Andy Rooney (60 Minutes) once said that the (2) most popular books in any bookstore are Cook books & Diet books: (1) tells you how to cook it & the other (1) tells you why you shouldn’t eat it
We live in a confusing world that’s difficult to find our way in @ times: so long before we were born, God promised to send the Holy Spirit to help guide us thru this confusing world.
(R) John 14: 15 – 18 + 25 – 27 or p. 823 in pew Bible
God gave us the Holy Spirit to HELP us = literally the Greek reads PARACLETE; the Holy Spirit is the one whom the Lord has ‘called alongside of us’ to give us help in (2) specific ways:
1. 1st ~ The Spirit will teach us ‘all things,’ God does not hide any of His pearls of wisdom. God wants us to know His will, so we can walk INSYNC w-Him and experience the benefits of His power in our lives!
2. 2nd ~ The Spirit will also ‘bring to remembrance’ what Jesus has said.
a. It’s God’s desire to reveal truth instead of hiding it - - God wants us to remember & not forget: it is the Spirit’s job is to remind us what is true and trustworthy!
b. Jesus assures us that the Spirit will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
c. (R) John 16: 5 – 14 God promises to guide us into all truth!
I’ve had times when the Spirit work of revealing truth has been clearly evident:
• Almost weekly the Spirit reveals biblical insights, I’d otherwise have missed.
• A sudden awareness of God’s presence = sense of peace in the midst of chaos.
• Boldness & confidence in public settings when otherwise would be fear & hesitation.
• The undeniable presence, presence of evil = dark sinister presence of demonic; having bold confidence that, He that is w-in me is greater than He who’s in this world
Each time the Spirit reveals the truth in each situation.
I wish the question of…how do I know I’m led by the Holy Spirit; was clearly marked = clearly spelled out in scripture ~ but it’s not that clear cut
TODAY our study of the Holy Spirit moves from a fairly safe place to an extremely personal & complex answer to this important question.
Before we begin answering the question of ~ it’s important to know the pre-requisites to the Spirit’s leading:
• 1st & most importantly = you must be a Christian
When you accept Jesus as the Lord & Savior of your life, the Holy Spirit comes to live w-in you. Only Christ-followers have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
(R) Ephesians 4: 3 – 6 or p. 897 in pew Bible
(R) Colossians 2: 6 – 10 + 12 or p. 902 in pew Bible
• Next = you must be wise
(R) Ephesians 5: 15 – 18 or p 897 in pew Bible
Pure chaos happens when we attempt to decipher the Holy Spirit’s leading in the wrong way.
Other words don’t be looking for the face of Jesus to mysteriously appear in your strawberry pie this summer
more serious note have you seen the billboards or magazine adds advertising that the RAPTURE will occur next Saturday – May 21st = Harold Camping president of Family Radio broadcasting network has used a complicated mathematical formula & says God will destroy the rest of the earth on (5) months later on October 21st
(R) Matthew 24: 23 – 26 + 36or p. 755
Best advice = it could be today or tomorrow = be right w-God!
For me the Spirit’s leading generally involves:
I. Subjectively it involves
A. Adjusting Dreams
1. Proverbs 16: 9, “…we can make our own plans, but the Lord determines our steps”
2. INSERT my plans were to be an attorney ~ blessed to receive congressional appointment to AF Academy ~ God had other plans = preacher took me visit to JBC (1) weekend; God’s small quiet voice assured me He wanted me in ministry!
Many of you in this service know you once heard God’s plans for you: for whatever reason you didn’t follow thru = truth is you want be happy until you obey
Subjectively the Spirit’s leading also involves:
B. Trusting inner promptings
1. Psalm 32: 8 promises, “The Lord says, I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”
2. The Spirit is at work w-in us, steering us - - inner promptings are critical b-c much of the time we can’t imagine the next step.
Bible says, “ The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way.” Proverbs 20: 24
3. Longer I live = the less I know about WHY God leads us as He does = I have no clue on His timing = BUT I do know He leads. Sometimes He even CLOSES DOORS
4. (R) Acts 16: 6 – 10 or p. 845
5. WHY did God slam the door on Paul & Silas? They were on their way across Turkey sharing the gospel = Asia in biblical times.
6. re(R) vv 6 – 7 = (1) closed door followed by another!
a. They were covering lots of geography = lots of land
b. Started in U.S. terms in S. Carolina made way up to TN = door closed; so they went down to preach in Alabama + Mississippi + Arkansas = another closed door; so they decided to go up to Kansas an into Nebraska, then into North Dakota = slam slam
7. (R) Acts 16: 11 – 12
a. So they end up in Troas = that’s like trudging all the way up to Oregon; go any further & you will walk right into ocean = Troas is the most NW part of Asia.
b. Wouldn’t you love to read Paul’s mind = are you kidding me Lord - - what are you trying to tell me = WHY all the closed doors - - look at all missed the opportunity, all the unevangelized.
c. You ever had a door closed = it’s embarrassing + frustrating!
8. INSERT love telling these stories = 1st church I served as a youth pastor for (9) yrs = after I completed M.Div Becky an I sought the Lord - - we thought He wanted us to stay an serve this congregation = = FCC had grown from 250 – 160 in my time;
a. God used to men (2) lead me: an elder named Harry - - business guy + Tim Coop
b. Harry spoke the truth - - Tim you can work here forever = we have no plans for you to lead = = best advice I ever got!
c. Tim Coop - - “don’t walk - - you run away from here!”
d. Rest is history = ran to Arizona an served (8) yrs & God led us here!
9. Acts 16: 13 – 15
a. 1st work of evangelism in Europe recorded in New Testament
b. This was the 1st seed of the gospel that started the church in Phillippi, the church at Thessalonica & the church at Corinth!
c. God had closed doors in Turkey w-out explanation - - w-out warning YET He now swung wide open the door of the gospel in Europe.
d. WHY God is sovereign = does not owe us any explanation! All we know for sure is hearts were opened to God’s word being sowed!
Finally here are (3) concrete ways that God’s Spirit leads:
II. (3) concrete ways God’s Spirit leads
A. 1st the Spirit leads us thru = the Bible
1. (R) II Timothy 3: 15 – 17b or p. 915 in pew Bible
2. Bible contains:
a. God’s point of view = commands and promises
b. It contains real letters to real people = love letter from beginning to end
c. The Bible encourages us to concern ourselves w-the clear stuff - - not to worry over the obscure stuff!
B. 2nd the Spirit leads us thru = Wise Counsel
1. Proverbs 13: 10, “Pride leads to conflict - - those who take advice are wise.”
2. Wise counsel in my life =
a. Accountability team ~ men in life confess sin + ask for wisdom in leadership
b. Elders of WRCC
c. Lead Team of Pastors = isolation is ultimate sign of spiritual arrogance
d. My wife ~ tremendous sounding board
3. (R) Hebrews 10: 24 – 25 or p. 926 in pew Bible
C. 3rd the Spirit leads us thru = Inner Peace
1. (R) Philippians 4: 6 – 7 or p. 901 in pew Bible