Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How The Holy Spirit Guides Us

John 16:13

The Bible promises that the Holy Spirit will guide us, with an emphasis on the word "guide". Jesus doesn't promise that the Holy Spirit will control us. He doesn't promise that He will drive us. He doesn't say that the Holy Spirit will force us to do anything. He says He will guide us.

At times I wish the Holy Spirit would control me-when I feel tempted, or when it's a beautiful Sunday afternoon and I need to study, but everything in me wants to grab my camera and head for the mountains. Life would be much easier (and I would be much more enjoyable person) if the Holy Spirit would just reach out and take control of me. But that is not the case.

He is our guide, not our controller. At no point do we lose our ability to choose to follow His leading. Consequently, we are always responsible for our words and actions.
The Holy Spirit guides believers into truth; that makes His guidance trustworthy. The Holy Spirit helps believers discern between what is true and what is not; what is wise and what is foolish; what is best and what is simply okay.

As the details of everyday living barrage you, the Holy Spirit will guide you. He will give you that extra, on-the-spot sense of discernment you need to make both big and small decisions. And as you develop greater sensitivity to His guidance, you will worry much less about the decisions you make.

The Holy Spirit never speaks on His own. Like Christ, this Person of the Trinity willingly submits to the authority of the Father. Everything He communicates to us directly from the Father. Jesus said, "When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you the things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you" (John 16:13, 14). The Holy Spirit is God's mouthpiece to believers.

When you think about it, this makes perfect sense. After all, where does the Holy Spirit reside? In you and in me! Since He has direct access to our minds, emotions, and consciences, He is the perfect candidate for communicating God's will to us.