the Spirit’s leading

When you talk about the Spirit’s leading in different circles this can mean different things. When I talk about the lead of the Spirit in my life and in the life of the church I serve in, I want my understanding to rest firmly on the truth of God’s Word. I want to be thoroughly biblical in my understanding of how the Spirit leads. So what I want to do today is mention a few biblical principles and then connect the dots.

[21] For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21 ESV)

The Spirit of God wrote the Word of God. So guys wrote it but it was the Spirit of God who was the ‘active, revelatory agent working’ in the writers as they wrote. Men wrote in their own unique style but the Spirit of God inspired them. Or for clarity’s sake the Word is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16). For some biblical writers it was more of a dictation thing and for others it was more of the collecting of data. The point is that it was written by God and also written by man, and it has no errors. Again, the Spirit of God wrote the Word of God.

[1:1] Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, [2] in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies… (Titus 1:1-2 ESV)

It says in the intro to Titus that God never lies. So when you give this consideration you will also realize that God cannot contradict Himself. The Spirit of God cannot contradict what He has already written.

In 1 John there is teaching on the Spirit’s abiding work but then John warns about other spirits:

[4:1] Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.                       (1 John 4:1 ESV)

So believers are to be discerning. We are to test the spirits and how do we do that? We test them by what is written in God’s infallible Word. It’s the standard of truth. The Spirit of God will never contradict the Word of God.

I have heard many stories of people truly desiring to follow the Spirit but followed something completely contrary. Let me give you a couple of examples.

One dear saint talked about raising her daughter and asking God if it was okay for her daughter to participate in such and such activity and she believed that God had given her the green light. Without going into detail, her daughter got locked into this things of this life, an area that the mom believed that God had given her the thumbs up about. This daughter now lives a long way away from the Saviour, not that that is the point. The point is that the mother went with what she felt even though it contradicted what the Spirit had written.

One saint believed that God wanted him to divorce his wife and for another man to divorce his wife so that he could marry this man’s wife. I don’t think I need to do any commentary on that one.

‘God led us from this church to this church.’ Does God do that, absolutely, but are the right questions being asked? In a nutshell if God takes you from a church where the Word is preached more faithfully to a church where the Word is preached less faithfully, that doesn’t line up with what the Spirit of God wants.

Does God lead people by His Spirit today? Absolutely…but never in a direction that contradicts what He has already written in the Holy Word. So if you want to be able to discern the Spirit’s leading in your life, get to know what the Spirit has written, in the living and active Word.





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