Have you ever gotten lost?
It’s no fun. Nobody starts their day thinking, “You know what would be nice? Getting lost.”
No, most of us take a GPS along for the ride and follow its lead very closely. We hardly ever go into a road trip without a guide of some sort.
So why do so many of us go into life without a guide? Life is a whole lot more complicated than navigating roads. Wouldn’t most people agree that there should be a guide for life?
Well, there is! His name is the Holy Spirit, and when He comes to dwell in us, He also guides us through this long trip called life.
Romans 8:14 says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.”
There are several aspects of His leadings in our lives and we will dive into them here.
He will lead us into truth
Jesus promised not to leave us orphans when He left. He might not be here in bodily form anymore, but He promised not to leave us forsaken. Jesus said, “When He, the Spirit of truth is come, He shall guide you into all the truth…” (John 16:13).
In life, there are many times when it is difficult to understand scripture or to see the truth in any given situation, but the promise of the Spirit is true and real. Whenever we have doubts or are unsure, we can trust in the Spirit to lead us into the truth, in the little things as well as the big things.
He’s good like that.
He will guide into living God’s way
The Christian ideal is, quite frankly, too hard for us to live out in our power, strength, or knowledge. We know God’s ways, but it is way too difficult for us to them do on our own.
The Prophet Ezekiel prophesied this, “And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep mine ordinances, and do them” (Ezekiel 36:27). God promised to put His Spirit within us and that He would cause us to keep His ways. Through His Spirit, we are given that guidance and power.
We are also shown what God’s ways are. Granted, this does not mean that we are perfect (we are still fallible human beings!), but it does mean that we have the power and ability through Him to follow His ways. (See also Galatians 5:16)
He will guide our words
Some of us speak too much and some of us too little. But most of us can think of at least one time when we didn’t know what to say.
In our lives, when we are following Jesus, there will be times when we are asked to (or must) speak for God. Our speech is just another place we can trust in the Spirit to guide us. Jesus said, “…do not worry about how or what you should answer, what you should say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say” (Matthew 10:19). And so our tongues are also led by His Spirit. (See also Matt. 10:19-20, 1 Cor. 2:13)
He will guide in our service, our witness, and all of life
There is not a single aspect of life that the Holy Spirit won’t guide us in when we are letting Him lead us.
The prophet Isaiah once said, “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee saying, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it;’ when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21).
He will show us one step at a time. He shows us where to serve Him, who to witness to, and how to spend our time on this earth. Much like how the GPS shows us everything one turn at a time, the Spirit also leads us one step at a time. We don’t need to know the whole picture at once, and we shouldn’t expect to, but He shows us each step when we need to see it.
We see this in Acts when the Holy Spirit chose Barnabas and Saul and sent them to preach the Gospel: “And as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them…” (Acts 13:2).
He will lead, without fail. (See also Galatians 5:25, Acts 10:19, Psalm 32:8)
Ways to encourage the Holy Spirit’s guidance
It is so great to know that we are not alone. We have a helper and a guide. There are ways to encourage His guidance in our lives. Here are a few:
- Have confidence in Him. Believe in His wisdom, ability, and love. We must learn to depend on Him in every situation. He is our ever-present helper and guide. As the proverb puts it, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
- Listen. Jesus says that His sheep hear His voice, and follow Him (John 10:27). We are His sheep and we can hear his voice, but we must listen for it. It is often a “still small voice” which requires a keen spiritual ear.
- Spend time with the Bible. The Holy Spirit can speak to us in all sorts of ways. He is not limited to one, but the most common way to hear from Him is God’s Word. We must always compare what we hear to scripture, for He will never guide us contrary to the Bible. The word is a lamp by which we see the pathways of life. (See also Psalm 119:105,130)
- Follow His lead—Obey Him. The more we say “yes” to His movings, His signs, and His word, the easier it will be to hear and listen to Him the next time. (See also Psalm 25:9, Acts 5:32)
- Commit our way to God. We have a weekly tradition in our fellowship in which all who are able get together on Saturday night and pray as a group, committing our wills to the Lord for the next week. Some people have a habit of doing so each morning. However often you do it does not matter so much; what does matter is to be in the habit of frequently giving your will to Him. As Psalm 37 puts it, “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him, and He will bring it to pass.”
It is a privilege to be able to be led by our God, the all-loving and caring creator of the universe. The more we commit ourselves to being led by His Spirit, the more we find His help and His joy real in our lives, and that is a beautiful thing.
His loving Spirit will always be our guide.