The Lord once said to me, “I am a Speaking Spirit.” To define Himself in this way is to emphasize His desire for communication with His creation. Although He is Spirit, and seems very different at first from our own flesh and blood, we must remember that we, too, are spiritual beings who have the capacity to hear what the Spirit is saying:
“Draw near to listen to My “Speaking Spirit,” and you will be rewarded with a deeper understanding of who I am and what motivates Me!”
These are His words for us in this season. How do we get to know this “Speaking Spirit?” We return to one of God’s introductions of the Holy Spirit in Isaiah 11:
“The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him [Jesus], the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.” ~Isaiah 11:2
This classic Scripture unfolds the seven-fold Spirit of God, the same seven-fold Spirit seen before God’s throne in the book of Revelation. The Holy Spirit possesses seven divine attributes, each of which gives us a window into His purpose and personality. He is:
To get to know Him better, let’s look at each of these individually.
The Spirit of the Lord
Where does the Holy Spirit come from? Where does He live? How do we access Him? All these questions find their answer in the phrase, “The Spirit of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:2 describes the Spirit as “resting” upon Jesus. We know that at Christ’s baptism, the Holy Spirit descended as a dove and rested (remained, alighted) on Him. (See Matthew 3:16 and John 1:32.)
Where is He now? The Holy Spirit still rests close to the heart of Jesus. In fact, He is One Spirit with Jesus and with Father. He came from the Father (John 15:26) and has His origin in Father, just as we do. He works with Jesus to accomplish Father’s will. Yet even beyond that, He now dwells in us and makes His home in our spirits, so that we can know Him as intimately as Jesus did. As the Spirit of adoption, He makes us a beloved member of God’s family. (John 14:17, Romans 8:15.)
When we think of the Spirit of the Lord, our first thought should be of His closeness to us and to each member of the Trinity. He is perfectly united and aligned with God, as we will be when we come into agreement with Him.
The Spirit of Wisdom
Proverbs 4:7 says: “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom! And in all your getting, get understanding...” Because the Spirit is wisdom, we could paraphrase this proverb to say: “Get into the Spirit! Listen to His voice above all others!” Like the sons of Issachar, when we do so, we will have wisdom beyond our years, and understand the signs of our times.
Wisdom is the practical application of knowledge and revelation, or knowing how to use the information we have in the best way. Without wisdom, we make poor choices.
One of the most interesting things to me about wisdom in the Bible is that it is not a “static” attribute. Wisdom isn’t something that you find once and then own forever. Rather, as Proverbs 8 reveals, wisdom is intensely relational:
“Does not wisdom cry out, and understanding lift up her voice? She takes her stand on the top of the high hill, beside the way, where the paths meet. She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city, at the entrance of the doors. ‘To you, O men, I call, and my voice is to the sons of men… listen, for I will speak of excellent things… from my mouth will speak truth. Receive my instruction… for wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her… By me kings reign, and rulers decree justice. I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me.’ ”
Jesus is wisdom personified. You cannot help but notice Jesus’s confirming words in Matthew 7:7-8 – those who seek Him will find Him. Wisdom is found in the daily interactions we have speaking with Jesus: seeking God, praying and then listening for His voice. He is actively speaking – even crying out – for men to receive His wisdom. Where do we find Him? “Beside the way, where the paths meet.” Whose paths? Ours and His! If ever there were a compelling call to pray, this is it!
The Spirit of Understanding
Understanding is a two-way street. We long to understand, and we need to be understood. The Holy Spirit is skilled at both. He hears the cry of our hearts and He also releases understanding to us when we need it:
“Every one of Your godly lovers receives even more than what they ask for. You hear what their hearts really long for and you bring them Your saving strength.”
A man of understanding can draw out the depths of another’s heart. The Spirit of God understands our deepest longings, so much so that He can pray for us in our weakest moments.
“Likewise, the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered… He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
The Spirit of Understanding is a prayer warrior! His prayers for us come from a heart of compassion, from an identification with us as children of God. (See Romans 8:16.) Understanding is the attribute that enables Him to show mercy, to be the ultimate “Helper,” and to stand up for us when we are too weak to fight on our own.
He also imparts understanding to us as we seek to view life through a renewed mind and through the lenses of the Spirit. All revelation comes from the Throne. To look for knowledge or understanding outside of the Holy Spirit (who dwells before God's Throne) is to receive an inaccurate, incomplete picture tainted by darkness. We need fresh eyes to see as He sees!
The Spirit of Counsel
The Holy Spirit counsels and guides believers. He is intimately familiar with our circumstances. He is acquainted with all the spiritual and natural laws of our universe. He sees the end from the beginning, and therefore He is able to guide us into all truth, giving counsel that takes into account every factor known to man. No counselor could be as wonderful as this!
I have received some training in counseling myself, and know many wonderful people who offer sound advice to those in need. It is a gift to be able to listen to someone’s problems and discern the true source of them in order to provide direction.
Amazingly, one of the most anointed counselors I’ve ever known is blind. While I rely upon many cues, especially visual ones, as I listen to people, she does not have the luxury of using her eyes. Instead, she listens with her heart. She is one of the sharpest counselors around, not missing a thing! In fact, she often picks up on hidden motives that others might miss, since she is not distracted by a person’s mannerisms or behavior. She hears the intonations of the voice, the subtle shifts in emotion, and above all, the voice of the Spirit offering His counsel through her.
Like this woman, the Spirit of counsel is not easily fooled by our human deceptions or misdirection. He knows what is really going on in our hearts, and gently guides us until we can see those deceptions for ourselves. Jeremiah laments: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” The next verse reassures us: “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 17:9-10.)
The Spirit of Might
Throughout Israel’s history, God revealed Himself to be a mighty God, able to deliver His people from every foe. The Psalmist declares: “You have a strong arm; Your hand is mighty, Your right hand is exalted.” (Psalm 89:13.)
We need to realize that God’s voice releases authority and might. The Spirit of Might is the same Holy Spirit who speaks only what He hears from the Lord (John 16:13). He does not speak on his own authority!
When we begin to listen carefully to the voice of the Speaking Spirit, we will in turn receive authority. What comes straight from the Throne bears a weight of strength and glory that cannot be reversed by the enemy! 2 Thessalonians 2:8 says that when the lawless one is revealed, the Lord will consume him “with the breath of His mouth and destroy (him) with the brightness of His coming.”
You can mimic the words others say about Jesus, but you will have no real might or authority of your own until you listen to what the Spirit is saying, speak what He is speaking, and do what Father is doing. That is your place of sustaining strength and devil-defeating authority!
The Spirit of Knowledge
Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as the “Spirit of truth” in John 14:17. We can imagine Him as being like Wikipedia, Google, Siri and all the archives of our data and microfilm combined. The Holy Spirit was in the business of "Big Data" long before we came up with the idea! The Spirit of Knowledge is like a storehouse containing the collective knowledge of all the ages, even the knowledge of things we do not yet know.
What does He do with this knowledge? He brings it to our remembrance. (John 14:26.) He gives us what we need to know when we need it. He reminds us of truths we have learned but set aside. He brings creative insights to those who are innovators. He enables us to draw upon the history of our created life in God in order to bring future breakthroughs. A word of knowledge, spoken in love, has the power to capture our attention and inspire us to do greater things.
The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord
The Spirit who speaks to us does so with an attitude of utmost reverence and respect for the King. His sole purpose is to glorify God: “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:14.) What is He speaking? He speaks only the Words the Father has given Him: words of life and love.
Life-giving words may sometimes be convicting, but their purpose is always to draw us into relationship with God and each other. The Holy Spirit does not condemn us or put us down, as man does. He builds us up. His words are consistent with the love of God as revealed in Christ and as found in the Bible. He speaks words that sanctify us and bring us closer to the One He honors. He wants us to be in awe of who God is!
Most importantly, the Holy Spirit is always testifying of Jesus (John 15:26). Because we know that the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy, we learn that the Holy Spirit is the prophetic voice of the Trinity. When we, in turn, give our testimonies of Jesus, the Holy Spirit prophesies through us, releasing the fragrance of the knowledge of Him into the earth.
Conclusion: Be Fluent!
Hearing from God's "Speaking Spirit" is a privilege given to all believers. (John 10:4.) Becoming “fluent” in the language of the “speaking” Holy Spirit takes time. Deeper study of the scriptures describing Him give us revelation about who He is. Once we know the sound of His voice, we can teach others to recognize it, too.
The Holy Spirit is far from distant! He is as near to you as your own breath, ready to speak the words of God and to assist you as you continue your walk in the fear of the Lord.
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.
© Deborah Perkins / www.HisInscriptions.com. * All references NKJV unless otherwise noted.
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.