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calendar_today July 1, 2024
sell Holy Spirit

Lead Like Christ – Week 2 – Led By The Spirit

person Mike Wilson
view_list Lead Like Christ

Have you ever wondered how to follow God’s direction? How do you know what God wants you to do? Today, I want to help you figure out how to discern God’s direction, how to be led by the Spirit; not necessarily to be led by your spirit, but by God’s Spirit.

Relationship Over Religion

Say this with me: Relationship > Religion.

Technically, based on the current definition of religion, Christianity is a religion, but in practice, it’s much more than that. Christianity offers us a relationship with the God of the universe.

In religion, God says:

  • Religion = You should. You don’t? You’re toast.

But this isn’t how God works. In a relationship, God says:

  • Relationship = You can’t. I can. Let’s toast.

Today, we’re talking about being led by the Spirit, and outside of an intimate relationship with God, that’s hard to describe. A relationship with God is powerful, largely because of the presence of the Holy Spirit. He’s not just a power we leverage; He is a person we know. There are a few authors that have been impactful in my life, but their impact is limited. Why? They’re not here. I forget what they wrote or I hear something that contradicts them and doubt them.

The Holy Spirit: Our Guide

When it comes to living the Christian life, the Bible is our map. Have you ever gone to a hotel, and when you check in they give you a map of the city? I love those things. They’ve got the cartoon landmarks on them, but when you’re in a new city, they’re hard to read. So what does the concierge do? They use their pen to point you to things on the map. They’re a guide. For us, the Holy Spirit is our guide.

I like a concierge who tells me the best restaurants and landmarks I need to see, and that’s a small picture of what the Holy Spirit does for us. He guides us to the good life and keeps us from danger. Because we are created in the image of God, we intuitively know what is right and what is wrong. Now, sometimes we convince ourselves of lies, but without the influence of lies, we know right and wrong.

The Battle with Sin

There’s a passage in Romans where Paul is talking about his battle with sin. The great apostle Paul had not removed all the sin from his life, and he says:

“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25, NIV)

To which religion says, “Try harder. Be a better person.” It gives a list of rules: “delete your Netflix account, smash your cell phone, stop drinking alcohol, turn control of the bank account over to your wife.” And maybe you need to do something like that, but the answer Paul is looking for isn’t a rule. It’s not a what. It’s a who: Jesus Christ our Lord.

I need someone, not something. How does God deliver me? With a map, through a guide. The Holy Spirit does more than tell me what sin is. There’s something beyond what’s morally right. Most of us don’t usually wrestle with questions about what is sin. We wrestle with “what is best? What is wise?”

Seeking Wisdom

There are a million right things that I can do. God never told me I have to marry Darci or I would be sinning. I could have married another girl without sinning. But I didn’t just want to avoid sin. I wanted to do the best thing. Because He is omniscient, He can show us the wisest thing to do. Jesus said:

“If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.” (John 14:15-17, NLT)

That’s Scripture. That’s the Bible. It’s a map that shows us what is right and what is wrong. When we talk about being a Christian, we don’t talk about obeying Jesus. We talk about following Jesus. Do we obey Him? Yes. Because we follow Him. It’s all about the relationship.

Praying for Guidance

If you could ask God a question about your future or about a decision you’re making, what would you ask Him? When you pray and ask God for guidance, what are you usually thinking about? We’ve all been there. We don’t know which job to take, which person to date, which Chiefs jersey to buy. David prayed that kind of prayer:

“Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” (Psalm 25:5, ESV)

Have you ever asked God to lead you, and it just seems like He’s not responding? So you wait and wait, and it just seems like He’s not there? The Hebrew word that is translated as wait here is the word kawa.

Intertwined with God

Kawa = Wait

Actually, over time, the word wait has changed meanings, and it’s not a strong translation of kawa anymore. A better definition of the word kawa is intertwined.

Kawa = Wait = Intertwined

Imagine doing a three-legged walk. What would happen if one person wants to go alone? But when they’re in sync, that’s kawa. When we kawa with God, when He pauses, we pause. When He runs, we run. If there’s part of you still going your own way, you’re not in tune with the Spirit. That chapter in John concludes like this:

“But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” (John 14:26, NLT)

Practical Leading of the Spirit

Sometimes we think being led by the Spirit is only about getting quiet and waiting for a good feeling, but for me, the Holy Spirit’s leading is more practical than that. He uses Scripture. He uses wisdom. And often, the Holy Spirit also uses people to lead us:

“Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life.” (Proverbs 19:20, NLT)

Don’t try to discern the Holy Spirit alone. Ask wise advisors for help. After you completed your PSA, you were assigned a spiritual advisor. Email your advisor and ask for advice. If you don’t have a spiritual advisor yet, go do a PSA.

Steps to Be Led by the Spirit

If you want to be led by the Spirit:

  1. Ask for advice.
  2. Pray a lot.
  3. Read Scripture.

Here’s something that has worked for me. If you still don’t have clear directions, go back and do the last thing you know God told you to do. Darci is different. She’s tempted not to move on, so the advice she needs is “just do the next right thing.”

Obedience to the Spirit

Jesus didn’t feel at peace in the Garden of Gethsemane. He just did the last thing the Father told Him to do. When people talk about what God wants them to do, I often hear people say, “I don’t have a peace about it.” Well, you might not. Don’t rely on a feeling. Our feelings lie to us.

Here’s the truth about being led by the Spirit that people don’t want to hear:

“Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16, NIV)

Living a life led by the Spirit is living a life of obedience. We don’t do what feels good or what we want to do. We do what God tells us to do. If you want to be led by the Spirit, but you can identify a part of your life that is not aligned to God’s instructions, bring that in alignment with Him.

Overcoming Obstacles

Most of us have settled in one area or another. We’ve allowed there to be a part of our lives that is not obedient to Christ, and we start to allow Satan to lie to us and tell us we can’t bring that area of our lives in alignment with God. But that is a lie. It is a lie that can keep you from fully becoming the person that God created you to be. I’m not judging you. I’m still working on these areas in my life too, but we can’t give up.

Do you have a secret addiction? Are you allowing hate or jealousy to control you? Or are you living a life on mission? Are you serving, giving sacrificially, loving your neighbor?

Conclusion

Being led by the Spirit is about fostering a deep, intimate relationship with God, allowing His presence to guide you in every aspect of your life. It’s about obedience, wisdom, and intertwining your life with His will. Let’s seek His guidance together, through prayer, scripture, and wise counsel, and live the life He has called us to.


Remember, the journey of being led by the Spirit is ongoing. Stay connected with God, seek His wisdom, and let the Holy Spirit guide you every step of the way.


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