Have you ever had that moment when you desperately needed God’s direction to know what exactly you ought to do and how you should do it?
I mean we’ve all had these moments when we are caught between two or more decisions and we needed to be led by the Spirit to make the right one.
A common pain most people face at such moments is having the people they look up to for spiritual guidance give them that popular “go look through the Bible” answer. Like you can literally find whether to relocate to Benin or Ibadan from the Bible.
Don’t get me wrong. While it is true that the Bible can guide you through decision making, it is also true you cannot depend on it for things outside of it. Day to day choices I mean.
For instance, there’s not a single part of the Bible that says you can attend University of Nigeria, Nsukka or Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. So if you are faced with the decision of choosing between the two schools, you can’t actually know from the Bible which is best for you to attend at the moment and get your degree.
You will have to depend on something other than the Bible for that choice. That is where the Spirit of God comes in.
But the unfortunate thing is, most people have actually made being led by God more difficult than it really is.
That is why today, we’ll take a closer look at the Word again and see what it’s got to say about the leading of the Spirit and how we can easily know when God is leading us in a particular direction or not.
Let us start with Ezekiel 36:26-27 (KJV)
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgements, and do them.”
From the above passage, we can see that God’s promises to cause His people to walk in His ways, which is to lead them, actually pre-dates the New Covenant writings.
Although the type of leading the writer was talking about here was to be ushered in by the New Covenant because as at the time this prophecy was given, the people were led in a completely different way – mostly externally via signs and symbols.
They had to depend on things like the Urim and Thummim, Events, Fleece and occasionally prophets who only had the Spirit of God dwelling on them on specific occasions for directions.
For instance in Judges Chapter 6, Verses 36 to 40
“And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said,
Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said.
And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water.
And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew.
And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.”
It wasn’t just Gideon alone. A whole lot of the Old Testament folks depended on such methods to know when they are being divinely led to carry out a particular function or not.
But this wasn’t the best God had in store for them. So He inspired Ezekiel and several other prophets to tell His people that a day is coming when they will no longer depend on such external forces to know when He’s leading them or not.
They will have His Spirit permanently living within them all (not just resting on a selected few occasionally) and causing them to walk in His ways. A promise which was fulfilled in the New Birth.
At New Birth, we ALL received within us the Holy Spirit of God, that knows the mind of God.
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.” Ephesians 1:13
So at the New Birth (when we first believed the Gospel), we received the Spirit of God within us, and this Spirit knows the mind of God or the will of God concerning us.
“For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” 1 Cor.2:11-12
Knowing what God will have us do at every and any moment of our lives, this Spirit of God leads or causes us to do those things.
But how does He do this so we are able to do the will of God effortlessly? The writer of Philippians, our brother Paul, gives us a clue.
“For it is God which worketh in you both to WILL and DO of his good pleasure.” Phi.2:13 KJV (Emphasis mine)
Here Apostle Paul clearly points out to us that the Spirit of God in causing us or leading us to DO the pleasure of God first of all makes that pleasure our WILL or DESIRE.
That is, the Spirit puts God’s directions first in our hearts as a compelling desire. Having become our desires, we effortlessly do them.
So there is no force pulling us externally or threatening us with a loud voice saying for instance, “this is my will for you John Smith, do it.” No, not all. We just sense within our hearts a deep desire to do something and we follow it through knowing that that is what God would have us do.
Does it now mean every of our hearts desire or will after we are born again are of God? Certainly not! You and I both know a desire to do evil or hurt others cannot in any way be from God.
So the desires here that God inspires or puts within our hearts are godly, pure and edifying.
How then can I be sure between two godly desires of my heart, the one I should follow or do at a particular time? [/b]The Bible tells us:
[b]“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 KJV
The word translated as “keep” in that verse 7 is the same word for “guard”. Here it is used to mean that God’s peace, like a sentinel will guard and patrol before the hearts door, preserving it from the intrusion of fear and doubts.
That is to say, the decision God would have us make will be surrounded with absolute peace.
Colossians 3:15 read from the Good News Translation, throws a greater light on this:
“The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make; for it is to this peace that God has called you together in the one body. And be thankful.”
So again we see that when it comes to following our hearts desires, the Spirit of God also floods those godly desires with absolute peace. The kind that passes human understandings. By going ahead to do those things, we’ll discover we have actually done the will of God for our lives at that moment.
This is the primary way God leads us in the New Covenant which is today, He puts His desires within our hearts, surrounding it with peace, enabling us both to WILL and DO of His good pleasure.
Other ways He can do this is by using other believers to confirm the deep desires he has already placed within our hearts backed up by total peace. That means you should discard whatever anyone said God said you should do that you completely have no peace about.
So is there a decision you have to make today and you are trusting God for His leading, it’s time you check your heart for those godly desires (and trust your heart cos it’s brand new) and go with the one you have the most peace about.
That is the Spirit of God leading you in God’s directions for you to do His will.
Glory to God!
We are not confused, we walk in His directions. Today and always! Glory to God!