Holy Spirit Speaks! But Are We Listening? (Part 2)


Dictionary definition: “A word is a thought that has been given physical expression”

In the Greek translation of New Testament, there are two expressions for word;  the word “logos” and “rhema”.  Let me quote from my Expository Dictionary of Bible Words:

logos is a dynamic equivalent for the Hebrew term debar, signifying “word(s),” “saying,” “speech” in the majority of it’s over 300 occurrences.  The “words” of human beings are indicated in the context of preaching. In particular, the word of the kingdom signifies gospel preaching.  In Like 8:1 ff., the “word of God” is equated with the “seed” in the parable of the sower.”

rhema” is a synonym for “logos”. It occurs seventy times and means “word,” “utterance,” “saying,” “speech”.

I found with my detective investigation of the two greek words, furthering evidence in the Holy Spirit’s communication to believers.  But, are we listening!


The nature and attributes of God are given to us through His Word, or Logos.  The Logos is identified as the will of God; the ideas that are in the mind of God.  So if you are in a ‘situation’ or ‘circumstance’ where you are wondering what God’s will is for your life, you can find it in His “logos”; His Word, your Bible, the written word.  Jesus in the flesh is also understood as the incarnation of these divine attributes.


The Bible is the divinely inspired, inherent Word (Logos) of God.  From here, however, it takes the Rhema of God to properly take that inspiration to:

1.  Inspire us.

2.  Appropriate.

3.  Understand.

The written Word; true insight.  The Apostle Peter writes this:

“[Yet] first [you must] understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is [a matter] of any personal or private or special interpretation (loosening, solving).    For no prophecy ever originated because some man willed it [to do so–it never came by human impulse], but men who spoke from God who were born along (moved and impelled) by the Holy Spirit”  (2 Peter 1:20, 21—Amplified version).

Rhema is the Word meditated on by the spirit through the study of the written word (Joshua 1:8).  Its revelation given to us from God is to help us understand; it’s the ‘prophetic articulation’ of what that revelation is to others.  Therefore, my conclusion has come to this; that the Rhema is that which is or has been uttered by the living voice.  A spoken word or a word that has been taught to us in our spirit.

Instances of the Rhema from the greek in Scripture; I will italicize when rhema is used:

Your teaching begets eternal life”

“The word of faith which we are preaching”

“It is written that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God”

“Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the Words of eternal life”

“So then faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God”  [hearing from our “inner” ear].

“That He might sanctify and cleanse it by the washing of water by the Word

“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God”

“And this is the Word by which the gospel is preached to you.  For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled”

[Luke, John, Romans 10:8, Ephesians, 1 Peter, 2 Peter 1:20, 21, Revelations]


We can hear the Holy Spirit through experiences.  God sometimes changes his methods with each one of us from year to year.  But most often, He works with us in similar ways.

Through experience we can see our prayers answered that led us in past situations.  This will help us recognize His “voice” when He speaks to us in the present. 

Drawing wisdom from other Christian’s experiences will promote our hearing.  The Holy spirit doesn’t isolate us; He puts us in a church, into a community of other believers by distributing His gifts.  So then, we stay together, we work together, and we benefit from one another’s strengths (1 Cor. 12:7).  In the same way, we can help one another to hear the Holy Spirit; we each have different experiences on how God works in our lives.


I was driving into town the other day while listening to a song from a Bill Gaither CD.  The tune was so familiar to me by the playing of it, I couldn’t help but sing along.  But this time, the lyrics seem to penetrate my spirit and made me think, “Do you want me to really pay attention to the words for some reason?”  I’ve heard this song at least a hundred times before but this time…  In case you might be wondering what the song was, it was “The Rumor Mill”.  I’ll just leave that thought right there for now.

The Holy Spirit can speak to you from worship songs, in your car or at church on Sunday mornings.  In small groups discussions, a whispered word of encouragement, a picture or even a silent smile from someone.

One morning after church, an acquaintance of mind came up to me and touch my shoulder.  He told me the previous Sunday, he was in a real “funk”.  Almost in depression but not quite there yet.  He was coming down some steps to the sanctuary and I smile at him for some reason. It really picked up his spirit and he wanted to thank me.

Now I am not a big ‘smiler’ at all and I didn’t even remember seeing him at the time.  But God knew what he needed; just a smile and the Holy spirit took it from there.  He used my ‘smile’ to accomplish His will in another and without me taking His glory.


If we want to hear from Holy Spirit, we need to be listening.  If we want to hear in the biblical sense, then we need to respond.  If we hear His voice, if we believe that God is telling us to do something, we need to do it!  We need to do what He has gifted us to do and we are to submit to God.  If we do it, we bring Him honor and we bring ourselves blessings by doing His will.

It all begins with listening.  Can you hear the Holy Spirit’s voice?  It’s something worth thinking about.


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