Summary: Insights into how the Holy Spirit can lead you if you as He led the apostles

How the Holy Spirit Leads

(Acts 16:1-13)

Illustration:Elizabeth Elliot tells of two adventurers who stopped by to see her, all loaded with equipment for the rain forest east of the Andes. They sought no advice, just a few phrases to converse with the Indians. She writes: "Sometimes we come to God as the two adventurers came to me -- confident and, we think, well-informed and well equipped. But has it occurred to us that with all our accumulation of stuff, something is missing?

She suggests that we often ask God for too little. We know what we need--a yes or no answer, please, to a simple question. Or perhaps a road sign. Something quick and easy to point the way. What we really ought to have is the Guide himself. Maps, road signs, a few useful phrases are things, but infinitely better is someone who has been there before and knows the way.

Elizabeth Elliot tells, A Slow and Certain Light

1. Have you ever considered how the Holy Spirit leads us to do what is best?

Many people are often led more by their natural impulses than by the Spirit’s controlling voice. Other people become so occupied with their situation that they fail to listen to the Spirit through all of life’s distractions.

One songwriter wrote, “Speak through the earthquake, wind and fire, O still small voice of calm.”

The apostles sensed the Spirit’s presence as He convicted, guided and led them through providential circumstances – sometimes blocking hindering them from going to Asia or spurring them on to Europe.

We all may not get a Macedonia call as Paul did, but there are numerous ways that may we feel the Spirit urging us in a particular direction. The closer we are abiding in the vine, the easier it is becomes for us to hear His still small voice.

Ask the Lord to help you learn how to consistently meditate on the scripture. Let the Spirit lead you every moment through all of your thoughts, attitudes and actions. Only a Spirit led conscience remains balanced.

2. The apostles learned how to be sensitive to the Spirit’s convicting. “They were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia.” (Acts 16:6) Sometimes the Spirit inhibits us from doing what we think is right for God’s sovereign purposes.

Ask the Lord to help you be more responsive to the soft convicting impulses of the Spirit so you do not have to experience Jonah like chastening.

3. The Spirit uses physical, emotional, mental and spiritual senses to teach us what is best. The Lord created us and knows what buttons to push in order to get our attention.

Ask the Lord to help you to relinquish all of your physical, emotional, spiritual and mental senses to Him. Trust the Lord to help you refine all sensory input to heighten your sensitivity to the leading of the Spirit.

4. The Holy Spirit led the apostles when they were actively engaged in the preaching, teaching and proclamation of the gospel.

Ask the Lord to help you to stick with God’s priorities.

5. The Spirit led the apostles as they trusted Him with all their heart and chose not to rely on their own insights. It might have made sense to some to proceed into Asia, but the apostles took the hint from the Spirit and moved toward Europe.

Those of us from Europeans ancestry can thank God they were following the leading of the Spirit and not their own desires.

Ask the Lord to help you remember to acknowledge Him in all your ways so that He can direct your paths. (Prov. 3:5,6)

6. The Spirit leads us to see the deeper ways of God as our senses are refined to discern what is best. (Heb. 5:8) “But solid food is for the mature who because of practice have their sense trained to discern what is good and evil.”

Ask the Lord to help you gain Godly experiences in advancing His kingdom and righteousness. Trust the Lord to help you learn from the counsel of Godly people who may have greater discerning sense of what is best.

Study the examples of His leading throughout the New Testament and in the life of Christ. Follow their examples (Heb. 13;7)

7. The Spirit leads through the synergistic exercise of a multitude of spiritual gifts.

The apostles made decisions based upon the counsel of a multitude of Godly elders using their gifts for the internal and external growth of the church.

Ask the Lord to help you cooperate with other members of Christ’s body to understand all the ways the Spirit may be directing you.

8. The Spirit influences our judgment, wisdom and choices by the urgings in our heart and mind. Let the Lord really speak to you in the quietness of your personal devotions.

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