What does it look like to be led by the Spirit?

What does it look like for the Holy Spirit to lead in the Christian’s life?

From the onset, I believe it is helpful to define Biblically as it relates to human experience, the work of the Holy Spirit. In John 16:7-8, we see that the work of the Holy Spirit is to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement. With this being established, in the life of the Christian, we are continually being conformed by God’s grace, to the likeness of His Son. We seek to obey the commands of scripture and live our lives in obedience to Christ. Being led by the Spirit is the antithesis to being led by the flesh (Galatians 5:17-18). When we are being led by the Spirit, it means that we are putting to death the ways of the flesh because the sins and desires of the flesh are against the Spirit. 

Being led by the Spirit is not a passive or mysterious leading or “subjective feeling,” but rather an active, ever-present fight in the life of the Christian. Some believe they are led by the Spirit by the dreams they have as they believe that God is trying to tell them something or that they saw a butterfly flying in a certain direction and that’s “how they knew God was leading them” vs. the Bible. Unfortunately, this subjective, experience-based reliance leads to many misunderstandings of what it looks like to be led by the Spirit. Therefore, Bible study and prayer time is critical. 

Thankfully, we as disciples of Christ are not left to human subjectivity and confusion, we have God’s Word as a lamp to our feet in a world of darkness and sin. The Spirit will always use the Word to guide us.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105, NKJV).

If we need direction in our life, the best way is to fill our heart and mind with God’s Word. This will increase our trust in God, and we will no longer live in fear of the “what ifs” of life but rely solely on His divine providence to overshadow every step we take. As we study the scriptures and ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate truth to us, we learn to rest in God’s sovereignty, trusting He is in control and will care for every detail, give you wisdom, and help you resist the temptation of the flesh. 

Father God, I need direction in my life. I often want some type of external, tangible evidence or sign that will give me the answer or show me the way. I know You have called me to walk in the Spirit and not the flesh. I trust that the Holy Spirit guides me by the Truth that is found in Your Holy written Word. I repent for looking to signs, omens, and dreams, which are subjective, and build my life upon Your Word that is a strong foundation that cannot be shaken or changed. Give me a hunger to study the scriptures so that I may know You and Your will and walk in wisdom to make righteous decisions that please only You. Please strengthen my faith and trust in Your sovereignty so that I can rest in knowing that Your providential hand leads me every day even when I cannot always see it or understand it. Thank You for Your Word that is a light to my path and lamp to my feet so I can see the narrow way clearly that You are calling me to walk on. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

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Asking the Holy Spirit to Teach Us

In high school, I was gifted a Bible when I became a member of my new church. I was so excited to start reading it and learn more about God, but as time went on, I became more and more intimated by its pages. Where do I begin? Do I start in Genesis and just read through it beginning to end? Do I need to spend time memorizing what I’m reading? What does this word mean?

These thoughts circled my teenage mind, and I was so hesitant to even dive in for fear that I wouldn’t understand what I was reading. It didn’t take long for schoolwork and all of the extracurricular activities I was involved in to crowd out any down time to make space to read my Bible. Soon enough, that Bible would find a permanent home on my bookshelf, left untouched. I hate to admit it, but the intimidation and distractions would follow me all through college as well. When I was stressed out, I would glance at my neglected Bible and randomly open it and try to soak up some hope for my weary soul.

Although I heard the gospel as a teen, and was a professing Christian for six years, it wasn’t until after I graduated college that God granted me genuine repentance from my sin and rebellion and gave me the faith to fully surrender my life to Christ and trust Him completely. One Sunday, I stepped foot in a church service for the first time in a few years, and I believe I was born again that day, as the reality of offending a Holy God and my desperate need to turn to Jesus, take up my cross, and follow Him overwhelmed me for the first time in my life. After that moment, my whole world changed, and I suddenly had a deep desire to read my Bible and obey God. I look back and see the difference between my high school and college days was that I was trying to understand what I was reading without the help of the Holy Spirit. Once I became born again at the age of twenty-two, I was given the gift of the Holy Spirit- Jesus describes Him as a Comforter as well as a Helper and Teacher in John 14:

“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 that I have said to you” (John 14:26, ESV).

As born-again believers, when we open the pages of scripture, we are not left on our own to understand what we are reading. We have a Helper and a great Teacher, the Holy Spirit, to guide us in our pursuit of growing in the knowledge of the Lord. He illuminates the truth to us over time and will bring what we have read to our remembrance. This is why it is so important to consistently be reading our Bibles, so that we can store what we are studying in our hearts. The Bible is a gift from God to help us in our daily lives- to be able to learn of God’s ways and learn who God truly is so that we can grow closer to Him and worship Him rightly. 

I have to admit that I sometimes still struggle with intimidation and distraction when it comes to reading my Bible, but after walking with the Lord for over ten years now, I know that I am not left alone on this journey. I have a Helper who guides me into all truth and supernaturally helps me understand the words I am reading- words that are spirit and life (John 6:63). He is always with me and I can always ask Him for help.

Heavenly Father, I thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Not only does He convict me of my sin when I daily fall short, He is my ever-present Help in time of need who also guides me into all truth. I admit that I need help understanding your Holy written Word. Holy Spirit, will you give me a hunger to daily read the Bible? May You supernaturally illuminate what I am reading and give me the ability to comprehend what I am studying, not just for head knowledge, but to help me know You in a deeper way so that I give You the worship You deserve. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Live Not By Feelings

A few years ago, after lovingly warning a friend of the dangers of a particular false teacher she was going to see at a conference, she got offended with me and said something along the lines of “Don’t you think I have discernment?? I have the Holy Spirit! I will be able to discern or sense conviction if something’s not right??”

In this instance, my friend was putting an emphasis on what she believed the Holy Spirit was telling her by how it made her feel at the time and calling it discernment and conviction.

Beloved, that is not how we as Christians are to live. We are to walk in the Spirit and the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth (John 16) which is found in the Word of God. Relying on our feelings means we are putting our confidence in our flesh, and our flesh will only lead us away from righteousness and God’s truth. Since the human heart is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), it can lead us astray if we rely on or try to follow its sometimes emotional leadings. 

If the Word of God has spoken on something, you have been convicted. You don’t need to wait to feel conviction to obey, you have been led by the instruction of God-breathed scriptures to obey. We must search the scriptures to be able to learn how to walk in God’s ways.

Studying the Bible is how our mind is renewed and how we are sanctified as believers. We cannot walk in righteousness by how we feel if something is right or wrong and call it conviction.

I am sure there are ways I am accidentally or unknowingly violating God’s perfect law even though I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit- I still wrestle with a sin nature even as a believer. I must abide in Christ and die to self daily. We abide in Christ through faith by abiding in His Word by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit. Faith in Christ comes by hearing the Word of God after all:

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word [k]of Christ”

(Romans 10:17, NASB).

Since we cannot fully depend on our feelings to determine if something is sinful or not, we also cannot depend on our feelings to determine if something is true or false either.

In regards to discernment, are you testing against scripture?  That is where we gain knowledge to be able to test all things and judge righteously. We must make sure everything we are hearing preached in the name of Christ lines up with His Holy written Word.

Friends, if I were just to depend on feelings, I would be wrong quite a lot. As believers we do not “sense it in our spirit”…that’s called human intuition.

intuition

nounSave Word

in·​tu·​i·​tion |  \ ˌin-tü-ˈi-shən   , -tyü-  \

Definition of intuition

1a: the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference

b: immediate apprehension or cognition

c: knowledge or conviction gained by intuition

2: quick and ready insight

We don’t rely on intuition; we walk in the Spirit, dear ones. 

Unless you are testing what the Holy Spirit is guiding you into by God’s Holy Word, you can’t be certain you aren’t being misled by Satan.

“No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”

(2 Corinthians 11:14, NASB).

Let us stand firm upon God’s Word and trust He has given us all we need in it for life and godliness as we lean upon the help of the Holy Spirit who guides us into all truth that conforms us day by day into the image of Christ. 

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March on in truth!

Charles Spurgeon once said,

“Controversy is never a very happy element for the child of God: he would far rather be in communion with his Lord than be engaged in defending the faith, or in attacking error. But the soldier of Christ knows no choice in his Master’s commands. He may feel it to be better for him to lie upon the bed of rest than to stand covered with the sweat and dust of battle; but, as a soldier, he has learned to obey, and the rule of his obedience is not his personal comfort, but his Lord’s absolute command. The servant of God must endeavor to maintain all the truth which his Master has revealed to him, because, as a Christian soldier, this is part of his duty. But while he does so, he accords to others the liberty which he himself enjoys.”

Over this past year, my husband, Paul, and I have experienced a sense of urgency and heavy burden to preach truth in love and call out error through our online platform. We wouldn’t call it “fun.” It’s uncomfortable, but as followers of Christ, we know we are called to stand in boldness when God’s Word is being distorted. 

In the epistle of Jude, he exhorts believers to be defenders of the faith, to hold fast to our message as Christians, the glorious gospel.  

“Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.”

Jude 1:3, NASB

Engaging in Christian apologetics in today’s culture is desperately needed when defending the faith, even within the Church and especially in America because error abounds. We must stand for truth and become defenders of the Christian faith that has stood the test of time for thousands of years, even when wolves come in to devour the flock (Matthew 7).

It isn’t about a single person being right. It is about God being right because He is. He is Truth. If we are His, we will want to grow in that truth, boldly proclaim it, and protect it from error, even if it makes us uncomfortable or even experience pain and rejection at times. 

The gospel is offensive.

Truth can cut deep and point out things in us that we don’t want to see, but if we want to be conformed to the image of Christ, we must believe and follow truth. 

We should not have to apologize for our zeal for God’s Word and His glorious gospel because without those precious gifts from the Lord to us, we would not be able to revel in the benefits of the good news or share it with others so that their fellowship with their Heavenly Father is restored.

As God’s children, we have been transformed by God’s love and mercy. We can live forgiven and free because of that. We should long to share that love with others by sharing truth found in the Bible, whether they have never heard the gospel, or they have strayed from its pure message and have begun following a false gospel.

We should never feel ashamed to share the hope of our message as believers, turning from our life in sin to turning to Christ alone who offers us new eternal life in Him that was purchased for us by His own blood. In Christ, we are forgiven. In Christ, we are God’s precious children. This is the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints of old and we must continue to pass it down to each generation and protect it from those who would want to twist its message. 

Do you have a desire to share truth with a loved one who may be caught up in deception of a false gospel or on your social media platform to reach others for the gospel?

Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the boldness and ask Him for a greater desire for His Word. It is so important to become a diligent student of God’s Word so that when the opportunity presents itself you are able to give a response for the hope that you have inside of you (1 Peter 3:15).

Stand firm, and march on in truth, soldier.


If you would like to learn more about my husband and I’s ministry, you can visit, www.wewouldratherhavejesus.com.

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Longing for the whole Truth!

Today, I’m simply here to just write.

Vent, I guess you could say…

…gracefully vent.

*Sigh*

I’m going through something right now. Actually, my husband and I are both going through something right now.

Little by little, we have been placed in situations of surrender and letting go of things we were holding onto for security and comfort and learning how to fully trust God alone.

The house.

The furniture.

The freedom of being a stay-at-home mom to then take on a side job to help out some friends.

And now our place of Sunday worship.

Over the last several months, everything that has been the foundation of our faith has been challenged, and we are left unlearning a lot of things once again. We are searching out the scriptures to discover why we believe what we believe. And what we have discovered is that we don’t believe, or agree with, much of what we have been taught.

Needless to say, it’s been challenging…

…especially for my husband, Paul, since he sat under the same teaching for 20 plus years of his life (almost 25), and after we left the church he grew up at in 2010, we were led to a church whose pastor also sat under that very same teaching for years.

When you hear the same teaching for 20 plus years of your life and you trust your pastor more than God, you embrace what you are being told as truth.

And sometimes as the only truth.

But there’s a problem with that- we need to find truth in the Word of God alone and not necessarily an interpretation of what you are being told is truth. It becomes a danger because we never line up what is being said from the pulpit with what the Word of God really says. We should trust the Holy Spirit to be our teacher. We cannot just embrace everything that proceeds out of the pastor’s mouth because, honestly, he should know more than us, right?

Sadly, this happens more often than not in the churches of America. Many people do not read their Bible, and we put all the responsibility on the pastor to feed us, teach us, guide us. His job is to definitely help us learn, but most importantly, encourage us and equip us to go home and study out what we just heard. He was never supposed to walk out our walk with God for us.

A scripture taken out of context and twisted to fit our methods, principles, main points, and often, our fleshly desires, has been genetically modified, my friends. #SayNoToGMO

We can’t just embrace everything we hear from people. It must line up with the totality of God’s Word, what is called the whole counsel of God. Not just one scripture…the WHOLE THING! Much of what is heard on a Sunday morning is out of context. We have experienced this first hand, and the Lord had to reveal it to us the more we studied out His Word for ourselves!

I don’t write all of this as a jab at any pastor or man/woman of God in particular, I’m just simply expressing where we are in our walk. We have been disappointed countless times by numerous teachers of God’s Word, whether those we have sat under, or those we have listened to through the information super-highway.

We aren’t giving up on the Church. Although we are disappointed, we aren’t surprised. The Word of God explains to us that this is going to happen in the Last Days. And clearly, we are in the Last Days!

My husband is responsible for our family. I am responsible for my own heart and what my son hears and has sown into his heart until he is old enough to guard his own heart.

Above all, we must always judge what we are hearing, even if it is coming from the pulpit.

Don’t allow people to tell you that you are not supposed to judge…

…that’s a real popular topic among believers and non-believers alike.

Jesus tells us:

“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”

John 7:24, NKJV

What is “righteous judgment?”

“Judgment” in Greek in this particular verse means “the concept of determining the correctness of a matter.”

Use the word of God to discern what is false and what is unrighteous (Hebrews 4:12).

“If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.”

1 Timothy 6:3-5, ESV

Let the Word of God light your way, every single step. The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth and peace.

I’m holding onto the Word, who is also Jesus, the Word made flesh! He’s our only hope in these times of testing and times of deception we all face!

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