The Lamp of the Lord

The title is from a phrase in Proverbs. It encapsulates the need to pay or give attention to our spirit.

27 The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, Searching all the inner depths of his heart. Proverbs 20:27 (NKJV)

The phrase ‘depths of the heart’ is literally ‘rooms of the belly’ in Hebrew. We can discern from Proverbs that we can experience our spirit and that Yahweh uses it as a lamp, that is, He ‘lights up’ something inside of us when He wants to get our attention. I trust most of you have experienced this inner probing or awareness. In the New Testament we have a number of phrases that refer to this process. They include the ideas of being ‘led by the Spirit,’ ‘walking in the Spirit,’ being ‘filled with the Spirit,’ and ‘hearing what the Spirit is saying.’ Each of these points us to one thing, dependence upon, and relationship with, the Spirit, which points to our need to understand how to do each of the above. I am sure that as believers most of us want to walk, be filled with, hear from and be led by the Spirit. Practically we can look at this process in scripture as presented in 1 Corinthians 2.  

9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 1 Corinthians 2:9–12 (NKJV)

Obviously key to understanding and walking in what Paul shared in 1 Corinthians is the meaning of the word ‘know’ along with Paul’s statement in verse 10 that the spiritual things we can know are revealed by the Spirit. Some translations have different words instead of ‘know’ in verses 11-12 but in Greek the word is consistent and it means to know, understand or recognize. Clearly to walk in or be led by or walk in the Spirit we need to understand or recognize His leading. Practically speaking Paul is saying the Spirit knows the things of God and is willing to reveal them to us and we need to be willing or know or hear.

In my experience I spend time in prayer and in His word each day. I also seek to hold an internal awareness and be sensitive to His presence during the day and pray at various times during the day. Not set prayer time but simply carrying things before him throughout the day, offering up prayers for people and circumstances He brings to mind and seeking to hear His voice so that I can walk in and be led by the Spirit. This may mean sharing a scripture passage or concept with someone, sensing a need to call or connect with someone to encourage them or a sense to pray for a certain individual or circumstance.  

I see these experiences as Him ‘turning on the lamp’ inside of me to direct my walk with Him. If I have no internal leading, I simply seek to walk in the light of His word and what I have learned of His character over my many years of walking with Him. I believe this way of ‘walking in the Spirit’ is available to all who seek His face.

Others sense the spiritual atmosphere in cities or regions. Some sense what is happening in someone else physically as a call to prayer or intervention. I know I am at times aware of what is happening with someone and at times I am aware of someone’s gifts or callings. Having said that, I am not given to great prophetic experiences and dreams and visions. These are very practical ways He reveals things to us and I would love to have them as ongoing experiences. Yet He seems to have me anchored in the main, plain and seeming mundane, which is where I think most of us live. Given that, how is He lighting your lamp?

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I have been walking with Jesus since 1985. I am currently retired from my career in the helping professions but still focused on ministering to others. I completed a Doctorate of Philosophy in Apologetics in September 2020.

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