I’ll get something out of this teaching, I’ll get something good. I’ll see some things; I’ll understand some things; I will receive some good things that will help me in my life.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
As children of God, we can expect to be led by the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit leads and we choose to follow. He is a Gentleman and He will not force you or drive you to do something. He waits on us to recognize Him and then to respond to Him.
If we would like to hear the still small voice and gentle whispers of God then we need to spend more time in God’s presence, in prayer and spend time studying God’s Word.
The reason why I recognize my wife’s voice or my children’s voices is because I spend time with them. We can be in the middle of a busy shopping mall and if I hear one of their voices call out to me in the midst of all other voices around me, I will be able to hear them.
Jentezen Franklin mentions listening to a U.S Treasury officer who had the job of identifying counterfeit dollar bills. He said, “The key to identifying a false bill is to spend hours and hours handling the real thing.” In other words, you have to get a “feel for the real” if you want to identify the fake.
As you spend time with God praying and studying His Word, you will develop a feel for the voice of God. You will instantly begin to recognize when something does not feel right in your spirit.
Just like the treasury officer, we can become so familiar with the voice of God that we are able to immediately recognize the counterfeit voice of Satan when we hear it.
In Genesis 27v1-29 there is a story of how Jacob deceived his father Isaac and took the blessing that belonged to his brother Esau.
Instead of Isaac trusting his spiritual ears knowing that something wasn’t right, he instead looked to the outside, the external to confirm if it was the right decision he was making. He ended up making the wrong decision.
Isaac knew something wasn’t right when he heard Jacob’s voice. He felt Jacob’s arm and was deceived by the hairy texture.
But spiritual truth cannot necessarily be judged by outward circumstances. You have to learn to trust your spiritual ears. The Holy Spirit’s leading in your spirit.
So many people including Christians, who are not led by the Spirit of God, end up making mistake after mistake. They waste money, they waste time; they make wrong decisions and some even die prematurely.
If we learn to listen to the Holy Spirit and His leading, we can miss problems. We can miss the devil’s traps that he has set.
And when He brings out His own sheep, He goes before them; and the sheep follow Him, for they know his voice.
Isaac was old enough to recognize deception but he was still deceived by his son. Just because you are advanced in years, don’t assume that it can never happen to you. Look what happened to Isaac.
We will never get to the place where we don’t have to fine-tune our spiritual sensitivity. You need to handle the Word of God enough to know truth from error.
Whenever you need victory over a particular problem or over an attack of the enemy, always check your heart, spend time with God to enquire about the battle plan, the strategy on how to overcome the enemy because what worked the first time will not necessarily work the same way the second time.
We must check in with the Holy Spirit to show us how to deal with each and every situation.
When the Philistines came against David, he enquired of the Lord on which way to go and God gave him two different strategies on how to overcome.
2 Samuel 5:17-25
Now when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. And David heard of it and went down to the stronghold.
The Philistines also went and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. So David enquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?” And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.”
So David went to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there; and he said, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water.” Therefore he called the name of that place Baal Perazim.
And they left their images there, and David and his men carried them away. Then the Philistines went up once again and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim.
Therefore David enquired of the Lord, and He said, “You shall not go up; circle around behind them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the Lord will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.”
And David did so, as the Lord commanded him; and he drove back the Philistines from Geba as far as Gezer.
So always enquire of the Lord. Always ask the Holy Spirit for help and guidance. Ask Him to show you what to do and which way to go. David was anointed but he still enquired of the Lord.
It doesn’t matter how anointed you are, you will never outgrow your need to spend time with the Lord and to receive direction from Him.
So many people end up making plans and decisions without the Holy Spirit’s leading.
Parents end up telling their children, “You can be anything you want to be. You can do anything you want to do when you grow up”. I know we are trying to say that you can achieve anything, you can be someone great.
But it is not for us or them to decide what they want to be when they grow up. It has already been decided for them by God. It is for them to discover what God has already predestined them to do.
We all have a place and a grace. When you in your place then you end up flowing in your grace.
So everyday confess, “I am always at the right place at the right time because I am led by the Spirit of God. I am in my place and I am flowing in my grace”.
Even if you missed it before, say it louder and bolder.
Two Extremes to Avoid
There are two extremes to avoid when it comes to being led by the Spirit of God. The first extreme is over rationalizing. This is where you only do what is completely logical. Every door must be opened and every question answered before you will make a move. We say to God, “You show first, and then I’ll go.” God says to us, “You go and I’ll show.” He encourages us to walk by faith and not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
The other extreme is mysticism. This is where you completely ignore reality. Everything becomes “I just felt led”, or “God told me”. There is nothing wrong with feeling led by God, but too many people use this line as a shield against the advice of others. It signals the end of the conversation.
So we want to stay balanced. Always stay in the middle. Don’t err on any side.
Like one guy said, “It bothers me all these people who keep saying, God told me this and God told me that”. The other person said, “What bothers me is all these people who never hear from God.”
So we always want to stay in the middle. Stay balanced.
Seven ways God Guides
There are seven ways in which the discerning believer can truly experience God’s guidance and determine God’s will.
When it comes to major decisions that you need to make, you need at least two or three of these guidance steps to line up before you make the move.
Many people stumble when they give any one of these greater weight than any of the others. God gives us a variety of ways for a reason and we should use as many as possible. Proverbs 3:6 says that if you acknowledge God in all your ways, then He will direct your paths. We don’t need all seven at once, but we should never move ahead if one is in direct conflict with the other. If you not sure then don’t move!
- Inner Conviction
This is when you receive a check in your spirit. An inward witness. A thought from God. This is when the Holy Spirit lets you know things on the inside. When God speaks to your spirit.
You either receive the witness in your spirit to go or you receive the witness of your spirit not to go.
Also remember that if you receive a witness from people to do something or go somewhere but you have a witness in your spirit not to do it, go with God’s witness because that is greater.
1 John 5v9
If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater…
When you have an uncomfortable feeling, no peace, uneasiness, then that is the red light, the stop signal, the witness of the Spirit telling you not to do it.
When you have a peace, a velvety-like feeling in your spirit, then that is the green light, the witness of the Spirit to go.
Romans 8:14; 16
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
- Scriptural Confirmation
When it comes to being led by the Spirit of God, the Word of God must always be your check in every decision you make. Ask yourself, “Does this leading that I have line up with the Word of God”. God will also use His Word to direct you and confirm the direction you must go and the decision you must make.
Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
Just as a pilot trusts his instruments, God guides us as we trust in His Word and in His Spirit. A good pilot will tell you that when you are in a storm or fog, you must trust the gauges on the flight panel more than your eyesight. When the storm is raging, stick to the gauges!
The same is true in spiritual storms. The Word of God is your gauge, your instrument. Trust the Word that God gave you more than what you see on the outside. The Word of God and the Holy Spirit will guide you through the dark clouds of life.
Always ask God to give you two or three scriptures to confirm the direction you must go.
2 Corinthians 13:1
This will be the third time I am coming to you. “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established”.
If you just have the Word and no Spirit, you will dry up.
If you just have the Spirit and no Word, you will blow up.
If you have the Word and the Spirit, you will grow up.
- Prophetic Confirmation
Through the prophetic word of someone else, God can confirm what He has already spoken to your heart. Sometimes He will use prophetic preaching and it will be seem as though the minister has eavesdropped on your life.
Jesus said to Kenneth Hagin in 1959 in a vision. He said, “I did not put prophets in the church to guide the New Testament Church”, my Word says, “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.”
We are not led by prophets; we are led by the Spirit of God in our spirit.
A Christian under the New Testament should not seek guidance through prophets. It is unscriptural for you to do so. The ministry of the New Testament Prophet is only to confirm what people already have in their own spirit.
Under the old covenant the priest, the prophet and the king were anointed by the Holy Spirit to stand in those offices. What you would call the laity did not have the Spirit of God upon them or in them.
Therefore under the old covenant, people would seek guidance through the prophet because he had the Spirit of God upon him.
But now that we are under the new covenant, the New Testament, we who are born again have the Spirit of God in us to lead us and guide us on a daily basis. We don’t need to seek people, fortune tellers, sangoma’s, witch doctors to get direction for our lives. We have the Spirit of God in us and we can hear from God for ourselves.
You see even Prophets and Prophetesses can miss it. All prophecy must be judged by the Word of God and by the witness in your spirit.
You must understand that the Holy Spirit is never wrong but people’s interpretation can be wrong. So all of us can know the Lord.
But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God and they shall be My people.
No more shall every man teach his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, “Know the Lord” for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity and their sin I will remember no more.”
So we can all hear from God for ourselves. Say, “I can hear from God for myself”.
- Godly Counsel
Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.
Before you make any major decision in your life, open yourself up to feedback from experienced, wise, godly people whom you respect. They are not a substitute for God’s voice but they may help you discover or confirm His leadings.
People who know they are doing wrong or people who know they are in a wrong relationship end up isolating themselves. Very big mistake.
If you are dating someone who does not want to have anything to do with your parents or family members and isolates you from them, then that is not good. It is very important that you get the blessing of your parents when it comes to marrying someone. That is a major deciding factor as to whether your relationship is going to last or not.
Listen! If the relationship is from God then you don’t need to hide.
Many people make decisions that do not have the blessing of God upon it. They then try to get God to bless their decisions or relationships when He has already said, “No, I don’t believe that choice is right for you. I have someone or something better for you.” Here’s a tough question to ask yourself whenever you bring a decision before God: are you willing to hear Him say no?
Ps. Ray McCauley
If something is of God, you can’t stop it and if something is not of God, you won’t need to stop it, and whatever is of God will draw you closer to Him, whatever is not of God, will draw you away from Him.
Be careful that you don’t follow the advice and counsel of the ungodly.
Psalm 1v1 Amp
Blessed (Happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather.
If you are laid off from your job, God may be directing you to another place of employment. In this case, He isn’t leading you through prophecy, an internal voice or an angel but through your circumstances. There are times when God will allow things to happen in your life in order to get you to move.
For example, no money in your bank account may be God’s way of urging you to get a job. We certainly are not to govern all of our decisions by circumstances. However, there are times when we must interpret the circumstances of our lives, and then determine what God wants us to do.
God may even use circumstances to save us from future destruction.
- Peace of God
Don’t enter into a contract or make a decision that robs you of your peace. Even if everything looks good and sounds good, always apply the peace test.
Colossians 3v15 Amp
And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].
Just because a door is wide open doesn’t mean you supposed to walk through it.
2 Corinthians 2:12-13
Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord, I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia.
The door was wide open but Paul said, “I had no rest in my spirit”. Sometimes determining God’s will is this simple: If you don’t have rest in your spirit, don’t do it. A lack of divine rest in your spirit is usually God’s way of saying no.
Learn to trust the barometer in your heart. Follow peace and it will help you to avoid some future hardship.
Where God guides, He provides. Where He leads, He feeds. What He ordains, He sustains. What He initiates, He orchestrates. If it’s God’s will, then it’s God’s bill.
This doesn’t mean that you will never experience financial challenges but it does mean that He has already made provision for the vision that He has been putting into motion.
Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
If it’s not of God then it becomes hard and difficult.
Remember! The bigger the decision, the more you will want to confirm His direction through these seven ways.
Ps. Lester Holland