Monday, June 20, 2011

How the Spirit Leads Us

Yesterday, I preached on being led by the Spirit.

". . . those who are led by the Spirit are children of God." --  Rom. 8:14.

How does the Spirit lead us?

1)  Scripture:  Search the Scriptures daily, and God will give you a special word that fits your situation.  Whatever you're going through, God has a word for it!  You will never go wrong by living in the Word.

2)  Prayer:  We fail to find guidance in our prayers because we are too prone to tell God what He should do, rather than asking Him what WE should do.  If we ask, He has promised to grant us wisdom (James 1:5.)  Consider your pressing issue:  Have you seriously prayed about it?

3)  The Grand Purpose:  Rather than getting hung up on "What is God's will for me?" it might be better to ask, " What is God's will for the world?"  Then, join Him in that glorious cause.  The Spirit moves us -- a bias for action!  You are meant to DO something.  "Let me pray about it" is sometimes a clever device to buy time for excuses.  If you sense a holy nudge, follow up!  If God doesn't want you to go through that door, He can close it.  Action, rather than intent, makes the difference.

4)  Community of Faith:  Often, the Spirit speaks to us through spiritually mature friends who love God and have our best interest in mind.  No person is an island.  God places us in a church family, so we can encourage, correct and help each other.

5) Circumstances:  The Lord loves us too much to waste our painful experiences.  Sometimes, He uses difficult circumstances to move us to the place He wants us to be.  When we are tempted to cry out, "Where are you, God?", He responds, "Right here, guiding you through this."  God does His best work through those refined in the fire of affliction.  For instance, the Jerusalem Church faced severe persecution, and multiplied exponentially as a result.

6)  Sanctified Common Sense:  Jesus died to take away our sins, not our brains.  God made our minds and trusts us to use them to make wise decisions.

7)  The Spirit Adventure (or Treasure Hunt):  The seventh step takes everything to a whole new level.  Using the prior six, your life can be infused with daily flowings of the Holy Spirit.  You can live naturally in the supernatural!  God really works that way -- if you only have the faith.

Lately, I've been experiencing this.  God has been taking me on amazing adventures, I like to call "Treasure Hunts".

Early in the morning, I pray something like this::  "God, show me someone you treasure today, and help me to bring blessing, hope and joy to them.  May your Spirit filll, guide and flow through me to others.  Wherever you go, I'll go.  Whoever you send, I will receive as your gift.  I'll follow your nudges whereever you lead.  Help me stay out of the way and let your work!

God has recently answered that prayer in astounding ways!  This is real -- not just a matter of philosophy, world view, or evangelical sub-culture participation.  It is truly participating WITH Jesus as He accomplishes the greatest mission on earth.

You can live in the first six -- leave out the seventh -- and live a mundane, boring Christian life.  Or you can step out of the little box and go on the grand adventure.  I recommend the latter.  It's definitely worth the risk.

What a joy!  What a treasure!

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