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How do you know you are led by the Spirit of God?
Led by the Spirit in a personal matter
At the very beginning of 2014, one morning I was praying alone in my room. And out of the blue, I heard a voice in my heart, and I knew it was the Lord speaking to me. The voice told me: Oni, I want you to go and study at the Seminary.
You see, I knew for a long time that God has a ministry calling for my life. However, I resisted God’s voice in the beginning. But the Lord continued to say that He wants me to study at a Seminary. So, I have asked the Lord to confirm His will to me through my senior Pastor.
One morning and seven months later I received a text message from my senior Pastor. And in his message my Pastor told me something like Oni, I was praying for you today. Moreover, I sensed that God wants you to go and study at a Seminary. And at that moment the fear of the Lord came upon me, and I was aware that I could not play with this. In my spirit, I knew that this was from God and I knew it was the right time and the right decision to follow God’s leading.
I began searching for Seminaries, and I prayed and fasted many times until I decided to take a step of faith and study at the King’s University. And it was the best decision ever! Moreover, I began by faith with no money, and I am continuing my studies by faith. God is faithful!
I want to share with you three things about how one can discern the leading of the Holy Spirit:
1. You are led by the Spirit to follow the Word of God
I have written a few articles so far about the Word of God and how one can have fellowship with the Lord through the Scriptures. And I also shared how God has guided my life through a verse once I wanted to travel to Israel.
The Holy Spirit will never guide you to do something that is not according to the Word of God. Moreover, He does not contradict Himself! Ask God to give you knowledge and light from the Scriptures regarding your situation or decisions.
Often when I pray for people, I know the Holy Spirit is leading me because He puts verses in my mouth to pray. Or when someone is asking me for advice or counsel, some scriptures come into my mind, and I know what to answer. However, there are countless ways the Spirit will use to guide our steps.
2. You are led by the Spirit through your inner witness
In Romans 8:16 (ESV) we read
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God
We know our status as God’s children because the Holy Spirit bears witness to our spirit. The testimony of the Holy Spirit is the evidence for this. However, if He can bear witness on this issue, He can bear witness of other things too. As we read in Romans 9:1 (ESV)
I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit—
Therefore, the Spirit of God bears witness to something in our human spirit (many Bible scholars believe that our conscience is located in our human spirit). So we receive a good witness in our human spirit from the Holy Spirit. How will this inner witness manifest? It will be like a strong knowing or an inner conviction. And you will know intuitively that it is from God. You know that you know that you know…and you get the point. This is a wonderful way to recognize the leading of the Holy Spirit.
3. You are led by the Spirit when you have a check in your spirit
In the same way, as the Holy Spirit can guide you towards a destination, He can also stop you by giving you a check in your spirit. It is not something you can explain in words, but you know something is not right. And this is the Spirit’s way of warning you not to proceed in a specific direction in life or do a particular thing or make a specific decision. Sometimes we say I do not have peace about it. And, even if everything else looks good— do not make the step.
Probably this is what happened to Apostle Paul in Acts 16:6-7 (ESV)
And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.
Many times I made decisions based on a check in my spirit. Moreover, I did hear many testimonies from people who did not listen to the leading of the Spirit of God and disasters happened. Not to mention how many times I did the same in my pride.
We all need to develop a sensitive heart to the leading of the Holy Spirit. To be led by the Spirit of God we need a teachable heart and spirit. Let us all pray that!
In my next post, I will continue to share a few more insights about what it means to be led by the Spirit. In the meantime, if I can pray for you, let me know. I am blessed every time I receive a prayer request.
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