How Does God Lead Us? by Shane Idleman
Whether it is the Spirit leading or forbidding in the book of Acts, or the Spirit leading throughout Christian history, it’s clear that the leading of the Spirit is important.
In the Old Testament, it appears that the Spirit of God could be withdrawn completely from people, whereas in the New Testament He seals us until the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14).
Refuel Your Spiritual Power
Although the Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, won’t depart, we can quench and grieve Him. In this case, in the same way that a fire dwindles down to a small flame if not fueled, the Holy Spirit is also waiting to be refueled for those who have quenched Him (Eph. 5:18).
The key to being led by the Spirit is to be filled with the Spirit. T0 clear the lines of communication, we must repent of besetting sin, spiritual apathy, arrogance, and prayerlessness, and begin diligently pursuing God.
But how does God lead us today?
1. First and foremost, He leads us with principles to follow through His Word. Paul reminds us that all Scripture is inspired by God to teach us how to discern right from wrong. It also corrects us when we are off course (Tim. 3:16).
From what type of person to marry to how to handle money, it’s all there. Although the Bible doesn’t cover every specific circumstance we may face, it does offer principles to guide us in every situation.
2. Secondly, as we apply God’s Word, we must be men and women of prayer. I’m amazed at how many people think they can adequately determine God‘s will without devoting much time to prayer (and fasting). Even Jesus spent the whole night in prayer before he chose the twelve disciples, and time fasting before beginning His public ministry. Prayer is the catalyst and the sustainer to knowing God’s will.
3. At some point, faith must come into play. Hebrews 11:6 says that “without faith it is impossible to please God,” and adds that God “is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” If we knew the answer to every situation, faith would be of little value. Faith is complete trust in God and in His sovereignty.
Real faith isn’t blind; it looks through the lens of God’s Word. It applies wisdom to the situation, seeks the counsel of mature believers, prays fervently, and waits on the Lord.
In short, faith makes decisions based on God’s Word and trusts Him for the outcome. How many of us supposably step out in faith but make poor financial decisions, date the wrong person, or take the wrong job all under the banner of “stepping out in faith”? Be careful, there is a fine line between faith and presumption—presumption often rushes ahead, whereas faith waits on God.