THE LEADING OF THE SPIRIT
John 5:36-40 MKJV: But I have greater witness than that of John, for the works which the Father has given Me that I should finish them, the works which I do themselves witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. (37) And He sending Me, the Father Himself, has borne witness of Me. Neither have you heard His voice at any time nor seen His shape. (38) And you do not have His Word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He has sent. (39) You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life. And they are the ones witnessing of Me, (40) and you will not come to Me that you might have life.
Here, the Lord Jesus teaches us that He was led by the Spirit through 3 things: the witness, the Word and the supernatural Works of the Holy Spirit.
As Christians, we are to be led by these same things:
Romans 8:16 MKJV: the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.
1 John 5:10 MKJV: He who believes on the Son of God has the witness in himself. He who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he does not believe the record that God gave of His Son.
The written Word:
Isaiah 8:20 MKJV: To the Law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this Word, it is because no light is in them.
The supernatural works of the Spirit:
Mark 16:20 MKJV: and going out, they proclaimed everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the Word by miraculous signs following. Amen.
John 10:38 MKJV: But if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works so that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.
However, it is instructive to observe that God leads us from the ‘inside’ out and not from the ‘outside’ in.
In other words, the first thing we get is a witness of the Spirit: this is a thought that comes from God.
Even men who are not born-again get thoughts from God even though in their unregenerate state they may not realize it is from God:
Romans 2:14-16 MKJV: For when the nations, who do not have the Law, do by nature the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law unto themselves; (15) who show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and the thoughts between one another accusing or even excusing one another, (16) in a day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
However, when we are born-again we will know that this witness is from God because it comes with an inner peace and joy, that gives you the assurance that the thought you are getting is actually from God and not just yourself or the devil:
Colossians 3:15 AMP: and let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative) Q, [giving praise to God always].
The peace of God acts as an umpire: when a thought is from God, you will have peace; when it is not from God you will lose your peace.
Secondly, this witness is then confirmed through scripture: it will agree with the spirit (not just the letter): the principles of God in scripture and the character of God; in other words, no true leading from God will neither contradict the principles of God or the character of God revealed in scripture:
2 Corinthians 3:6 NIV: He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
James 3:17 ESV: But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
Psalms 12:6 ESV: the words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.
It is instructive to note that once you have the witness and the Word on an issue: that thing is true because you have 2 witnesses: the witness and the Word.
2 Corinthians 13:1 ESV: this is the third time I am coming to you. Every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
Genesis 41:32 MKJV: and since the dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice, it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
This truth is further confirmed in:
Psalms 43:3 AMP: O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling.
The ‘light’ is from the witness God ‘shines’ on your mind; the ‘truth’ is the written Word God reveals to you to confirm the witness.
John 17:17 MKJV: Sanctify them through Your truth. Your Word is truth.
It is also vital to note that many times there is a significant time interval between when you get a witness from God on an issue and when the corresponding confirming Word comes. This is why we need to be patient and wait on God in prayer and the Word before the confirming Word concerning a witness we have comes:
Isaiah 28:16 MKJV: therefore so says the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I place in Zion a Stone for a foundation, a tried Stone, a precious Cornerstone, a sure Foundation; he who believes shall not hurry.
As we pray for and with an abundance of the life of God which gives light and in the spirit we will speak mysteries or secrets in the spirit that the Holy Ghost will shine into our minds that will give us revelation (2 Cor. 4:6) and understanding through the Word of the witness of the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 14:2 MKJV: (2) for he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. For no one hears, but in spirit he speaks mysteries.
1 Corinthians 2:7-8 MKJV: (7) But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, which God has hidden, predetermining it before the world for our glory; (8) which none of the rulers of this world knew (for if they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory).
2 Corinthians 4:6 MKJV: For it is God who said, “Out of darkness Light shall shine;” who shone in our hearts to give the brightness of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
All God has planned for us in our lives in Christ and the knowledge and wisdom it will take to fulfil it is hidden in the scripture; and so it takes time in the Word and prayer to find it.
Colossians 3:3 MKJV: For you died, and your life has been hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 2:3 MKJV: in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Revelation 22:19 MKJV: And if anyone takes away from the Words of the Book of this prophecy, God will take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which have been written in this Book.
Notice every man has his part (that is God’s plan for his life has been written in parts of the Bible) that has been written in the Bible but it is hidden in symbolic shadows which can only be revealed by the Holy Spirit through prayer and study of the Word.
So, we must not make haste but give time in prayer and regular bible reading and study to get the confirming word of the witness of the Spirit we are receiving.
In our article next week, we will see how to cross check the witness and confirming Word we receive in our hearts, especially on destiny-affecting issues like marriage, change of physical location for career and studies, so that the leading we are receiving from God is not distorted by the devil through our unrenewed minds and emotions.