Spirit Led # 4
We're going to continue our teaching on being led by the spirit of God.
I) Our main text that we've been using in this series is Romans 8:16. So let's turn there.
A) When this verse says that the spirit bears witness with our spirit, it means the Holy Spirit testifies with our spirit.
1) From this verse we can conclude that the Holy Spirit will speak to our spirits.
a) In (John 16:13) Jesus said, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”
b) In that verse Jesus said the Holy Spirit will not speak of himself, but he will speak and what he says will guide us into all truth.
c) But the question is how does he speak and how will we hear Him.
2) From reading (Romans 8:16) the Holy Spirit testifies or speaks to our spirit.
a) The more God conscious we are, the more we'll hear the voice of the spirit.
(i) In other words the more we spend time in prayer, reading the Word, and in praise and worship the more will be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
(ii) We'll be more sensitive to spiritual things and will pickup what the Holy Spirit has said to our spirit.
3) Turn back with me to Romans 8:16. (Just a little side thought here.)
a) It says here that the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit.
(i) The NIV translation says, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit.”
b) Notice that the King James translation and the NIV both use the Word “WITH.”
(i) The Holy Spirit “bears witness with our spirit” or “testifies with our spirit.”
(ii) It doesn't say the Holy Spirit testifies “TO” our spirit, but “WITH” our spirit.
c) Our spirit communicates with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit doesn't do all the talking, but our spirit is in constant communication and fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
(i) Look at 1st John 4:4.
(ii) The Holy Spirit has chosen to make his abode (his dwelling place) on the inside of you, and you are in constant communication and fellowship with Him.
d) We need to listen more and more to the voice of our spirit because our spirit continuously hearers the voice of God the Holy Spirit.
II) Learning to be led by the Holy Spirit is a primary importance if you're going to obey God.
A) If you can't discern what the Lord is saying to your spirit you'll have a difficult time following His plan and purpose for your life. It's that simple.
1) We can expect the Holy Spirit the guide us and direct us so we can fulfill God's plan and purpose for our lives.
2) Turn to Romans 8:14.
a) Notice it doesn't say, “As many as our led by the mind or flesh, they are the sons of God.”
b) And that verse also doesn't say, "As many as our led by prophets or by someone else telling them what to do, they are the sons of God."
(i) It's good at times to seek wise counsel from someone you respect spiritually, but you shouldn't look to man to receive God's guidance.
(ii) As a born again believer we all have the same Spirit of God, and we are each responsible to discern the Lord's leadings for our lives.
B) Now how does the Holy Spirit lead us?
1) The first and foremost way God leads his children is by the inward witness.
2) (Romans 8:16) says “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.”
a) When you are born-again, the Holy Spirit lets you know you are a child of God by bearing witness with your spirit.
b) The inward witness is the way the Holy Spirit guides you in the most important event that could ever happen to you, becoming a child of God.
(i) Therefore, it's logical that the inward witness will be the primary way the Holy Spirit will continue to guide you throughout your Christian walk.
(ii) In my own life and ministry, I'm almost always led by the inward witness. Yes there are times that I've had supernatural guidance, like visions, dreams, and what might seem to be an audible voice from the Lord, but most of the time I’m led by the inward witness.
(iii) That's the number one way God leads all of His children.
C) Too often our problem in following God's plan for our lives is that we have failed to train our spirit, as we should have.
1) We have spent most of our lives in the mental and physical realms, developing our intellect at the expense of our heart or spirit.
2) When we neglect the development of our spirit, our intellect takes the throne in our lives. And our spirit, the part of us, which should dominate and guide our mind and body, is kept locked away and not permitted to function as God intended.
a) But the Holy Spirit through the inward witness is always seeking to give guidance to our mind, if we would only take time to develop our spirit and to listen.
3) Here is an important point to remember if you are ever going to develop your spirit. You must determine to always keep a tender conscience.
a) Don't violate your conscience. Instead, make a practice to always instantly obey your spirit.
(i) Remember, your conscience is the voice of your spirit, and it relates to your mind what the Spirit of God is saying to you in your heart.
b) If you persist in violating your conscience, you will make your conscience calloused to the Holy Spirit's promptings.
(i) Once your conscience is seared, it'll be difficult for you to discern the Lord's leadings and to follow His plan.
(ii) It will also hinder the development of your spirit if you allow yourself to be led by your soul, your feelings, natural reasonings, and emotions.
c) This is another area where Christians often miss it. They allow themselves to get emotionally worked up about plans and desires of their own making, and then they convince themselves that it is the Lord leading them.
(i) But actually, they are being led by their emotions, not their spirit, and their emotions lead them astray.
(ii) It's also important in the development of your spirit NOT TO BE LED BY OUTWARD CIRCUMSTANCES.
III) We need to get God's direction clearer in our spirit before we act.
A) The trouble with some Christians is that when they do receive some direction about God's plan for their lives, they mix that revelation with their own feelings and thinking.
1) They follow their own human thinking and entirely miss God's thinking on the matter. Then the plan doesn't turn out right, and they get confused, wondering if they ever really heard from God.
2) The only way you can keep that from happening and get the mind of the Spirit is to get in the PRESENCE OF GOD long enough to sift out your own human emotions and thoughts and lay them aside (on the alter before God.)
a) Then pray and meditate on the Word until you hear from the Lord in your spirit and you know on the inside what to do.
b) Sometimes you may not understand why God is leading you in a certain way, but according to (Isaiah 55:9) God's thoughts are higher than man's thoughts.
(i) And it's in God's Word where you find His thoughts.
(ii) That's why meditating and feeding constantly on God's Word renewed your mind so your mind can come into agreement with your spirit.
c) The voice that speaks to you in the Word is the same voice that leads you by your spirit.
(i) So being in the Word sharpens your spiritual perception and ability to hear God's voice in your own spirit.
3) So waiting before the Lord in prayer and in God's Word is vitally important if you want to walk in God's ways according to His thinking, rather than according to your own natural reasoning.
a) If you feel that maybe you have already seared your conscience, you’re at the place where you can reverse the damage that has been done.
(i) Start waiting on the Lord in prayer and start reading and meditating on his Word.
4) Spiritual things have to be practiced just like natural things to.
a) For instance a baseball player has to practice in the spring in order to be ready for baseball season. Basketball players have to practice, football players have to practice.
b) It's the same with spiritual things, the more you wait before the Lord, meditate on his Word and pray in the Holy Ghost, the easier it will be to get quiet and listen to your heart, your spirit.
(i) Of course, it's not easy on the flesh. But if you want to receive God's wisdom and direction in your life, you'll have to keep your body under subjection to your spirit AND DILIGENTLY GIVE YOURSELF TO PRAYER.
B) What are some of the things that can hinder us from hearing the voice of the spirit?
1) Of course, being FLESH MINDED. That would be following after the things of the flesh. Being SENSE RULED, listening to the mind, the will, the emotions, and our own natural reasonings.
2) Look at Hebrews 12:1.
a) Of course walking in SIN is something that can get us off track and hinder us from hearing the voice of the spirit.
(i) UNFORGIVENESS is another big hindrance in us being led by the spirit. And another area that hinders so many is by NOT WALKING IN LOVE.
C) Ministering to the Lord is one area that will also help you to hear the voice of the Spirit.
1) In (ACTS 13:2) it says, "As they [certain prophets and teachers] minister to the Lord and fasted the Holy Ghost said…"
a) When you worship the Lord, you create a kind of atmosphere in which the Holy Spirit can't speak to your heart.
b) Take the time to let your body become quiet. Let your mind be still. Let your emotions subside, until there's no motion at all in manifestation coloring your thoughts.
(i) Once your mind and body are quiet, listen way down deep into your inner most being to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you.
(ii) There's going to be those times when your mind may seem to be in a fog or in the dark, but the Lord will enlighten your spirit and give you the guidance you need.
(iii) Don't allow yourself to become spiritually lazy and stopped short of hearing what the Lord is saying to you in your spirit.
2) Sometimes it takes considerable amount of time staying in the presence of God for you to settle those questions you may have and find God's direction. You can always do it in one session of prayer.
a) Sometimes it takes long sections of waiting before the Lord in prayer in order to get your motives and your priorities sorted out according to the Word so you can distinguish between the reasonings of your soul and the voice of your spirit.
b) But if you get still long enough, and if you meditate on God's Word and pray in the spirit long enough, he'll get deeper and deeper in the spirit annual be able to differentiate between your soul and your spirit man.
(i) You'll be able to tell the difference between your own wants and desires and what God wants for you.
D) I'll end with this and it's a quote from Kenneth Hagin.
1) He said this, "The truth is, ministering to your own spirit, constantly feeding your spirit by meditating on the Word of God and fellowshipping with the Lord is the most important thing you can do to develop your spirit so you can ascertain God's will for your life. Only then can you live in the abundance God has provided for you."
W. O. L. C. C. Sunday, 8/8/99.