Is there a difference between soul and spirit? Yes, but they are connected to each other. Soul is the “You” and “I”. Without it the body would have no function and it would be an empty shell, like a snail-shell. Not only that, the soul lasts for eternity. Two things can last eternally – God’s word and the human soul and spirit. It can be confusing to discern the differences between the two. The soul is our being. It makes us who we are. Likewise, as God is the Spirit, humans have a spirit. It is how we are connected to God. So how can we distinguish who is talking into the core of our being? Who is guiding us? Is it our own voice inside, or is it God we hear, or some other force (Satan)?
The only way to tell the difference is to know ourselves (who we are in God) and to have a close relationship with God. Soul talk can be a spiritual conversation between God and us, which becomes prayer. Even our silent prayer can bring us into the presence of God. As you develop practicing habitual prayer, He will bless you with the gift to hear Him through His Holy Spirit and you will recognize His voice. It’s just like any other relationship – as we get to know the person, we become familiar with their voice. God usually doesn’t speak in an audible voice. In my personal experience, He has spoken to me through dreams, through His word, and in a gentle voice to my soul through Holy Spirit. I’ve been asked what His voice sounds like. I would describe it as being like a soft wind; we can feel the wind but we can’t see it.
When the Holy Spirit speaks to you, it will always align with word of God. His ways are in keeping with the fruit of the spirit – Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
The Lord will never tell us to do something that is sinful or harmful, because He can’t lie, It is not His character, and so the Holy Spirit won’t lie.
Once someone asked me, “How come you hear the Lord and feel His presence and I don’t?” I put my hand over my heart and said, “Oh my dear! If you open your heart to His love, you will see what I see and you will hear what I hear!” The Lord is everywhere. He is eternal. I am not the only one who has this privilege; whoever believes in him will hear Him in the depth of their soul and see him as Lord and Savior. His Holy Spirit comes and takes up residence in their heart. He is the healer of our heart, soul, mind and body.
Moreover, He is the one who leads, guides, cleans, purifies, and restores our souls to wholeness, strengthening us for service in His kingdom.
In (Psalm 51: 10-12) it says;
“Create a pure heart in me, O God,
and put a new and loyal spirit in me.
Do not banish me from your presence;
do not take your holy spirit away from me.
Give me again the joy that comes from your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.”
Occasionally, I have heard people say that God told them to do this or that. How can we distinguish God’s voice? Could it be our own voice or perhaps the voice of the father of lies, Satan, who is at times sneaky, and at other times a loud and forceful voice telling us to “DO IT!”? We must be very watchful and aware of those other voices.
As we draw near to God through reading His word, praying, and obeying him, we will be able to recognize His voice. Whenever He speaks to us, His words are holy, pure, loving, filled with hope, and peace. It always brings joy to us and to those around us. It’s never negative or harmful, and will never force us to do something that we don’t want to do. That is how we know who is talking to us. He encourages us to be His hands and feet to deliver His message to the world.
In fact, the Bible says; “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)
This verse clearly tells us that God’s word is always true, pure, loving and uplifting. It brings comfort to others and builds them up, never tearing them down. That is how we know whether the thoughts are coming from God or some other place. We must know, as much as God is at work in our lives, Satan is also actively involved in trying to deceive us.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
(Proverbs 4:23 )
Overall, We must not allow Satan to fool us into thinking that the things that we say or do are from God. He puts ideas in our minds to deceive us. His agenda is to bring us down. The minute we do what Satan suggests, he comes and tells us, “HOW COULD YOU DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT?” He makes us feel ashamed and regretful.
Jesus Himself said:
“When any one hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in his heart” (Matthew 13:19 RSV)
It’s essential for us to gain wisdom, so that we won’t be fooled by the voice of the enemy.
Therefore, be on the lookout for what you hear. Test it and see who is the source. Is it true? Would it uplift and help someone or will it cause more problems?