have to engage with Scripture and invite God to speak to us personally as we do. The aim is not to digest as much Scripture as possible, but rather to let the Scriptures speak and inform our understanding of God and obedience to him. Consider reading Scripture as meeting with God, rather than simply a practice or task to accomplish.
When we are reading Scripture, it is helpful to consider . . .
– What is it calling us to do? How is it drawing us to obedience?
– What action or desire does it stir in us?
– What does it teach us about God? What does it teach us about people?
When reflecting on Scripture in the band meeting, remember this is not so much time to have conversation about the deeper meaning of a passage, but a time to share how a particular passage or text is speaking into your life personally. It can be as simple as, “In reading John 15 this week I realized I have been running so fast that I am not abiding in Jesus.”
When answering the question, “How might the Spirit and scriptures be speaking in your life?” take a moment and consider if there are promptings that the Holy Spirit gave you throughout the week. Or perhaps there was a particular passage of Scripture that spoke to you. If you can’t recall a specific instance, pause in that moment and consider the things you’ve recently shared about the state of your soul, your struggles, or your successes. Do you sense what God is saying or might say? Is there a possibility of something you want the Spirit to work on in your life or a specific prayer request? Again, no need to overthink this, just share what comes to mind.
God, you have given us your Holy Spirit. You have made yourself readily available to me through the Scriptures. Forgive me, Jesus, for the ways in which I have neglected to hear your promptings or speaking. I pray this week that you would help me tune in to the voice of the Spirit within me and through your Word. Amen.
For Band Interaction
Is the idea of listening for the ways the Holy Spirit or Scriptures are speaking in your life a new or challenging idea to you? Which do you think will take more intention on your part to listen for?