How Not to Walk by the Spirit

Adam Mabry: “I feel like the Lord is leading me to do it.” Those were my friend’s parting words to me. I told him not to follow this leading, but he’d had an experience he “really felt was from the Lord.” I tried to explain what the Bible had to say about his choice. In fact, many had. But, he had an experience, and he wasn’t budging. So off he went—into his error, out of the church, and away from Jesus. This situation it so common in churches across the spectrum that you could probably fill in details from similarly painful conversations. Add to that our culture’s commitment to an expressive individualism that exalts actualizing our desires above conforming to God’s, and we’ve set the stage for rough times when trying to convince someone that what they “feel led to do” may not be the Holy Spirit at all. No wonder some respond to this problem by simply denying God’s Spirit speaks to us today. My

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The Holy Spirit and decision making

Jude St.John: The role of the Spirit in decision making can bring up some contentious issues. Extremes range from the charismaniac who is always looking for some type of “sign” from God to the hardcore cessationist who will deny any sort of input-prompting, impulse, intuition-that could be attributed to God’s direction. This may be a difficult area for Christians to navigate, but I think this excerpt from Gospel Centered Discipleship is helpful in terms of adding some balance to the backlash against the Spirit’s involvement in our decision making. After his baptism, Jesus was “lead by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil” (Luke 4:1-2). Notice that the Spirit played a directive role in the life of the Son of God. Mark tells us that the Spirit “drove” Jesus into the wilderness (Mark 1:12). Jesus clearly relied on the Spirit for direction. This sensitivity to the directing influence of the Holy Spirit is characteristic of the

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