Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
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Being Led by the Spirit
1 Corinthians 2:9. But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.''
10. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
11. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
13. These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
15. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.
16. For "Who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?'' But we have the mind of Christ.
I believe every Christian has the privilege of hearing and being led by God. I also believe that many Christians would balk if you told them that God actually spoke to you. They might think you have an over active imagination or that you are just plain crazy. First of all we have to understand how God speaks to us and then learn how to listen. In order to be effective listeners we have to understand how we hear from God. We have to know the difference between our mind and our spirit.
God always speaks to our spirit not our mind or intellect. Our spirit has to be developed just like our mind has to be developed. How do we do this?
Let's first look at the triune nature of manÖ
1 Corinthians 10:32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God.
The Apostle Paul was not talking about spiritual hearing, but he did say something very enlightening here in this verse.
He talked about three separate groups of men. Jews, Greeks, and the Church of God. We the church of God, are new creatures in Christ Jesus. We are unique in the whole universe. We are the body of Christ. There is no one else like us.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
There are three distinct types of man. 1. The natural man is spiritually dead, he has not passed from death unto life. 2. The carnal man is alive unto God but a baby Christian or not grown or developed in the Lord. 3. The Spiritual man is alive and has developed into a mature believer capable of discerning divine truth.
We have to be able to separate our carnal or we might say natural man from the spiritual man. Let me explain, the Apostle Paul saidÖ
1 Corinthians 2:14-16. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For "Who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?'' But we have the mind of Christ.
God governs this spiritual man by His Word. We donít listen to God the same way we listen to the radio! The things of God are spiritually discerned. Our own natural man or we might say our own intellect can not receive spiritual things like it does natural or worldly things. We have to learn to tune in with our spirit unto the Holy Spirit of God.
Romans 8:5-8. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
The mind of the flesh is enmity against God. This is talking about the man who lives and is guided by his five physical senses and not by his spirit. This is the sense led man. The sense led man is never led by his spirit, or probably never even considered that he has a spirit.
We spend a lot of time and effort training our intellect and developing our senses. We go to school from the time we are very little. I donít want to be misunderstood. I am not bashing education, I thank God for it, however the point I am making is that you donít learn to be led by the Spirit of God and hear God's voice because of a great education, or lack of it for that matter. We have to put time and effort into training our spirit just like we put time and effort into training our minds or bodies. They wonít develop if you donít! A great athlete didnít get that way by setting on the sofa and eating potato chips, anymore than a great scholar got that way by playing video games all day. We all know that it just doesnít work like that.
Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart.
This is where the Lord communicates with us, the spirit of man, never our mind or in the sense realm. We have to understand that the real us is a spirit, and that we live in a body, and possess a soul. For us to be led of the Lord, our spirit must be alive unto God. Being alive unto God is saying that we are born of God, if you are not born again your spirit can not communicate with God because it has not God's life. Light and darkness have nothing in common.
The third man we talked about is the spiritual man and this man is the one who is alive unto God and taught of the Lord. This man knows the Word of God and is sensitive to the Holy Spirit. He is able to hear the voice of God and be led by Him. This is a man who is pliable before God. You might say what do you mean by pliable? I mean that you are sensitive to God's Spirit. You are one who hears and obeys. Disobedience to the Word of God and to God's voice and leading will result in a hard hearted condition.
Ezekiel 11:19-20. Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God.
Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
When we are born again, we receive this heart of flesh that the prophet Ezekiel was prophesying about, however in order to keep our heart or spirit sensitive to the Holy Spirit, we have to walk in obedience to what we receive from Him. We have a responsibility in this. There is a level of accountability in the things of God that we have to be made aware of. I often tell people that God is not politically correct. His Word is the divine truth and thatís that. He always blesses obedience and disobedience is something that will separate us from Him and put us into a place where the destroyer will have an opportunity to work.
But that is not the way it has to be with us is it?
Joshua 1:8 "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
This is a favorite Scripture of mine and I use it frequently, and this is a good time to pull it out and use it again. This is God's first commandment to Joshua after the death of Moses.
God is telling Joshua how to have good success. If Joshua didnít have any accountability, God would not have told him to do certain things to have good success would He?
God told Joshua to keep the book of the law in his mouth. Have you ever considered that? God's Word must not depart from your mouth. You notice He didnít say this Book of the Law shall not depart from your mind, but rather your mouth. Why is that? I believe speaking God's Word affirms what we already know to be the truth and deeply engrains this truth into our spirit in such a way as to cause us to receive this truth supernaturally. I know this sounds like a mouthful but God told Joshua to do it as part of His instruction to good success. I think He knows what He is talking about don't you? He also has our best interests at heart when He is giving us instructions of any kind.
As I said already, God governs a spiritual man by His Word. I would like to emphasize that this is the way that you begin to know God's Word. You can not walk in obedience to His Word until you know His Word and understand it. This is talking about true revelation of God's will, whether it comes out of His written Word of a spoken rhema Word to your life. A rhema word is a word that is a revealed to you by God's Spirit. Joshua meditated in God's Word until It became real or revealed to Him. I can tell you from personal experience that there is a vast gulf between head knowledge and heart knowledge. Head knowledge may say it is so, but heart knowledge will see you through to the other side with peace and confidence. The revealed Word of God will cause you to walk in victory.
I would also like to point out that once you have this heart knowledge you must act on it.
James says in 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24. for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
This hearer of the Word is someone who has received revelation knowledge and does not act on it. You must follow through with what you have received. This is the man who will be blessed in what he does. You could say this is the man who receives the fruit of his labor. Be aware of who is in you. Believe your beliefs and doubt your doubts. Put God's Word first place in your life. Hear and meditate continually in God's Word.
Jesus said in Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. This is the beginning of being led. We can never truly discern the voice of God until we know what His Word says. His Word will always line up with that spiritual voice, always! Learn to instantly obey the voice of the Holy Spirit.
1 Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
Learn it, meditate in it, speak it, receive it and act on it. This will take you through every hard place.
If you want to know for sure that you are a child of God then take the first step and earnestly pray this prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "Öand the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37), So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.