When led of the Spirit, the child of God must be as ready to wait as to go, as prepared to be silent as to speak.
The Spirit does not take His pupils beyond the cross, but ever more deeply into it.
There is a way in which the Spirit leads the sons of God, a way that others do not know; and that is by inclining them to do the will of God, to go in the path of truth and Christian holiness from a holy, heavenly disposition which the Spirit of God gives them. The Spirit inclines and leads them to those things that are excellent and agreeable to God. He enlightens them with respect to their duty, by making their eye single and pure, whereby the whole body is full of light. The purifying influence of the Spirit corrects the taste of the soul; thereby He savors those things that are holy and agreeable to God. Like one with a discriminating taste, He chooses those things that are good and wholesome, and rejects those that are evil. And thus the Spirit of God leads and guides; He enables men to understand the commands and counsels of God’s Word, and rightly to apply them.
Guidance of the Spirit through the mind toward a life of obedience and toward truth is propounded in Scripture as essential Christianity. Nowhere though does the Bible teach that direct guidance by means of impressions must be the experience of the believer. Those who argue that such experiences are to be regular fare for the Christian virtually always make their case on the basis of the narrative or story sections of the Bible and not on those that are didactic or teaching sections. I have not been told by God in His Word that divine visitations of unusual nature constitute authentic Christianity. I have not been commanded to have them or seek them. Interestingly enough, Christ Himself said that it is an evil and adulterous generation that seeks a sign (Matthew 12:39).
What a sad difference is there in the same person, as to what he is when the Spirit leads him, and as to what he is when the Spirit leaves him!
Our churches can’t be Spirit-led unless they’re Word-fed. A church that’s dependent on the Spirit’s power in its worship will be committed to the study, proclamation, and application of God’s Word in its personal and congregational worship. The Word and the Spirit were never meant to be separated. In fact God’s Spirit is the one who inspired God’s Word… God’s Spirit and His Word go together.
I…remind you what the true ministry of the Holy Spirit looks like. It’s not chaotic, flashy, and flamboyant (like a circus). It’s usually concealed and inconspicuous (the way fruit develops). We cannot be reminded too often that the Holy Spirit’s primary role is to exalt Christ, especially to elicit praise for Christ from His people. The Spirit does this in a uniquely personal way, first of all by reproving and convicting us – showing us our own sin, opening our eyes to what true righteousness is, and making us sense deeply our accountability to God, the rightful Judge of all (John 16:8–11). The Holy Spirit indwells believers, empowering us to serve and glorify Christ (Rom. 8:9). He leads us and gives us assurance of our salvation (vv. 14–16). He prays for us with groanings too deep for words (v. 26). He seals us, keeping us secure in Christ (2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 4:30). The Spirit’s daily presence is the source and the secret of our sanctification as He conforms us to the image of Christ.
There’s no mechanism that we possess that tells us at the moment when the Holy Spirit is leading us and in some supernatural way. But that in retrospect we will be able to discern by the providences of God that unfold.
Leading implies following; and those who are enabled to follow the guidance of the Divine Spirit are most assuredly children of God, for the Lord ever leads His own children. If, then, you are following the lead of God’s Spirit, you have one of the evidences of Sonship.
Watch out for any ministry or person who claims to be led by the Holy Spirit but acts contrary to the Word of God. And beware of any movement or group whose focus is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit points not to Himself but to Jesus Christ.