The following is adapted from our Holy Spirit Seminar Intern Teacher Training Program which trains men and women with leadership ministries to become effective teachers and imparters of the gifts of the Spirit.
LESSON TEN: LED BY THE SPIRIT
At the crux of the teaching on the gifts of the Spirit is the concept of being led. Just having the tools of the artist does not make you a Beethoven or Rembrandt. You must learn to use the tools with great wisdom, creativity, passion and precision. You can do this, too! Part of what made Ludwig von Beethoven, “Beethoven,” was his genetic makeup, an attribute of his soul and body. But you have the nature of Christ in your spirit, a far greater attribute than any genetic combination in anyone’s soul or body. You and I must learn to live out of our spirits and use the power and authority resident there to bring God’s will into the world around us.
Young people live with the hope that ‘I can change, I can grow, I can improve.’ Old people tend to live with the idea of blaming everyone and everything else for their problems, instead of challenging the one person who matters, themselves. If you are part of the ‘greybeard brigade,’ you must pray that your youth is renewed like the eagles, and that the hope of your growth, improvement and change fires you again.
The law of true education has two great components: accurate teaching and precise training. You must not only learn music theory and history, but how to ‘waggle’ your index finger on the neck of your violin, to produce the sweetest note. True professionals don’t look at their successes and say, “I’m so great!” They look at their failures and say, “How can I improve? How can I win the one I lost?”
You must always remember that the Word is the communication of God. He is trying to impart, from His heart, an idea, a concept, a truth, a reality to your heart through the means of the words in the Word. When we study a word or a verse in the Word, we must keep in mind the whole Word of God from Genesis to Revelation. What we study, and the conclusions we draw, must fit easily into the whole scope of Scripture. If you draw a conclusion that does not seem to fit easily, you must hold that word, and not release it, until you have greater light and understanding. This is a tenet of the ethics of a teacher of God’s Word.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. Romans 8:14 (NKJV)
What we want to grasp from this study is the concept of being led. You should know by now that to be led is the fourth level of spiritual growth. You must be born again, begin to receive revelation, become humble, begin to know the Father and His family, have Christ formed in your character, and overcome habitual sin, as prerequisites to truly being led.
To be led by the Spirit is to feel the heartbeat of God, to have that constant awareness of His presence. A baby is secure in its mother’s arms because it hears the familiar heartbeat that it heard in the womb. The baby may not feel so secure in another’s arms because of the different heartbeat or rhythms. Sons of God are in the bosom of the Father. They hear and feel the heartbeat of God. Jesus said, My sheep hear My voice. You must be trained to stay so quiet within that you constantly hear and feel the presence of God.
A Spirit led person is one who says and does the right thing at the right time consistently.
… that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 (NKJV)
The first precept of being led has to do with the question of who is in charge, you or the Lord. You confessed Him as Lord, as the master or overseer of your life. He is legally and rightfully in charge of your life, including the supplying of all of your needs. This is part of how the Son makes you free indeed (John 8:36). Truthfully, until a man is led by the Spirit, until a man has honestly surrendered the lordship of his life, God has no obligation to meet all of his needs, because the man is resisting God. Surrender is easy until God diametrically opposes what you want to do. It is in that test that we find out how much we are really surrendered.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. Matthew 16:24-26 (NKJV)
The best illustration is a personal one, in that I was called to African ministry in 1978, but was not released into it until 1994. Why? It was because a huge part of the carnal, selfish, immature me had to die. Even since 1994, in 1998 – 99, another huge part of the fleshly me had to be confronted and die, before I could be released into the worldwide ministry we are doing now. He died, so that I could live. Now I must die, so that I can walk in newness of life, and He can live within me. Are you ready to die? Do you understand?
You must die to anxiousness, or else you will miss the timing of God. You must die to the approval of men, or else you will try to force the things of God. You must die to revenge, bitterness, disappointment and the expectations of men, and seek the pleasure and approval of your Lord alone. Whom the Son makes free, he is free indeed.
At the root of sin is the desire to be independent of God. Now, before you read on, stop and study that statement out, and confirm or deny it from the Word of God. Hint: you might check out the motives behind the FIRST sin!
He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5 (NKJV)
You can do a lot of things without Him, but they will bear no fruit. God is a God of degrees. To the degree you surrender and cooperate with Him, to that degree you will bear good fruit. His purpose is to bring us into 100% agreement with Him. Since it is His agenda, and not our own, then the most basic element of being led must be TRUST.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)
Trust involves completely letting go. It is not a passive or lazy letting go, but it is a firm commitment and surrender of all things, including one’s life, health, and deepest desires, to Jesus Christ.
Some think that if they are led by the Spirit, they can make no plans. But that is not true. Your soul should work hard and plan and prepare, but also be willing to submit all things to the affirmation, refinement or rejection of the Lord. Some think that they have to ask the Lord about eating a cookie or using the bathroom. No! But the Spirit could convict you about the food you eat because He loves you, and He could instruct you about the bathroom to avoid a future embarrassment. He knows what from our perspective could potentially happen. You must learn to become comfortable in His presence without losing the fear of the Lord.
I illustrate this trust when I teach by having people be led around with their eyes closed. Everyone enjoys this exercise! We trust in our ability to see and make decisions. When that is taken away, we have to trust the one leading us. Try this: have someone lead you around by the hand as you keep your eyes closed for ten minutes. Go outside, up and down stairs, at some point try to run with them, all with your eyes closed. Do you see how you must gain confidence in the one leading you? We must grow in our confidence in God.
Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. 1 John 3:20-23 (NKJV)
All that I have asked you to do – the prayer, study, book reports, exercises, etc. – is designed to build your confidence in God. It will, if you do it in love, and not legalistically (a legalistic spirit will always tell you that you have not done enough, are not good enough, and so forth. Tell it to shut up and leave). Stay away from people and situations that seek to rob you of your confidence in God.
Observe how you feel after leaving a situation, circumstance or person. Observation and reflection will help you learn to walk by the Spirit. One time, I joyfully shared with two missionaries about the power and presence of God. One of them received it with enthusiasm, while the other rejected it outright. I didn’t understand her reaction! When I asked the Lord about it later, He said she was a servant of her own heart. Ohhh…
Do not lean on or trust in your own understanding. The soul, the rational mind, will always deny the Spirit. To touch someone and speak words over them, and to expect diseases to leave them, is irrational to the soulish man. Yet the Bible says we are to lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. The Spirit is not irrational, He is super rational – far above the authority, power and rationality of the soul. The soul is to be a good, hardworking servant, but never the master over the spirit. The Holy Spirit is the master of the spirit of the born again one.
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. Psalms 139:7-10 (NKJV)
Ask the Lord to help you grow in the realization that you are never alone. Never! The concept of loneliness is the farthest thing from my mind. I acknowledge His presence all day long by speaking to Him out loud. Sometimes I will simply say, Jesus, You are Lord! I check my thinking continuously to be in agreement with Him. Awareness of His presence keeps my words and my thoughts in check.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. Psalms 19:14(NKJV)
All biblical teaching has two purposes: to bring people to a greater (1) understanding and (2) application of truth. Discern what people do not understand and help them to fill the gaps. Then challenge them to apply it. Have fun when you speak – a speaker who is enjoying themselves helps his listeners to receive. As brother Kenneth Hagin used to say, I am preaching myself happy!
Hope you enjoyed the lesson!
Remember dear ones, we must be about our Father’s business…