Monday, 26 September 2011
Chapter 5: Led by the Spirit
That way whoever gave the gift won’t have to hear you say, “What is it?” Or watch you read the label “fork and spoon chopsticks” and then shake your head, “Huh? How do I use these?” Or see you try out a few of your own ideas about how the thing should work.
Why was he given? We’ve come to a turning point in our Holy Spirit study as we start into chapter 5. Like the newlywed couple, the first half of the booklet helped us to unwrap the gift of the Holy Spirit. Instead of, “What is it?” it answered, “Who is he?” These chapters also assured us that our name was on the outside of the present, if we have believed in Jesus Christ. The second half of the booklet will answer the question, “How do I use this Gift?” or even better, “Why did God give him to me?”
I would bet each of us has a few ideas about why God has given us his Holy Spirit. Those ideas tend to lodge in our hearts and become expectations. It’s important to bring those expectations out into the light of day, spell them out on paper if we need to, and then bring them before our Bibles to see if they line up with what God has revealed.
It is God’s purposes, not our preconceived notions, that will help us understand why his Holy Spirit was given to us. Understanding is the first step to knowing him better. Just like we want people to “get us,” that is to understand who we really are and what we really think, God wants us to “get his Spirit,” so we can commune with him and receive from him what he came to give.
I feel led…This week’s chapter talks about what it means to be led by the Spirit. If you’re like me, you have some unanswered questions in that area, as well as a felt need for his guidance. Perhaps you’re trying to figure out what job to get or which school to put your children in. Will his leading answer those questions? In addition we may wonder:
- Is it a feeling?
- Am I looking for a sense of peace?
- How can I know it’s the Holy Spirit and not my own preferences?
- If I end up in a hard place, does that mean I missed his leading?
- If I am struggling with sin, will he quit leading me?
Take a moment to write down the expectations and questions you’re bringing to this chapter.
Meanwhile, meditate on this. Romans 8:12-14
So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.