For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
— Romans 8:14
I have heard people complain about people they think do not “like” them. Their feelings are leading them, and many have missed the Holy Spirit as a result. Christians do not depend on their five physical senses to make decisions. We have the Holy Spirit living inside of our spirit and need to learn to recognize His leadings.
Christians make decisions based on external factors instead of looking to the Holy Spirit for direction. Ministers are equally guilty. Some evangelists will not accept an invitation to speak without paying a guaranteed amount of money.
Christians often cite the example of Gideon to justify asking God for a sign to guide them while making any decision. The question commonly asked is why we can’t look to fleeces the way Gideon, and the reason is we look inward to the Holy Spirit’s presence within us and not outward to a fleece.
Gideon did not have the Holy Spirit within him. He was unsaved, so it was okay for him to rely on the natural realm to receive guidance from God. You and I have the Holy Spirit indwelling inside us and can look to Him for help with every decision we make.
Satan operates in the physical realm and will take advantage of us when we are not looking inward for direction. He has led many people off the path God called them to walk who looked to external signs. You can protect yourself from being one of these by training yourself to always look to the Holy Spirit for guidance in every decision.
Opportunities are a prime example of external guidance. Christians often chase them and look to the Holy Spirit only after committing to something He had planned for them to take.
I received a job offer several years ago that had every appearance of being the right “opportunity.” My previous company had terminated my contract, and the company offered a significant raise, including a step up from positions I had worked in previously. The only problem was that neither my wife nor myself had peace about accepting the offer. There was a lot of pressure because I was unemployed, and no other company had expressed an interest in hiring me.
We had absolutely no reason to turn down the job offer. The pay was higher and provided an opportunity to move up into a more senior role. There were no other open doors, and the pressure was tremendous as there were bills to pay. My wife and I decided to follow the leading of the Spirit and declined the offer. Five months passed with no other job offers, and we honestly questioned our decision many times. God was faithful, though, and I received an offer beyond even my expectations in the fifth month. The offer was accepted, and I’ve now been with this company for two years. It pays to follow the Holy Spirit!
I believe that our most significant challenges in the Church today result from how few Christians look to the Holy Spirit for guidance in their day-to-day lives. It never ceases to amaze me when a Christian approaches me requesting prayer for a situation they got into due to not listening to the Holy Spirit’s direction. In His mercy, He helps, but these types of situations can be avoided if we will train ourselves always to follow the Holy Spirit
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8:15 – 17)
We have discussed the need for reverencing the Holy Spirit. In a sense, this is what faith is all about. The reason for our worship, prayer, and praise is rooted in our reverence for the Holy Spirit. It will not be possible for us to develop any level of intimacy with Him without us first developing in our faith walk.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
Walking with a person that cannot be perceived with our five physical senses requires faith.
We cannot see the Holy Spirit but know He is with us by the eye of faith. We may see Him one day in heaven, but in this life, He dwells within our spirit and cannot be experienced through our senses.
By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. (Hebrews 11:5)
Enoch developed a very intimate relationship with God. We are told that He “pleased” God, which would not have been possible if Enoch had not walked by faith. The ties even developed to such a point that Enoch was taken to heaven, where he remains today.
Enoch approached God by faith. He probably heard stories about Adam and Eve in the garden as a child. I can picture how faith must have grown in his heart as he heard stories about their relationship with God and how they walked with their creator each day. This faith led him to seek a similar relationship with his creator, and it was this faith that led to him being translated by God!
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