Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law” Galatians 5:22-23. How to know if the Holy Spirit is guiding us is determined by the fruits we are producing. When everything is well, it is easy to feel content, with peace, tolerant with others, keep our emotions under control; it is in the midst of adversity when our character really shows. Our actions are synonymous of our fruits, and these indicate who is our guide. For example, do we react with self-control when someone gets in our way? Do we feel peaceful when there is an adverse situation? Do we trust in God's protection? When someone treats us with rudeness do we respond with kindness? or our actions are those of someone who thinks he is alone, and he has to defend himself, so he counter-attacks? The Holy Spirit is always guiding us to live according to His principles.
Because our minds are divided we hear two voices advising us. One is the voice of the Holy Spirit that God put in our mind, which we can also call intuition. The other is the voice of the ego, and that one we invented it, therefore, it is false. We will experience different results depending on which advice we decide to follow because their advices are totally opposite. The voices only give us advise, it is us who make the decisions, and therefore we are responsible for the consequences that these would carry us and with which we will have to live.
Here are some of the pros and cons that will help us choose our guide and learn to differentiate one voice from the other. When we follow the advice of the Holy Spirit, we always have peace with our decision regardless of the outcome, and that is not a trivial matter. He offers us solutions that besides helping us, will help others, because everything God gives us is for the good of all His children. He always promotes unity between us, God, and our brothers. He will never misguide us, the solutions He offers us will always be a blessing to us, and His voice will grow stronger in our mind as we follow His counsel. Despite these benefits, we choose to follow the advice of the ego because it seems to give us easier-to-follow advice. Solutions that seem to bring us better, and faster results, in which we are always the only beneficiaries, this, because the ego is not interested in promoting our relationship with our brothers or with God, it prefers to keep us separate from them. But once we follow its advice, it takes us through short cuts and dead ends, keeping us in a state of frustration and dissatisfaction, and we never achieve everything it promised us, by the time we finally reach it, we are no longer interested, instead we want something different.
The moment we ask the Holy Spirit to be our Guide, we begin to experience the peace of God. Although being guided by Him does not mean that we will not face adversity. Adversity is part of life in this world. But when He is guiding us we feel calm in the midst of adversity because He is always with us. If we begin to feel anxiety, is that we are trying to resolve the situation with our own ability, rather than trusting in the power of God. Our confidence in the Holy Spirit grows steadily as we experience the results of following His advice. Trusting Him is part of our spiritual growth, of our closeness to God. To evaluate our growth, we shouldn’t compare ourselves with others, because we are going to feel better than some, and not as good as others, and that is not indicative of our personal growth, we need to try to improve ourselves by comparing our present knowledge with years past.
One way to evaluate our growth is by writing each year our beliefs, what we believe, and why, in reference to God, our fellow men, and ourselves. We will be surprised to see how our mind is being transformed as we change the way we perceive, or how we interpret the events. That will indicate our mind changes, and if we are growing. The knowledge of God has no end, and when we think that what we know has brought us to the place where we are now, if we want to keep growing, we will need to keep learning. When the Holy Spirit or the Lord Jesus Christ are our Guides, they know where we stand, and they have an individual curriculum for us, because each one is at a different place of the journey. The divine law says that the one who asks receives, so we need to ask, let’s not assume that They should know that we want Their help. Admitting that we need to change your way of thinking, is not enough, it's just the first step. Another step is to be ready, which is a prerequisite for learning; then comes the lesson that helps us change our minds.
At this point His peace begins to overflow our life, and just as the Apostle Paul, we will be able to say, "I know in whom I have believed." Let’s not be discouraged if sometimes we have doubts, it is part of growing, but each time, we will remember faster that our trust is in God, and we will ask for His help. When facing obstacles, remember the following words: I trust in God and in His power. Listen to what He has to say. If we don’t have peace, and we want to be guided by the Holy Spirit, we need to make changes. Peace comes only from God. If we have peace there is no doubt that the Holy Spirit is guiding us.
“We walk to God. Pause and reflect on this. Could any way be holier, or more deserving of your effort, of your love and of your full intent? What way could give you more than everything… We walk to God. The truth that walks before us now is one with Him, and leads us to where He has always been. What way but this could be a path that you would choose instead? Look not to ways that seem to lead you elsewhere. Dreams are not a worthy guide for you who are God's son. Forget not He has placed His Hand in yours, and given you your brothers in His trust that you are worthy of His trust in you. His trust has made your pathway certain and your goal secure.” ACIM L.155.12-13.
I hope this makes you think about your relationship with God.