The Spirit

A couple weeks ago at the youth Alpha course where I’ve been speaking the topic was “How does God guide us?”  This was a fun one overall–it led me to reflect on all the ways God has guided us over the years and how faithful he’s been in the midst of a lot of unknown.

The hardest part of the talk was trying to explain how the Holy Spirit guides us–and I believe this is an absolutely essential part of following Christ.  In Galatians Paul goes so far as to say if we live by the Spirit we are not under the law.  One of the most damaging things a Christ follower can do is replace walking with the Spirit with rules to follow–that’s what leads directly to legalism.  But how do you tell someone to listen to and respond to the Spirit?  I feel like this is something I’ve learned by experience.  It’s something I know is real–very real in fact–but I can’t explain it to you well.

With the students I gave it a go.  Talked about responding when we think the Spirit is speaking to us and it doesn’t disagree with Scripture or godly counsel.  How we will learn to listen to the Spirit better as we are obedient to him.  I guess I just hadn’t thought through how this essential part of our faith contains such a mysterious element before.

About Big Tasty

Be better today than yesterday.

Posted on May 29, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Several years ago I had a young acquaintance visit me at my business. I gave him a tour around the factory, and he was quite impressed. I kept responding to his questions with the comment, ” we just did what the Lord told us to do.”

    He had always despised Church and Christianity, but we were “OK” in his estimation, and his crude comments, he apologised were not directed at us!

    This conversation continued over a coffee when we sat down in my office, and I kept challenging him about God. I was deliberately NOT bashing him regarding the bible etc. I just wanted to awaken him to things beyond his limited and very negative view.

    This young man was a real “jack the lad”, who was regularly in trouble of one sort or the other, but he was obviously more than a little intrigued by the conversation.

    Finally he just leant right forward across the desk and said. “OK then, how do you know when God is speaking to you?”

    I had dropped myself right in it I thought. I leant right back in my chair and sent an urgent and silent arrow of prayer up to the Lord. I needed something that would be as clear as crystal for this man in front of me. Something which would cut right through the b.s. of churchianity.

    As quick as I asked the Lord responded.

    Tell me, you know when you are in a place, where you didn’t ought to be, and you are doing something that you didn’t ought to be doing, is there this little voice inside you whispering, hey, you didn’t ought to be here, and you certainly didn’t ought to be doing this?

    Is this familiar? He burst out laughing in embarrassment. Of course there is!!!

    I then said to him, the voice of God is the one which says, “This is the way, walk with me”!

    He looked at me pushed back in the chair and said with real clarity in his eyes, “now I understand!”

    I challenged him to start listening, and he promised to do so. I warned him that he had to recognise that God was God, not a man. If he wanted to relate to God then he should also respect him and be a bit humble before him. He understood.

    The relationship had started. God then started to speak to him about various things and clearly direct his path.

    I just stood and watched as his life changed.

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