Rom. 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.
Rom. 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba, Father.”
Rom. 8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God’s children.
One of the areas that believers need to grow in is one of the most important parts of our walk with God. We need to learn how to be led by the Holy Spirit. God has recreated within every born again believer a brand new spirit, and He has given us of His Spirit to dwell within us. This is something the Lord has been dealing with me on more and more, that every believer needs to have revelation in their hearts that God Himself is living in them. How much different we could live everyday with the revelation of who is actually living inside us now.
It is through God’s very Spirit, the Holy Spirit that He seeks to guide our steps each and every day. This is important in many ways. God wants us to walk in the light of His will for our lives. When we are led by His Spirit, He will lead us each day to carry out what He has planned for our life. As we walk out what He desires, it is also through this inner guidance that we can see God use us, protect us, and direct us into all He desires. This is why it is so important we learn to be led by the Holy Spirit.
As we see in our foundation text above from Romans chapter 8 those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. This is saying that when we are following the leading of God, He is actually fathering us. As a loving Father He desires to father us in every part of our lives. Verse 15 confirms this as we are told this very Spirit by which God will father us is now within us. Through the Holy Spirit we have been adopted, purchased by God and restored back to Him. Verse 16 is a key verse as to how God leads us through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit. It does not say that the Holy Spirit speaks to our spirit, but He bears witness with our spirit.
This is a vital key to following God’s leading for our life. The Holy Spirit does not bear witness with our soul, nor our body, but our spirit within. Often believers are looking for God to lead them through every other way than how God said He would lead us. We don’t look for a “sign from heaven” as many people do. Satan has the ability to do supernatural signs and wonders, which can cause you to be misled if you are looking for a sign. We don’t put out fleeces like Gideon in the Old Testament. Gideon did not have the Holy Spirit living within him to guide him as we do. The number one way God leads His children is through the inward witness of the Holy Spirit.
John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Jesus here in John’s gospel while speaking to His disciples reveals the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives as a form of guidance from the Father. As we see in verse 26 the context of what Jesus is speaking about is the Holy Spirit whom the Father would send to us to teach us all things, and bring to our remembrance what Jesus had said. If the Holy Spirit is here to teach us all things, that would include how to be led by God.
In the verse that follows Jesus tells us that He would leave with us a peace that you cannot get from the world, and that we are not to let our hearts be troubled, nor be afraid. Here is where we learn to be led by the Holy Spirit who is this peace that He has given to us which only comes through Him. The peace Jesus refers to here is defined as a state of harmony, devoid of turmoil. If you have ever heard a good gospel quartet or a group of singers in harmony you know how pleasing it sounds. But if you have ever heard a group in which there are those who are not singing in harmony it is quite unpleasant to listen to. This is what Jesus is referring to about this peace He has given to us.
After referring to this peace He tells us to let not our heart be troubled or afraid. The heart refers to the real you, the spirit within. Remember the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit, the real man within. You are a spirit, you have a soul, and you live in a body. The Holy Spirit is going to bear witness with our spirit to lead us into God’s plan for our lives. The word for troubled here means to be agitated. I always think of the agitator within a washing machine. Many new washing machines no longer have them, but that agitator in the center of that tub in a washing machine was there to stir things up.
The second word Jesus refers to is not letting our hearts be afraid. This is actually better translated timid. I remember when I was a kid growing up in Montana there was a canal that was full of water that ran right by our bus stop where we waited on the bus to go to school. In the winter it would freeze over and we would go under the bridge of this canal and play hockey with sticks and rocks until our bus came. When the first freeze of the year came if you wanted to make sure you didn’t fall through the ice you would take a small step on that ice to see if it felt completely frozen or not. If it didn’t you would feel a little timid inside of going any further. That is what this word timid is referring to.
When the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are making a right choice or headed the right direction for our life we will have this inward peace within our spirit man. There will be a harmonious feeling between our spirit and the Holy Spirit. Our spirit will be devoid of turmoil. We won’t feel agitated or timid as we take that first step. This peace will be confirmation that we are walking out God’s will for our life. But when we are seeking to follow God’s direction we don’t want to jump in with both feet. We need to take it one step at a time, testing the ice so to speak to see if we have a peace about going forward.
Acts 16:6 Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia.
Acts 16:7 After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them.
Take a look at these two verses in the book of Acts that refer to Paul and his company traveling to preach the gospel. The apostle Paul begins to set out on a trip to go to Asia to preach the gospel, but notice what happens. The Holy Spirit forbids them to go. Paul had that inward witness within that was devoid of God’s peace, that harmonious feeling between his spirit and the Holy Spirit that this was the proper direction for them, so Paul did not go. Then Paul begins to head out to Bithynia, but again as he did the Holy Spirit bearing witness with his spirit revealed a timidity or agitation within that revealed he was not to go there as well. These are two examples in the book of Acts of Paul receiving guidance from the Holy Spirit of where not to go.
Often times Christians just think that wherever they go they have God’s protection, but in fact one of the keys to our protection as believers is in following the leading of the Holy Spirit. Psalms 91 does tell us that God gives His angels charge over us, but it tells us before this reference to angels protecting us that this refers to those who have made God their refuge and dwelling place. In other words they are pursuing Him and what He desires for their life. Those who do are going to learn how to be led by His Spirit. There are many testimonies of Christians who in following this inward leading avoided disaster and even death that God through the inward witness was able to protect them from. We need to learn how to be led by God to experience the fullness of His will for our life.
For us to get good at following this inward witness we must learn to develop our spirit man. Just as your body can be developed, and your mind (soul) can be developed, so can your spirit. In closing I want to share briefly with you three things that will help you to develop your spirit man. The first of these three things is to read and study the Word of God. Jesus said in John 6:63 that His Words are Spirit and they are life. When we spend time soaking up God’s Word we are fellowshipping with the Lord through the Word of God, which Jesus said is Spirit and life. Take time to get into the Word of God to fellowship with Him.
Secondly when we pray in the Holy Spirit we are developing our spirit as we are in direct fellowship with the Holy Spirit. When you pray in the spirit your spirit is praying what the Holy Spirit is saying. Jude 1:20 tells us that you are building yourself up (your spirit man) on your most holy faith when you pray in the Holy Spirit. The third way to build your spirit man is to walk in love. God is love and when you walk in love you are walking in God. So take time to build your spirit man and learn to follow the inward witness from God. Doing so will help you to walk in God’s plans for your life.
See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”
May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker