Part 3: The Spirit Guided Life

{Colossians 2:6-7: NLT}
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

During my Junior year in high school I had an assignment to write a research paper for English class. The topic that I chose was Creation versus Evolution. Being the procrastinator that I am I didn’t get started on it until shortly before the paper was due, in fact most of the paper was written the night before I was to turn it in.

As I wrote the rough draft of the paper I would take it to my mom, who was teaching English at the elementary, to proofread. I didn’t always agree with my mom’s corrections, and so I when I typed the final draft of the paper I went with what I thought sounded the best rather than with her corrections.

The assignment included turning everything in: notes, rough draft, and the final paper. During the review of the paper my English teacher asked me who proofread the paper. I told her my mom did, and then she asked; “Why didn’t you follow her corrections?” I didn’t have a good answer for her. My final grade on the paper was an A for content, and A for structure, and a F for grammar and spelling.

It makes no sense for us to seek out guidance from someone who has knowledge and experience and then ignore their advice.

One of the things I would love to do one day is to go to Ireland and hike. Imagine that I hired a guide so I could get the best experience of the Irish trails that I could possible have. What good would a guide be if I went left every time he went right? If I refused to follow his guidance then I shouldn’t have paid money to have him guide me.

We recognize that we need guidance if we are going to walk the way Jesus walked. There are so many different situations and circumstances that life throws at us that we need the wisdom and knowledge of someone who knows the way. The New Testament teaches us that the Holy Spirit is to be our guide and through prayer we need to ask for his guidance. Everyday we should pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us through the day. When a difficult situation comes our way and we are uncertain the right thing to do we should pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal which way we should go.

Here is where the rubber meets the road: we have to commit to following the Holy Spirit’s guidance. This is hard to do. The guidance we receive from the Spirit will almost always take us through our fears. Rather than following his guidance we will want to take the easy way out and follow the path the world says is acceptable. Fear and the unknown will be two of the greatest obstacles we have to overcome in order to follow the guidance of the Spirit.

If we are going allow the Holy Spirit to be our guide then commitment is the key. We must firmly believe that God has our best interest at heart and that He desires us to discover the real life that is only found through following Jesus. This belief comes through knowing the promises God found in the Bible and it comes from remembering how God has blessed our lives in the past.

When David was trying to convince King Saul to let him face Goliath, David said that the same God who gave him victories over a lion and a bear would give him victory over the giant. Remembering that God has come through in the past will give us confidence that God will come through for us now, even though the situation is scary.

We need to commit before we are faced with making a decision. If we are not committed to following the Spirit’s guidance before we must choose a path to take, then we will always end up choosing the path which seems easier to us in the moment. It is only when we come into a situation committed to following the Spirit that we will choose the more difficult way he gives us.

Questions to Consider:

  • Have you ever ignored clear and wise guidance? Why?
  • Why do you think it is important to be committed to follow the Spirit’s guidance?
  • Why is it easy to be tempted not to follow the direction of the Spirit?
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