and be led by Him there are some prerequisites.
I read once where there was a narrow channel coming into a harbor that had to be navigated right down the middle in order to avoid hitting bottom. Many ships were ruined by getting off course. So they installed several lights on the shore that when the Captain could line them up in a row would guide the ship safely into the harbor. Below I've given you some guide posts that must line up to have clear, confirmed, guidance for major moves in our lives.
If you really want to be led by the Spirit of God here are some guide posts of guidance.
1. Walk in the Spirit.
The Word of God says, that when we walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. People who are living carnally and giving little time to the Word of God and prayer cannot possibly be led by the spirit of God.
Romans 8:14 says, " For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
The Greek word for led here is "ago" and actually acts as the root word for agon which is the Greek word to describe a wrestling match of intense agony. It is the word we get our word agony from. What this tells us is if we are going to be led by the Spirit we're going to have to wrestle with the flesh (sinful nature with it's lusts and desires). We know there is a battle between the flesh and the Spirit. The Word says, that the flesh and the Spirit are in conflict with one another. I say then: "Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish (Gal. 5:17)." The word for contrary here According to Weusts Word Studies describes an intense conflict between mortal enemies such as two opposing armies engaged in trench warfare. They are dug in for a long drawn out battle where neither side is going to easily surrender. We can be relatively sure that if we're not spending lots of time with the Lord and putting Him first in our lives, we are not hearing God.
To walk in the Spirit we're going to be the kind of people that get up in the morning and spend a good long time in prayer and meditation in the Word. Then we go about our day worshipping Him, and listening to praise CD's and preaching and teaching CD's and attending church every time the doors are open. We are keeping our selves tuned into the Spirit. We are submitting to the Holy Spirit. We want God's will above our own. If we're not walking in the Spirit as I've described above then we're probably not hearing God. If we're living an undisciplined life of only occasional quiet time, we better take what we think we're sensing in our spirit before our pastor and get wise counsel.
2. The Peace of God.
If we're going to be sure we're being guided by God we've got to train our spirits to discern the peace of God that passes all understanding. There is a place that you can press into in prayer where you are in sweet communion with the Lord. It is a place of deep inner peace. It's different than an emotional calm. It is a spiritual calm. It is much deeper than just a lack of emotional or mental turmoil. It is a peace that passes all understanding. This is one of the
keys to accurate guidance. As you grow in the Lord you'll begin to develop your ability to recognize the peace of God. Colossians, "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful ( Col 3:15)."
3. The Word of God.
Always ask yourself, "is what I believe God is leading me to do in line with scripture?" If someone says, "The Lord told me stay home from church to watch the races." You can be sure they missed God, because the Word of God tells us to go to church (Heb. 10:24, 25). If someone tells you they are going to move out of the church God called them to, because they had a disagreement with one of the members, you can be sure that they are not being led by the Spirit, because the Word of God tells us to forgive each other and bear with one another in love. God wants us to work through conflicts and disagreements instead of running away or getting bitter. If someone tells you they're moving to Tupelo Mississippi , because a company there has offered them more money, then you can be relative sure they have missed God. They are probably being led by a desire for more money instead of a desire to be where God placed them. The Word of God is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart it will reveal our motives. If a person is called to a local church and one of the leaders falls and the person now says, they're leaving the church because that leader is no longer there, we can be relative sure they are moving out of the will of God, because we know the ways of God. God would not have someone forsake their calling and church just because someone else did. Why add two injuries to the church? It doesn't make sense. God doesn't change his call on our lives, just because another believer falls. Our call is still the same. If people would only consider the Word of God, which is the ways of God and reveals the will of God, they would avoid most mistakes in guidance. However people who want their own will, instead of God's will, really don't care about the Word of God or the Ways of God or the Will of God. Only true believers really care about being obedient to the Word and His ways.
4. Pastoral Counsel.
It is always wise to get pastoral counsel regarding major moves in our lives. This means that we should talk to the Sr. pastor of our church before making any serious changes to our lives. Pastors are Word specialists. Most seasoned pastors know the ways of God and the Word of God and the voice of the Holy Spirit better than most lay people. It is good to ask your pastor if his spirit bears witness with what you believe you sense the Holy Spirit is saying. Never be so "sure" you have heard God that you refuse to seek or consider wise counsel. I really believe in most cases our little saying, "If you don't listen to your pastor, your life could be a disaster," has a lot of truth in it.
Beware of shunning wise counsel.
When all four of these guideposts line up, you can be relatively sure that the Lord is truly leading you. Don't ignore any of these guide posts of guidance. Be a sure footed sheep.
Dr. Darrell Ellis
Anointed Word International Fellowship