Spirit-led?

Charismatic Christians, those who emphasize a personal experience of the Holy Spirit, will often use this this phrase when speaking of some choice they have made:  “I felt led.”   Christian should be led of the Spirit.  My daily prayer is “Lord, lead me.”  My choices include prayer for the ‘will of God’ to be known in my life.   Those first generation followers of Christ demonstrated for us that we can and should be led by the Spirit. Paul says that “those who are led by the Spirit are children of God.” (Gal. 6.14) 

The upside of keeping step with the Spirit is great assurance and peace but there is a downside when the privilege is abused. Far too often I hear Christians say, “I felt led”  but it quite clear that they have allowed emotionalism to govern. Worse, some justify doing their own thing with a covering of spiritual language.  After all, how can you reason with that person who claims God’s approval on their choices?

My dear friend, God has blessed us with a wonderful thing called a brain! He does not ask us to ignore the working of our mind, to set aside counsel or wisdom as we live each day.  Our heart and mind operate equally to bring about His purposes and will. Isaiah, when calling for change in ancient Jerusalem, told them that God wanted them to think clearly. “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD.” Isaiah 1:18 (NIV) The word, ‘reason’ is a word meaning, “argue your case, talk it over, work it out!” 

Simplistic thinking, refusing to wrestle with our thoughts, our emotions, our conflicted desires, can cause us to make very poor choices and to excuse ourselves from responsibility by saying,
“I felt led!

Knowing the daily leading of the Spirit is part of a life that is God-centered, when we are fully engaged in knowing Him, intent on living for Him. Paul encourages us to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1 (NKJV) In the original language of the Bible the word, “reasonable”  is the word, logikos, from which we get our word, logical. As we serve God, we do so with reason intact.  When we offer ourselves – where we go, how we spend our money, what we value, how we interact with our family, the way that we work  – to God;  a higher life of devotion that knows the mind of God is the logical result.

Yes, of course, we must ask “what of faith?” Are we to be locked into rationalism, living only by what can be proven or tested by natural means?  No!  Pure rationalism eliminates the possibility of revelation. We, as individual Believers and as the Church of Jesus Christ must be led by the Spirit, open to truth that is revealed to us outside of the usual channels of discovery and learning.  Even as I write those words I chuckle because I know that in our culture if we claim to hear from God, to know His voice, we may regarded as suffering from delusions or self-deceptions that are based in a psychological need to have a god.

However, both the Scripture and the experience of Christians of the ages gives us reason to believe that God speaks to His people, individually and collectively. There will be moments when His leading defies our natural reasoning powers, when what we believe God is asking of us flies in the face of the facts that surround us. We do not offend God in those moments when we take time to evaluate what we believe He is saying to us. Asking God to give us discerning minds, to keep us from impulse or gullibility is not the same as refusing to follow His lead. It is a humble recognition that we are imperfect, that we can get it wrong.

John tells us – “do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets (people claiming to speak with God’s voice) in the world.” 1 John 4:1 (NLT) The passage goes on to say that the primary test to determine who is a genuine ‘prophet’ – that is one who is claiming to hear from God and speak for God- is the way he conducts himself day to day. His life must be marked by overt evidence of submission to Jesus Christ as Lord. There is no one so dangerous to your spiritual health as the person who is a rebellious rogue, who submits to no authority but himself, who claims – “God speaks to me and I speak for Him.”

Become a person who lives with assurance and peace, a person who knows the voice of the Shepherd, who responds quickly to the leading of the Spirit, living wisely and beautifully in this present.

The word from the Word is worthy of meditation today, full of promise. May the Spirit reveal this truth to you.

“I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me. In the same way, the Father knows me and I know the Father. I put the sheep before myself, sacrificing myself if necessary. You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen. I need to gather and bring them, too. They’ll also recognize my voice. Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd. . . .My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them real and eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of my hand.” (John 10:14-16, 27-28, The Message)

(Video of this blog at this link)

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The Potter’s Hand

Beautiful Lord wonderful Savior
I know for sure all of my days are
Held in Your hand crafted into
Your perfect plan

You gently call me into Your presence
Guiding me by Your Holy Spirit
Teach me dear Lord to live all of my life
Through Your eyes

I’m captured by Your holy calling
Set me apart I know You’re drawing
Me to Yourself
Lead me Lord I pray

Take me mold me
Use me fill me
I give my life
To the Potter’s hand
Call me guide me
Lead me walk beside me
I give my life
To the Potter’s hand

Darlene Zschech

© 1997 Wondrous Worship (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.)

CCLI License # 810055

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