How can you discern the Holy Spirit in others? This question is very relevant to our growth and spiritual well-being. Why? – Because we need to know when what we are hearing is the inpired word of the Spirit of God. If we just accept everything we hear we will soon be led down the path of spiritual error.
There is one fool-proof test you can apply to determine if what you are hearing is spiritual truth; and that is this. Consider what James says here in Chapter 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. From this we can reliably infer that we MUST have a peace about what we are hearing. If you can apply all the tests in this Bible verse to what you hear, you can be confidant that what you are hearing is from the Holy Spirit of God – it will be full of mercy, good fruits, impartial and above all pure and peaceful.
There is one thing the devil CANNOT fake, and that is love. You may be hearing stuff that sounds very reasonable at the time, but if it leaves you with an unquiet spirit, then you can be assured that it is NOT from God. If what you see and hear makes you feel restless, discontented, anxious or worried, you can be confidant that it came from that other kingdom – the kingdom of darkness. God is Love: Therefore anything from God must be pure; have an underlying theme of love, and leave you with a feeling of peace.
Jesus gave us a very reliable and simple test to apply when we are not sure what we are confronted with. In effect, He said; “Look at the fruit to see what sort of a tree it is” [Matt 7:16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? …….20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them]. So if the visible fruit in the life of the person you are listening to are the fruits of Love, Joy, Peace, etc, of the Spirit, described in Galations, then you can be sure that the Spirit of God is directing that person’s life.
- The Holy Spirit; His Fruit and His Gifts
Questions about the person of the Holy Spirit, His gifts and His fruit, are both simple and complex. Here are some simple answers –
The [fruit of the Holy Spirit] Galations 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. are those character elements that grow in our lives after we are born again, and the Holy Spirit is enabled to work within us. As a ‘new baby’ in the spiritual world we need to develop, just as does any new baby in the temporal world. When we give our lives to Him we are filled with love, and we become filled with joy. After the first excitement dies down we gain the peace; and the other fruits of patience, kindness, and so on start to develop. It is not by chance that the last fruit to grow is self-control; it naturally grows after the others have matured.
- The Gifts of The Holy Spirit.
[The  Gifts of The Holy Spirit]1 Corinthians 12: 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines are given at will by the Holy Spirit, and may be withdrawn also at will. Do not confuse these gifts with the  [motivational] gifts that are listed in [Romans 12] 5 So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.. These motivational gifts [in whatever ratio we may posess them] are the God-given gifts we were born with, they govern our character and define our role in God’s kingdom. On the other hand, you can pray for any one or more of the spiritual gifts, just as you like.
- The Voice of The Holy Spirit.
For me, the best description of the voice of [God] the Holy Spirit, is the term used by the writer of 1 Kings [19:12] when he said; “a still, small voice“; in telling about God talking to Elijah after the voice of earthquake, wind, and fire. I have this mental picture of the Holy Spirit in the same room in my head as my conscience, and speaking to me in the same way – I have to listen real hard to hear Him, and it certainly helps to be in a quiet place, so as not to drown out the sound of the still small voice…
- More About Hearing From God
You can read more about hearing from the Holy Spirit of God in Chapter 14 [Wisdom From God – Concience and The Holy Spirit] of my e-Book, “Good Lord, It’s Morning”!