Understanding How to Be Led By the Spirit of God! Being Led by the Written Word of God! Part 4
(ver 1.2) This is Part 4 in a series of basic Christian Bible lessons on the subject of Being Led by the Spirit of God. If you have not read this series from the beginning I would suggest that you go and start reading with “Part 1“. The spiritual importance of this series will be significantly greater than most other lessons that I have done if you can grasp them. Learning this series intimately will build a strong foundation for further spiritual growth. Why did Jesus constantly say, “Let him who has ears to hear, hear”? (Mat 11:15, Mat 13:9, Mat 13:43) Jesus understood that when anyone teaches spiritual things the human mind is so cluttered with natural thingsand that these natural things are used by Satan to block or blind the hearer so they do not understand the truth. I am currently going through a list in random order of the recorded methods in the Bible that God has used to communicate with the human race in an attempt to lead them into the paths that they should go. I have attempted to emphasize that whenever God leads an individual, it is always intended to cause them a positive outcome. God will never lead you into harm, hurt or the paths of destruction. I based this belief upon a scripture found in Jeremiah 29:11 that says God has thoughts of peace towards us and not evil and that God desires us to have a positive outcome. Therefore I have concluded that God speaks to people in order to cause an expected specific greater outcome than one that may have occurred without this divine impartation of information. I completely believe that the leading of the Lord will benefit all those who have selected to listen. There are many other types of people in the earth today that believe God is sitting in heaven just waiting for us to do wrong so that He can strike us down with His iron fist of judgment. However, that is not the loving God that I know who wants us to listen to His Word to have good success (Joshua 1:8). Let’s review my list of 12 methods that I gave you in the last three lessons:
- The Audible Voice of God
- The Finger of God
- Angels Sent by God
- Prophets, Teachers, Pastors, Evangelists, Apostles or other Men/Women (disciples) of God
- The inward Still Small Voice of God
- The Written Word of God
- External Visible Signs from God
- Visions from God
- Dreams from God
- Prayer of an Individual
- The Inward Witness of God / Moral Conscience / Intuition / Internal Knowledge / Spiritual Insight
- Patterns found within God’s Creation
These are the 12 methods that I have discovered while reading and studying the Bible. Some I have experienced personally and others I have learned about from people that have experienced them and all of them can be found in the Bible to establish their importance. From this list I have introduced you to methods 12, 9, 8, 3, 2 and 1 so far. I also briefly talked about number 7 in conjunction with other methods that God has used to lead people primarily in the Old Testament. For example, the burning bush that Moses encountered was clearly an external visible sign that was designed to get his attention. We also know that the children of Israel were led in the wilderness with a visible pillar of fire by night and the visible clouds by day and I taught you these were Old Testament typologies of how God will also lead the church today by His Spirit. I think today I’m going to teach on only number 6, the written word of God. The importance of the Word of God is so obvious to me yet to others it is the last place they look to find out what they should be doing in the present situations of their life. That is a dangerous attitude that will result in their eventual doomed failure. I’m going to start by talking about why the Bible is so important for us to know:
2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
If “all scripture” (notice that it does not say some) was given to us by the inspiration of God why, is the Bible disrespected, treated as unimportant and even trivialized by so many on the earth today? Clearly the Bible is the most well-read book in the world. Clearly the Bible is the besting selling book in the world. Yet these facts are ignored by the media and the press and that attitude has even crept into the church. I have heard ministers of God (?) get up and speak and they never opened the Bible to teach from it and that is a grave mistake. This verse claims that all of the scriptures on the pages of the Bible have been God breathed. The English word “inspiration” is built upon a fascinating concept. To “inspire” someone is to build them up in confidence and to cause them to potentially do something they would have or could have never done otherwise. A good sport’s coach will always give great inspiring words to the team to help motivate them to success and to build their confidence. The coach’s words are success seeds planted in the player’s minds and hearts. This is how the Word of God also works. The Greek word here translated as “inspiration” is a compound word meaning “divine breath”. It could literally be stated as the wind of God; thus Wind of God = Word of God! Meaning the Words written on the pages of the Bible came from the mouth of God and they were only given to a man to write down by the Spirit of God for everyone else to read. This is just like getting a personal letter or an email from God today. The Words were all carefully selected and designed by God to build us up in confidence, to educate us spiritually, then to give to us the knowledge, understanding and wisdom of God so that we would know what to do at the right times in our life.
DON’T LET THE TRUTH OF THE WORD OF GOD GET IN THE WAY OF YOUR BELIEFS!
I recently had a man tell me what I wrote about homosexuality offended him. He told me his life style was not his choice and God loved him just like he was. He went on to say that homosexuality was not a sin. This is a classic example of self-righteous blindness. To exalt yourself to a place or to a level beyond where you actually are is clearly an act of prideful ignorance. Satan failed in this same way first as the anointed cherub Lucifer and now he causes men to be deceived in the same way to cause them to fall into this same flattering trap of pride. Satan has said “I will be like the Most High” (Isa 14:14). You can see that Satan is attempting to exalt himself to a level that he was clearly not at. Can you see the parallels to my homosexual commenter? I do not isolate any sin to exclude all of the rest intentionally. I only have done this because they are ignoring the Bible to try to proclaim a new reality outside of the Bible. It is very obvious to me that the Bible teaches against homosexuality. To ignore the Bible and continue the way you are going is like ignoring the highway warning signs and going against the traffic the wrong way. Then there is this fact also that the Bible clearly says “ALL have sinned” (Rom 3:23). Another Bible verse says “if anyone says they have no sin, they have deceived themselves (1 John 1:8) Therefore my homosexual commenter has self-deceived himself into believing he has no sin. To not be humble enough to admit you have done wrong, is a dangerous cliff to stand on or even near. Ignorance of the Word of God is the same as ignoring the Word of God. Both will result in the same self-desructive end.
I AM THE LORD AND I CHANGE NOT!
What I am teaching you right now, is that God is not going to tell you anything on Judgment day that is not already written in His word today. You will have no excuse if you did not read His Word and try to find out what God has already said on the subject when you are standing to be judged. To ignore the Bible and to live the life you want to in full disregard of the God breathed words will cause the eventual judgment of God to fall. God does love sinners but He died for their sins in order to permit them to repent and come out of their sin. I’m trying to tell you that reading the Bible deserves the same level of respect and reverential treatment as if you were standing before God right now. If you go into reading the Bible with this attitude you will be approaching the throne of His knowledge, grace, mercy, wisdom and counsel with the right attitude. I’ll tell you this also, the Spirit of God will speak to you while you are reading His word if you ask Him to and if you ask the right questions and you are reading with this humble attitude. If you ask the Spirit of God to prove your doctrinal theology do not expect to hear from God. But, if you ask God to show you the truth this is a Biblical request that is founded on the Word of God and I’ll talk more about that in a bit. I have had the Spirit of God speak to me while I was studying the Bible so plainly that it opened up the verses so that I could understand them very clearly. It was like turning a spiritual light on and suddenly I could see what the words on the page said. People in the world read the Bible with their limited natural light and ignore the spiritual light and thus they never see the words on the page and they remain in their spiritual darkness.
A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF BEING LED BY THE WORD OF GOD!
When I was first filled with the Spirit of God I was a new born babe in Christ and I did not understand how God leads us. So I had a major problem in my life at that time and I was praying and seeking God for direction and help. I had recently lost my job because the software company that I was working for in California went bankrupt and we were all let go rather abruptly with no further income. The job market back then was not as bad as it is now, but it was also not great either. I needed God’s help desperately. One evening I asked the Lord to speak to me and I opened my Bible randomly and put my finger on a verse and read it and saw that God was speaking through what was written there and it said that He had a job for me. I do not recommend this approach unless you are a new born baby Christian like I was. This is technically like playing Russian roulette with the Word of God. I know it worked out for me and encouraged me, but what if I had landed on a verse that said something about someone’s death or destruction would that mean that is what will happen to me? I hope you see the problem with this approach of hearing God speak from His Word about a specific personal job problem. I do not know how to explain to you why it worked for me, but somehow the Spirit of God understood my situation and directed me to the right book, the right chapter and the right verse and there it was, God speaking to me. From this early Christian experience I have concluded that any verse in the Bible has the potential to be a right now Word from God that is applicable to the current situation in your life. If God’s words are inspired like the Bible teaches us, then these are the Words that He wrote thousands of years ago for you and I today. I will also say I do not do this anymore, nor did I do it again. I learned and grew in spiritual things over the years and now God uses other methods of communication that I will teach on later.
YOU CANNOT SEPARATE GOD FROM HIS WORD!
The Word of God is directly connected to the Spirit of God. According to the Bible, they are technically one in the same. John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God”. Jesus said in John “The Words that I speak they are Spirit…” (John 6:63). The Bible also says that “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word will never pass away” (Mat 24:35). Therefore the Word of God is infinitely eternal like the Spirit of God is infinitely eternal. From these verses I have learned a lot about God and God’s Word. They have also brought new emphasis to me knowing the Word of God. Remember that the Bible contains the general knowledge of God and the historical account of God’s coming to the earth in the flesh, His covenants, His purpose and His prophesied plans for us. But also understand that it contains far greater advanced spiritual information of how He works, what He thinks, His character and many other hidden qualities of our God. The knowledge of this information should inspire you greatly to rise above the evils of this present world and to achieve the great plan that He has laid out for you to follow.
BEING A DISCIPLE OF THE WORD OF GOD!
To be a disciple is to be a student. Jesus was called a Rabbi and a teacher (John 3:2). As we read in 2 Timothy 3:16, the Bible was given to us for instruction and this means it can teach us spiritual things that we would never have learned from anywhere else. The Word of God is also a place to find correction. If you feel you do not need correction you are deceived in a state of self-righteousness. If you have ever steered a sailboat in the ocean or piloted an airplane on a trip, then you understand that course corrections are always necessary. When I learned to sail a boat in San Diego I quickly learned that you can never sail directly into the wind. Uh oh? I was talking about the Word of God being the Wind of God earlier. Did you know if the wind is coming out of the north and you want to go north that you have to zigzag between going northwest and northeast to eventually get north? I actually believe that this applies to Bible study. Constant course corrections are required to arrive at the true north of God’s word. Everyone needs correction, including me and especially me. So while we read the Bible we need to look to hear God speak in the areas that fit these descriptive terms of instruction and correction. While the Bible does not have any place written in it that tells you who to marry, where to work or where to live, you can learn character and establish basic moral standards that will help to guide you into making the right choices in these other areas of life. Later I will teach you that the Spirit of God will lead you in those other more personal areas also.
Joh 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
I want you to see one aspect of the guidance of the Holy Spirit that is absolutely essential to know and understand. Jesus is speaking to the His disciples and He tells them they have a problem. Wow, this is so amazing if you can see it. What can’t Jesus say now that He can wait and say later that will be understood at that time? I run across people like this on the internet constantly. They are not able to receive spiritual things so they become offended and never speak to me again. I had one commenter that I recently tried to help and they shut down the conversation and I never heard from the again. Spiritual things are tough to handle if you are a naturally dominated being. Paul calls this being a spiritual child trying to eat spiritual meat when they can only handle spiritual milk ( 1 Cor 3;2). Since I do not know people on the internet always at first, I find out very quickly and sometimes too late when they cannot handle spiritual meat. This is a major challenge to teaching on the internet an advanced Bible study that wants to focus on the deep meaty subjects and when children come in and try to read the lessons and they begin to spiritually choke and what do I do? This is probably the greatest challenge that I face. If I only teach milk lessons nobody will grow to learn to eat meat. If I only teach meat lessons the baby Christians are easily offended and never come back. Wow, it is tough to be me sometimes; that was just a joke!
What I want you to focus in on in John 16:13, is where Jesus says the Spirit of Truth is responsible to be our guide into us knowing the truth. A guide is someone who will lead you, yes? Being led is the main subject of this series so this verse is of central importance to knowing God’s responsibility and your responsibility. In every leader and follower relationship it is always important to not get the roles reversed in your mind. You need to remember who you are and who God is! Following a leader who knows where they are going is also essential for success. Since God is omniscient, He is the best qualified to be our guide to the truth. If the Spirit of God leads those that are His children, John 16:13 states Him to be our Spiritual Truth Guide. So technically being led by the Spirit of God is a multi-layered partnership between man and God with each holding equal responsibilities. Actually I’m going to modify that last statement somewhat. The responsibility of being led falls more on us than it does God. God leading us is a very easy task for Him to do, even if He is leading a billion people simultaneously. No, the majority of the effort of being led by the Spirit of God is placed directly upon our shoulders. We are responsible to know how God leads. We are responsible for hearing God lead us. We are then responsible to being willing and obedient to be led. Finally we are responsible to follow the instructions. That makes the life of following infinitely more complex than the Spirit of God leading us. I hope you understand that concept?
Knowing you do not know the truth is the first step to being led into the paths of truth. I’m not sure if you heard what I just said, but it was important. I meet people on the internet monthly who believe they already know everything and I can see that they know nothing of any spiritual value of how things work. I want you to remember a verse that Jesus taught us in the book of John:
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
There are too many Christians who like to misquote this verse and take it out of context to say Jesus is the truth and He has set us free, but that is not what this verse says. That would be really great if that was true, but what is the rest of the truth? Did you know that truth is relative based upon your current level of knowledge of it? Doctors today are a prime example of an ever changing truth. Doctors are said to be “practicing” medicine and this is based only on the truth that they currently know today. Everyday new research, new studies and new information shines forth that changes the reality of the truth in the field of medicine. Knowing the truth is a moving target in the medical field and this is exactly how it is in the Bible world also. This is another example of constant course corrections. Since none of us are God and we do not know everything we must always be in a state of ever increasing truth. If you read the context of this verse you discover knowing the truth is conditional and dependent upon you continuing to be a disciple of the Word of God. This means you must continue learning everything that you can while you have the chance.
Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
There is so much that I could say about the Word of God. It is designed to hide information from those who are perishing while simultaneously giving us the comfort of the knowledge of this hope being described to us in Romans 15:4. If you read the lessons that I did on Understanding Bible Faith you should have learned that Bible hope is different than hope found in the world. Bible hope is based upon our confidence in the Word of God coming to pass in our lives. The world’s hope is based upon “I wish it would happen” and this Bible hope is more like when you order a package off of the internet and you look daily out your window to see if it is being delivered. In other words you are in full expecting mode believing in or having faith in the place you purchased the package the delivery company bringing you the package. Bible hope is like a pregnant woman awaiting the delivery of her child. This is the basis of Bible hope. Knowing that there is a set outcome before the outcome arrives is faith and hope in God’s Word. This verse in Romans 15:4 declares God Word to be for our place of learning. This is where I just stated that your knowledge is an ever increasing moving target. To learn means you don’t know it already. Just because you read the Bible from cover to cover does not mean you have arrived at knowing it all. Learning should never cease. It must be a continual process of information gathering from the Bible. That should describe you in detail especially if you are reading my Bible lessons.
IT’S TIME NOW TO LEARN THE WORD OF GOD!
When Jesus described the rich man and Lazarus after death in Luke 16 there is a realty that is presented that is very important to understand. The moral to the story is timing is everything! The rich man asks Abraham to send Lazarus back to the earth so neither the rich man nor Lazarus was on the earth at this time of the story. The rich man asks for Lazarus to warn his brothers not to come to this place of torment. The rich man obviously understands in his mind that the consequences of his past decisions have determined his current eternal situation. The rich man however was hoping to change the destiny of someone who had not died yet. Here is where we clearly learn that the choice has been made for the rich man and it is too late for him to be saved. But, what does Abraham tell the rich man about his five brother’s future choices?
Luk 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
Luk 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
Abraham says the brothers have the written words of Moses and the Prophets and they need to listen to them. Of course this is another clear reference to the importance of the written Word of God given to all men and it indicates the effective timing factor for being accepted is a narrow window of life on this planet. There is a very clear emphasis given to us that if you want to be saved and not go to hell it is based upon you hearing and believing in the Word of God. This is why I teach so much on the importance of the Bible. Hearing the Bible and believing in the Bible is your only chance at a positive outcome spiritually, naturally, mentally and eternally. If you want to ignore the Bible and make your own path of salvation, you will find yourself in hell with the rich man who regretted his choice.
ARE YOU LIVING IN THE SPECTATOR WORLD?
I’m going to end this lesson with this last point. Reading the Word of God is not the complete answer to your every problem. We live in a modern spectator society. Those who sit and watch those who actually do. I hope I have have shocked some people with that statement, but I alluded to this fact earlier that it takes multiple steps of personal responsibility to be led by the Spirit of God and your participation is certainly one of the keys to your success. Watching a race is incredibly different than being in the race and we are told to run in the race of life in Hebrews 12:1. Now read this verse in James and see if you can determine which part you are fulfilling?
Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
You should be able to see that there is a major difference between hearing the Word of God and doing the word of God. People hear the spirit of God many times and ignore Him and continue down their own paths. God gave us examples of this negative behavior in the Bible so we could learn from them. The man Balaam in Numbers 22 is a prime example of someone failing to be led by the Spirit of God. A king comes to Balaam and offers him things to curse the children of Israel so they do not defeat him and take his kingdom from him. Balaam is told by God not to do it repeatedly. However, Balaam still gets on his ass and goes to do what God said not to do. An angel of God stands in the path and is about to kill Balaam but the ass sees the angel and does not move forward. Balaam beats the ass and still refuses to be obedient to God. You can obviously see that Balaam was a hearer of the Word of God but not a Doer of the Word of God and he is not spoken of positively in the rest of the Bible. This is a key lesson for everyone today.
THEREFORE DOES IT MATTER WHAT YOU DO?
You bet it matters. If God says not to marry that man and you marry him anyway the evil that God had tried to help you avoid will now come upon you and then when you may cry out for God’s help later when you realize the mistake you have made and He might just tell you I tried to tell you and you wouldn’t listen to me. There are always major consequences to not being obedient to the Spirit of God. Frequently when something negative happens to a Christian, they can look back and determine a time that they knew they should not have done that and that was God trying to lead them. I’ll end this lesson with these verses:
Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
Mat 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
Mat 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
Mat 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Jesus is teaching us about spiritual houses and not about physical houses! Both of these houses are people who we call Christians. There are two types of Christians being contrasted; the hearers only versus the hearers and the doers. Which one are you? God is giving you an example that states the storms of life are inevitable to every Christian. We could call these storms types of symbolic physical troubles and the calamities of this world. But, Jesus tells us how to overcome these negatives by introducing a greater positive called the Word of God. However both houses heard the same Word of God so hearing was not the determining factor for the successful outlasting of the storm, was it? Only the house that understood what was said, believed what was written and finally did what was written overcame the storm and emerged victorious. This is very much like the children’s story of the three little pigs and their enemy the big bad wolf. The wise Christian is always the one that Satan cannot blow his house down, because it is founded on the Word of God. The other house fell and Jesus said great was the destruction of that house. I’ll ask you again, is it important to know the Word of God? Is it important to understand the Word of God? Is it important to believe the Word of God? Finally, is it important to actually do the Word of God? According to God Himself it is most certainly VERY IMPORTANT to be led by the Word of God! Thanks for reading and studying about being led by the Spirit of God and we will continue this lesson series soon. God Bless!
If you would like to continue learning in this series, you may continue with “Part 5“.
Posted on August 20, 2011, in Bible Basics, Bible Study, Understanding and tagged Being Led, Bible, Christianity, Church, God, Holy Spirit, Prophecy, Religion, Truth, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.