We’ve been talking about following the plan of God for our lives. Last week, we began sharing the fact that the primary way God communicates His plan to us is through the inner witness within our spirit man, not externally through such things as circumstances. Nor does He lead us through the other parts of our being such as our feelings, emotions or our rational mind.
Before we move on this week and share some practical things about how you can learn to follow the inner witness for yourself, let me first recap a few points we covered in last week’s blog.
For as many AS ARE LED by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
The leading of the Spirit belongs to all of God’s children as their birthright. As a child of God, you can expect to be led by the Spirit of God. This verse is telling us that the Holy Spirit will guide us in all the affairs of life—including into God's plan.
However, verse 14 alone leaves us sorta hanging as to HOW the Holy Spirit will guide us. Verse 16 tells us the HOW.
The Spirit itself (other translations say Himself) BEARETH WITNESS WITH OUR SPIRIT, that we are the children of God:
The Bible tells us we are a three-part being (I Thessalonians 5:23). We are a spirit, we have a soul (which is made up of the mind, will and emotions), and we live in a body. The spirit man is the real you—the part that lives on after physical death. He is also the part of your being that the Holy Spirit will guide you through.
We see from Romans 8:16 that God, who is a Spirit (John 4:24), contacts your spirit man. Your spirit is the part of your being He leads and guides you through. His Spirit bears witness with your SPIRIT--not your mind. Since God is a Spirit, He broadcasts His signal to you in the spirit realm, not the natural realm or the mental realm.
The inner witness is not often very spectacular, which is what some are seeking from God. This is also why some so easily overlook it. The inner witness however IS very supernatural. We as believers are to learn to trust it and step out on the assurance it gives us on the inside that we are receiving direction from God.
Trained to Follow
Believers must be trained in spiritual things, including following the inner witness. If they fail to learn these things, they’ll miss the wonderful plan God has in mind for their lives.
As we said in our blog two weeks ago, fulfilling God’s plan for our lives requires preparation. I’m showing you this week what part of what that preparation looks like. We must train ourselves to follow only the Holy Spirit—not our minds, fleshly nature or these outward things that so many follow. Because God has promised to guide us into His plan, this training includes learning to follow the inner witness, which is the primary way His leadings come.
To walk out God’s plan, you must learn that not everything the Spirit leads you into will be something your fleshly nature wants to do. These are things we have to get right if we’re going to follow God’s plan for our lives. Otherwise, we’ll be following our own plans.
One of the transformations that occurs as we renew our minds (Romans 12:2) is that the spirit man is allowed to take the lead without the mind talking us out of what he knows from the Holy Spirit within. This is one of the indicators that our minds are renewed.
What comes up to your mind from your spirit is simply to enlighten your mind so you can act upon it. It’s not passed on to your mind to be analyzed. The inner witness is to be mixed with faith—not our mental analysis. To live by faith means we live by what we have the inner witness about within our spirit.
The unrenewed mind seeks to dominate the spirit man, but when the mind begins to be renewed, it lets the spirit man take the lead.
Life moves into this place the Bible calls transformed when the mind becomes renewed to agree with the leading of the Spirit within your heart. The transformed life is a beautiful thing. It’s a life as God designed it to be—a life that moves with God’s plan and is blessed.
Following the inner witness requires faith, much like when Abraham followed God's leading without knowing where he was going to end up (Hebrews 11:8). Many don't act on what they have peace about within their spirits because they don't yet trust God with the unknowns. Faith doesn't equal the absence of questions in the mind. It means we refuse to let those mental questions dominate us—I mean, questions about the unknowns.
Head Peace vs. Heart Peace
One of the great failures of this intellectual age is that men have not been sufficiently taught to follow their spirits and are therefore dominated by their intellectual minds. As I said, God is a spirit and communicates with man’s spirit concerning His will, not their mind. That communication comes, most often, through the inner witness.
Even if God does move in a more spectacular way, such as through a vision or a voice, it will be accompanied by the inner witness. The inner witness trumps everything because the devil can also move in these more spectacular ways as he endeavors to mislead man. However, he can’t duplicate the inner witness. If you’ll learn to follow the inner witness, you will never be deceived by the enemy.
Because God is a Spirit and communicates with the spirit of man about His plan for his life, a man’s spirit can know and be assured of things that his mind is unsettled about. In fact, sometimes the mind is way beyond unsettled—it gives us fits! Believers must recognize the fact that one can have peace about something in their heart (which is the spirit of man) that his mind doesn’t understand and is therefore troubled about.
The mind often wants more than the inner witness to reassure it. When we sense the inward witness to do something or not do it, that's enough to act on—we don't need any additional leadings. The inner witness is a safe guide; learn to trust it!
The Danger of Delayed Obedience
When you have the inward witness on something, don’t delay your obedience. If you delay acting on that inward witness, you give the devil, through your mind, time to talk you out of it. The quicker you obey, the quicker you’ll close the door to the devil talking you out of it.
The longer you think about what you have in your heart, the longer you’re going to struggle with the plan of God. I’ve learned to obey God without the struggle because I’ve learned not to take what God says into my thought life and reason it out.
If you’ll listen to what I’m saying, you’ll know what you need to do to close the door to what’s been defeating you. The reason some struggle in life is because they had a leading to do something, but they let their minds talk them out of it and went about following their own plans. In other words, they didn’t have a leading of the Spirit to do what they’re doing in life. They made their own plans in their mind and followed that—right out of the will of God!
Satan dominates a man when he’s living in the mental and natural realms—that's his arena, and he’ll talk to you there. If you let him talk you out of what you have peace about in your spirit, you could end up with a disaster on your hands. At the very least, you’re going to struggle. Friend, I’ve watched some struggle for DECADES! All of it was completely unnecessary!
Mixing the Mental and Spiritual brings Confusion
The inner witness could be defined as an inner knowing through an inner peace. Learn to live out of what your spirit knows and has peace about because of this inner witness, rather than out of your mind. If you’ll learn to do so, you will progress in the will of God for your life much quicker.
If your mind doesn’t know what your spirit knows, it’s either because you aren’t tuned in to your inner man, or you just don’t want to accept what the Spirit is bearing witness with you about. Either your fleshly nature doesn’t agree with the leading of the Spirit, or your mind (which has possibly dominated you your whole life), doesn’t understand it.
If you’re having trouble identifying the inner witness, Hebrews 4:12 says that the Word of God is like a sword and divides between soul and spirit. Spend much time meditating on the Word of God, and it will help you sift these things out and identify the inner witness.
Notice that the soul (which is made up of the mind, will and the emotions) is to be divided from the spirit. In other words, when we have the witness of the Spirit within us concerning a matter, we're not to mingle the thoughts of our mind or the feelings of our emotions with that witness. Doing so will open the door to confusion.
People sometimes tell us that locating or following the inner witness is hard. Following what the Spirit is leading you to do only becomes difficult when you drag what you sense in your spirit up to the mental arena to evaluate it. When you begin to mingle your own thinking in with how the Spirit is leading you, you’re going to become confused. That’s what makes knowing what the Spirit is really saying hard.
The leading of the Spirit doesn't need to be mentally analyzed. It just needs to be obeyed—acted on in faith out of your spirit. Break the bad spiritual habit of running everything you have the witness of the spirit about through the mind. The inner witness is enough!
No More Struggle
Because some haven’t yet learned this, they struggle to walk in the will of God. Their mind or their flesh wins this battle for dominance. It isn’t that the devil is opposing them so much. It’s that their own mind or flesh are dominating them. The enemy just simply uses their uncontrolled flesh and unrenewed mind to oppose the will of God.
If believers would practice the Word by renewing their minds and crucifying their flesh—presenting their bodies to God as a living sacrifice—the devil wouldn’t have the opportunity to oppose the will of God for their lives so much. Their spirit would become more dominant, and they would more quickly move out of the good and acceptable and into the perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2).
When the mind is renewed and the flesh is crucified, these parts of men’s beings will no longer win the fight for dominance over their spirits. The struggle for dominance will be over. The will of God (communicated to their spirit by the inner witness) will be fulfilled with ease—not with a struggle.
The spirit man grows and becomes more dominant as he is given the opportunity to feed on God's Word and practice it. As a result, the will of God communicated to the spirit man through the inner witness also becomes more prominent in a man’s life.
Don’t be Discouraged!
So, learn to let your spirit dominate you as he receives the inner witness. Develop the habit of unhooking from your mind and dipping down into your spirit. Also, praying much in other tongues will help you because doing so is also an exercise in unhooking from your mind and drawing out of your spirit. The inner witness comes from the same part of your being utterance in other tongues comes from—your spirit (I Corinthians 14:14). So, praying much in other tongues will help you better locate the inner witness.
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t become skilled in these spiritual things overnight. No man starts kindergarten one day and graduates from high school by the end of the year. You won’t learn to follow the inner witness overnight either.
IF YOU’LL STICK WITH IT, THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL SCHOOL YOU RIGHT INTO FOLLOWING HIM INTO THE PLAN OF GOD FOR YOUR LIFE, AND YOUR LIFE WILL BECOME A BEAUTIFUL THING—JUST AS GOD PLANNED IT TO BE!
Written By: Jay Eberly // November 30, 2021
© 2021 Jay Eberly Ministries. All rights reserved.
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