Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What Does It Mean To Be Led By The Spirit?

*** A word for the mature and those with ears to hear ***

Romans 8:14 

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God."

It's easy for someone to tell you, 'you must be led by the Spirit', but to live out the scriptures and bring this truth into our reality is something else altogether. So just how are we led by the Spirit? Let's take a look at our perfect example, the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus the Christ.

Matthew 3:11,13-17

"I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."

"Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

The first thing we need to understand is that you can't be led by the Spirit if the Spirit of God is not in you. Jesus who set aside His divinity and humbled Himself becoming a servant of all, gave us the example that we should follow, even though He was God manifested in the flesh, He was baptized by John in the Jordan river to fulfill all righteousness. This righteous act of faith pleased the Father and John was allowed to see Heaven opened and the Spirit of God descending upon Jesus.

Immediately after His baptism, Jesus was LED by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Matthew 4:1

"Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil."

This is the same thing that happens to those who are truly born from above, who have the Spirit indwelling their vessels. They will be tempted, tested, tried, afflicted, chastened, rebuked, sanctified and purified in the refining fires before they are sent out by God. The time in the wilderness is where they receive training and discipline, it's where they come to know their Creator and His voice.

Matthew 4:17

"From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

During the earthly ministry of Jesus He preached the word He received directly from His Father, from the Heavenly throne. Jesus said, "I always DO the things pleasing to Him", (John 8:29)

John 12:49-50

"For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”

Jesus heard the voice of the Father speaking to Him through the Spirit. Jesus didn't go around quoting only the Law and the Prophets, He spoke the words He received from above which had never been heard by the Pharisees and Jews of His time, this is why they called Him a deceiver. What He spoke they couldn't understand because their minds were carnal and the words Jesus spoke were spirit and life. They had the Law and the Prophets which contained the ten commandments and the rest of the laws of Moses, but Jesus took the physical commandments much further with the spoken word He received directly from the Father.

Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28, 31-32, 33-35, 38-39 , 43-44 

"“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.

“You have heard that it was said to those of old,‘You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

“Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery."

“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne;  nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King."

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

These words of Jesus had not been heard before He spoke them and they were not written down until years after His death, resurrection, and ascension. So how did His disciples manage to remain faithful with only the Law and the Prophets written down? The Holy Spirit!!!

John 14:25-26

“These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you."

Jesus was present with the disciples for three and a half years teaching them, imparting knowledge, mysteries of the kingdom, and doing the works of the Father, it would have been impossible for the disciples to remember every single word He spoke and all the things He did during His earthly ministry. This is why they needed a Helper, another Comforter, Teacher, Guide, and Friend, the promised gift of the Father, the Holy Spirit. It was the Spirit of God who would supernaturally remind the disciples of everything that Jesus said.

John 16:12-15

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you."

Does the Spirit have a voice? Has anyone ever heard the Spirit speak to them what He has heard from the throne? Has anyone ever been shown or told what is yet to come? Yes, yes, and yes! He spoke audibly to the disciples in the first century, and He still speaks audibly to those whom God has chosen today!

Mark 13:9-11

“But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.

The disciples didn't have to worry about what they would speak to rulers and kings, they didn't need a scroll of the Law and the Prophets to recite from, because the Holy Spirit would give them a direct word from God to speak in the same hour! This is being led by the Spirit!

John 10:27

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me."

Jesus doesn't only speak to us through scriptures, but He said His sheep HEAR HIS VOICE! Those who are truly being led by the Spirit will hear the audible voice of the Lord speaking to them, the same way He spoke to the apostles, prophets, and saints of old.

Hebrews 13:8

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."

When Jesus commanded the apostles to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptize them, and teach them EVERYTHING that He commanded them, how do you think that would be possible? Without a scroll? Without anything written down on parchment? The Holy Spirit of God!!!

Hebrews 10:16

“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,”

These scriptures in Hebrews tell us that God Himself would make a New Covenant, and instead of having physical tablets of stone with the laws engraven on them, God would spiritually put His laws into our hearts and write them in our minds! How, you ask? By His Spirit!!!

2nd Corinthians 3:1-3

"Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as some others, epistles of commendation to you or letters of commendation from you? You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.

When the apostles were sent out into the world they were not walking around with scrolls of the words of Jesus, the gospels hadn't even been written yet! But the word of God as taught by the WORD Himself was written upon their hearts and minds. After they were empowered by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, they were able to impart all the teachings and commands of Christ to those who believed the good news, and they did it all orally!!!

Acts 2:40-42

"And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine (teaching) and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers."

Philip the Evangelist was spoken to by an angel of the Lord, and the Spirit, who gave him directions and instructions concerning the Ethiopian eunuch.

Acts 8:26-29

"Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert.  So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”

When Peter had a vision of a new thing God was doing with the Gentile nations, the Spirit spoke audibly to him, telling him what he needed to do.

Acts 10:17-20

"Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate. And they called and asked whether Simon, whose surname was Peter, was lodging there. While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are seeking you. Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.”

The Holy Spirit reminded Peter of the words of Jesus as he recounted the salvation experience of Cornelius.

Acts 11:15-16

"And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

The Spirit spoke through the prophets and teachers in Antioch.

Acts 13:2

"As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

The Holy Spirit led Paul and Silas during their missionary journey.

Acts 16:6-10

"Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia.  After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them.  So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them."

Those who have the Spirit of God indwelling them, will be led by Him, comforted by Him, corrected by Him, guided by Him, spoken to by Him, and taught by Him using the scriptures, life experiences, etc... and if there ever comes a day when a Spirit filled believer has no access to a bible, then the Spirit will teach them, and guide them into all truth by revelation, the same way Paul received the gospel!

Galatians 1:11-12

"But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ."

In these last days we need the Spirit more than ever, as the world is being flooded by darkness and the false teachings of man abound. Let us all humble ourselves, crucify the flesh, purify our hearts, and obey the words of Jesus, so that our earthen vessels may be filled to the fullness with the Spirit of the Living God!

In His Love,

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