So we’ve all heard it before if you’ve been in church for quite sometime now. Preachers and pastors always answer almost every single question a young Christian has with, “You need to be led by His Spirit”, when making whatever decision it is they are to make. So, what is that exactly? How can one be led by the Spirit of God? It’s simple really: if the fruit is not there and the works of the flesh are, it’s probably not the Holy Spirit guiding you.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! “
Galatians 5:22 (NLT)
If what you pray for, seeking after, or are doing do not follow any of these things, you are doing the works of the flesh and devil. When making a decision and you are not sure whether or not it is godly or not, you should examine your heart or ask God to because sometimes there are hidden motives in what you are doing that He needs to address. Sometimes people fall into the trap of what I call ambiguous sinning. They try to profess and pretend that they are ‘following God’ by doing what it is that they are doing and the decision itself might very well be godly, however as soon as they speak about why they are doing it, it’s plain as day that their main motives are wicked.
Why do you want to do what you are doing? Is it because you are being mistreated or disrespected in your own eyes, when there is really no injustice or mistreatment going on, and you’re caught up in your own pride? Is it because you want something to happen just so you can be rich? You could want your daughter to marry, just so her spouse gives you are car or wealth deep down, but say out loud it is because you want her to be ‘taken care of’ or whatever mess you decide to slap on it. You could want a church, which seems godly, until everyone realizes it’s only so you can feel like you’re in power or in control. What is your reason? No, not the fake one you slap on it; what is the real reason you are doing what you are doing? What’s the real reason you are struggling with the decision you are trying to make? We are led by God when we die to our sinful nature, if where you are going, the job you are at, the hobbies you do in your free time do not encourage you to walk in the fruits of the Spirit, but instead encourages your sinful nature to thrive, you are not in the will of God. You are probably working for the wrong spiritual entity.
“But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”
For it is written that the power of the Spirit helps us quell the sinful nature within us. So when the Spirit leads us anywhere or to anything it should not bring the sinful nature alive. Don’t try to cover up wicked motives that really lie behind what you are doing. What I notice in the church is that some people will feel like they have more than one godly option that they could do and they don’t know which one to go after. The answer is simple: which one is you having the fruits of the Spirit the most in your life? Are you making the choice to work at that job because you want to spread love and joy? Is the steady anchor of God’s peace pulling you towards it? Will it help your patience grow or let you practice using your patience? Or is it led by haste and rash impulses that you never brought to God in the past? Is there goodness there or goodness that you can do? Will it cause you to remain faithful or faithless? Will it encourage you to tap into gentleness? Will it encourage you to become more disciplined or gain more self control?
Or, does this choice encourage you to be greedy? Is this choice led by jealousy over another person and you want to ‘show’ this person what for? Are you angry at someone, like your parents or child, for whatever reason and are making this choice out of wrath? Are you bitter against someone? Are you filled with pride and want to do stuff to spite people, ruin a person’s witness, or just push up your own ego? Because being a doctor would make you sound fancy and smart to others and you’ll be wealthy, but let’s just say the ‘real’ reason is because you want to ‘help’ other people. Is it really though? Do you have to lie just for this decision to work? Are you being led by fear, panic, desire for comfort or timidity instead of faith in this decision? Point being, is it encouraging sinning of some sort? If it is encouraging you to sin, it’s not God, period.
My advice if you are struggling with a decision is to ask God to show you your true motives in doing whatever and ask Him to correct or support them with scripture. If that still doesn’t help ask for God’s confirmation to come from other places for the scriptures He gave you. You are not God. We don’t know better than God, we never will, so stop fronting (pretending) with whatever mess you are trying to get God to sign off on. Follow Him and be led by Him in the things that you are doing! God is trying to mold and prepare us for Heaven. He is not trying to send us down a path that will cause us to die in our faith eventually!
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.“
So, brothers and sisters, be that sacrifice and learn to die to your sinful nature so that you will be led by Him.