In what ways does the Spirit of God lead us?

In what ways does the Spirit of God lead us?

Since it identifies us as sons of God (Rom 8:14), being led by the Spirit of God should characterize our lives. Paul’s teaching assumes that all believers are led by the Spirit (Gal 5:18). The Spirit leads us both rationally (through our minds) and mystically (through an inexplicable awareness). The former needs to be emphasized and is more easily explained. If we are not willing for be led by the Spirit daily, we will not likely be sensitive to His leading in "special experiences."

The Spirit of God and the Word of God both reflect the same source and must agree. Generally, therefore, the Spirit leads through the clear directives of Scripture. Thankfully, He not only directs but also enables our walk (Gal 5:16-18).

The more we walk in the Spirit, the deeper will be our acquaintance with "the things of the Spirit of God" (1Co 2:10-16). As the Spirit unfolds to us the mind of God, we learn through the Word of God the principles by which God works. Increasingly, therefore, the principles of Scripture will guide us. Daily subjection of our will to the Scriptures cannot be distinguished from the leading of the Spirit in our lives. To more fully know the mind of God through His Word is a life-long challenge. The Spirit leads us rationally by enriching our minds with the practical knowledge of God. As we submit, He both directs us and enables us to please God.

One of the greatest difficulties in life is to be honest with ourselves. That is why the mystical leading of the Spirit is difficult to discuss. Too often we attribute our own preference to the leading of the Spirit. The Spirit of God superindends our circumstances and often directs us through them, but always in keeping with the Word of God.

Two verses in Psalm 25 instruct us in knowing God’s ways. Verse 12 emphasizes reverence for God, acting to please Him. Verse 10 points to meekness. The meek humbly submit to God and totally depend on Him. Who could boast about possessing these qualities? To hear a voice behind us "saying, This is the way, walk ye in it" (Isa 30:21) is always an evidence of God’s grace. Nevertheless, this is not something for which we need to beg God. He desires to lead us through His Word (rationally) and to prompt us as we are sensitive to His will (mystically). Self-consciousness and self-occupation will not produce this. In many ways, this is a sacred secret between the soul and God. We obey His written Word and, through the Spirit, He takes care of the rest.

D. Oliver