How does God work in the world today, and do we have anything to do with it?  The Bible tells us that when the Lord Jesus returned to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit, whom He called the Comforter, to help us.  In other words, all the help we will ever have from God will come through the working of the Holy Spirit.
   If we are truly a disciple of Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit dwells inside us, and everything we could possibly need in this life is available to us through Him.  And by the way, the Holy Spirit is not an “IT”, but “HE”.  If we are NOT yet His disciple then the obvious answer to our problems lies in changing that status, and becoming His disciple.  Yet, sometimes His disciples work against the help that was sent to help them by quenching the Holy Spirit.  How do we do that?  Primarily by what we believe, because what we believe is in our heart, and out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.  So when we have prayed and asked the heavenly Father for help, immediately the Holy Spirit in us rises up to give us counsel, to instruct us in the way forward.  Now, His counsel is always correct, always timely, and yes we CAN hear the voice of the Holy Spirit; that is, if we will just stop our whining and complaining and LISTEN!
   Ah, but this is a real issue for some, obviously, for it is a proven fact you cannot talk and listen at the same time.  Why do I bring that up?  Because a conversation is only a conversation if it goes both ways: you talk, I listen, and then I talk and you listen.  But if you’re doing all the talking, that means I’m doing all the listening.  And if you’re telling me the problem (and most likely your idea of the solution too), you won’t stop talking and then I can’t offer my counsel.  Well, it works the very same way with the Holy Spirit.  He is there to help you, if you will listen.  Now it’s fine for you to pray and roll your cares over on the LORD, and that’s what He wants you to do.  But once you’ve done that, the desired course of action is for you to just get quiet before the LORD, and let Him minister to you through the Holy Spirit so He can guide you in the way you should go. 
   Remember, in Psalm 23, it says, The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want.  That means the LORD will see to it that you are provided for, and you shall lack no good thing.  Of course, the devil wants to be your shepherd also, seeing to it that you lack no BAD thing.  What to do?  That’s where listening to the Holy Spirit comes in; you see, there are many voices in the world, and most all of them are not of God.  You can listen to the news about all the bad stuff going on in the world.  Where is the Holy Spirit in all this?  Well, He’s right where He has always been: available to anyone who will listen to His counsel.  Whether or not YOUR problems are solved depends entirely whether you are listening for His voice.  There’s the voice of unemployment, debt, the doctor’s bad report, declining neighborhoods, poverty, strife, marital problems, mother-in-law problems, in-law problems, outlaw problems.  They all have a voice, and they will all disturb your peace and rob you of it.  The ability to hear the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit lies in your ability to tune out the shouting of the world’s voice which tries to drown out the Holy Spirit.
   Being I’m older than many of you, I’ll give an example some of you can relate to.  Back when I was young, you know, back before indoor plumbing and internet, I would listen to A.M. band of the radio late at night.  A.M radio suffered from what we would call “crosstalk”.  Sometimes I would be listening to a distant station, and stronger, closer stations would fade in and out over what I was trying to hear.  So I would put my head close to the speaker and strain to focus on hearing only the voice of the desired station.  Even when another station tried to drown out what I was trying to hear, I usually was able to tune out the loud crosstalk and listen to that small voice.  That taught me a lot about “listening”.  There is “hearing”, and there is “listening”.  You don’t have to put any effort into “hearing”, unless what you want to hear is being drowned out.  Then you go into “listening” mode.
   Listening mode is what is needed for you to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.  Casual “hearing” just won’t get it, for you will hear the wrong voice every time.  I know, because I’ve done it, and so have you.  There’s no better way to quench the working of the Holy Spirit in your life than not being able to hear His voice.  If you can’t hear Him, He can’t lead you in the way you should go, and that truly grieves the LORD.  Of course, it’s possible to hear Him, and just decide not to follow His leading, and that quenches the Holy Spirit, too.  But for now, let’s assume if you hear His voice, you will obey.  Don’t tell me you can’t hear His voice, because God makes it possible for ALL to hear that truly want to.  No matter how distracting the devil makes things, if you really want to hear the Holy Spirit, you can.  But don’t think for a moment that it will just “happen”, because it won’t.  You WILL have to listen for Him.
   The devil will use anything he can to keep you so tied up in knots that you will be acting on your own wisdom to solve your problems, instead of turning to the Holy Spirit.  And when we do that, pretty soon the wrong stuff starts coming out of our mouth, and we start speaking about the problem and agreeing with the circumstances, instead of speaking the Word of God TO the problem.  I’m not saying to deny the problem exists, that’s stupid.  That would be like me being with you in your car and your tire goes flat, and you saying, Bless God, I deny my tire is flat, it is just fine.  Well, before long, you’ll not only ruin the tire, but you’ll ruin the wheel as well, and maybe worse.  You can see the lack of wisdom in doing that.  I’m saying, tell the LORD what the problem is, and don’t try to help Him out by offering your solution.  God has the solution; your job is to listen to His instructions and obey Him.  Don’t quench the Holy Spirit by trying to do His job for Him.  You not only are not as smart as the Holy Spirit, you also don’t see all the surrounding circumstances that brought the problem into being in the first place.  God’s ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, remember that the next time you’re giving God advice.
   How is the best way to tell you need the counsel of the Holy Spirit?  One of the easiest ways to recognize that is when you’ve lost your peace.  Here’s a word of advice: Know God, know peace.  No God, no peace.  The Holy Spirit stands ready to help you, no matter WHAT kind of problem you’re facing right now.  He will see to it that no weapon formed against you will prosper; that is, if you’re listening to and obeying Him.  Otherwise, you’re on your own, and you really don’t want that.  Don’t ask me how I know.  The Holy Spirit is here to help you, so let Him, ok?  Don’t quench the Holy Spirit.