“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. Galatians 5:16-17 (NKJV)
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25 (NKJV)
The word translated as walk carries with it the idea of keeping step with another in submission. Warren Wiersbe says this means that we cannot run ahead of the Spirit or lag behind His leadership. This means that we are to live, act, and react under the guidance, and influence of the Holy Spirit.
For most of my life my idea of a Spirit filled, Spirit led life involved the Holy Spirit leading me to church, leading me away from sin and giving me love, joy, peace, etc… But as I look at this verse I really don’t think that sums up what it means to live a Spirit filled, Spirit led life.
As I think about what it means to be Spirit filled and Spirit led in every area of my life I break it down into two different categories, Obvious Stuff and Not So Obvious Stuff. The obvious stuff is stuff that to me seem, well obvious. The not so obvious stuff isn’t so obvious to me, but would be included if being Spirit filled and Spirit led encompasses EVERY area of my life.
Have A Thriving Spiritual Life. If the Holy Spirit is leading me it seems pretty obvious that He will lead me to do those things necessary to have a thriving spiritual life.
Have A Close Relationship With Jesus. If the Holy Spirit is leading me it seems pretty obvious that He will lead me to have a close relationship with Jesus.
Share The Gospel. This also seems pretty obvious. In Acts 1:8 we are told that when the Holy Spirit comes upon us we will be witnesses.
Live A Holy Life. The HOLY Spirit will obviously lead me to live a holy life.
Be Active In Service To Jesus. I can’t see the Holy Spirit leading to be a lazy slouch that isn’t involved in serving the Lord.
Not So Obvious Stuff
My Finances. I’m not really talking about tithing here. I’m really thinking about the whole of my finances. What do I do with the money that is left after I’ve given tithes and offerings? If the Holy Spirit is leading me in every area of my life He might have me do something with it I’ve not thought about doing.
My Parenting. Since the Bible has so much to say about being a parent it seems that the Holy Spirit might lead me in my parenting. After all, we are talking about every area of life.
My Use Of Time. The Bible also talks a lot about redeeming the time, making the most of every opportunity, etc. If the Holy Spirit is leading me in every area of my life, I wonder how He might lead me to use my time differently?
My Job. If the Holy Spirit was leading me in every area of my life, how would He direct me at work? To get a new job, treat my boss with more respect, spend less time piddling around?
My Speech. The Bible also talks a lot about the way we talk. How different would my speech be from day to day if the Holy Spirit was guiding me in every area of my life?
My Relationships. Relationships seem to be a pretty big deal in the Bible. If the Holy Spirit was leading me in every area of my life would there be relationships He led me to initiate, cultivate or separate?
There are probably a lot more ways that the Holy Spirit will lead us.
As I was trying to figure out how we can be led by the Spirit in every area of our lives, I came to the conviction there are two questions that are more critical than how. These questions are so critical that if we don’t answer the ‘right’—for lack of a better word—way, the how doesn’t even matter.
Do I Really Believe This Is Possible?
Do I really believe it is possible to live a life where I am Spirit filled and Spirit led in every area of my life? Do I believe that God cares enough about every area of my life for the Holy Spirit to lead in this way?
Growing up I never had any idea that the Holy Spirit could/would guide me in every area of my life. My idea of being led by the Holy Spirit was, He would lead me to church, live a holy life and produce the fruit of the Spirit in my life. Anything more wasn’t even on my radar. I hope I’m not the only one that has had this idea in my life.
Before I can even wonder about the how, I’ve got to settle in my mind that it is possible to be Spirit filled and Spirit led in every area of my life.
Do I Really Want To Live This Way?
The obvious answer is, “yes, I want to live this way.” But before we give a quick answer we need to consider the implications of living this way.
*What if instead of going out to eat the Holy Spirit leads me to go home, fast, pray for missionaries and then send the money I was going to spend on eating out to missions? Is this something I’m willing to do?
*What if I’m really busy in my life and my busyness is hindering my relationship with Jesus, my service to Jesus, my spiritual life, my relationships, or just my life in general. The Holy Spirit might lead me to stop being involved in many things so I can focus on a few. Is this something I’m willing to do?
*What if not busy enough? What if the Holy Spirit shows me that I spend too much time watching television, taking too many naps or spending too much time on the Internet and wants me to stop that so I can do other things instead? Is this something I am willing to do?
*What if when I go out to eat and the Holy Spirit leads me to ask my waitress/waiter if there is something you can pray for them about and then pray for them in the restaurant? Is this something I’m willing to do?
*What if the Holy Spirit leads me to go up to someone I don’t know—or do know—and talk to them about Jesus? Is this something I am willing to do?
There are no telling how many more specific situations could come up. But no matter what the situations are, I think they will fall into four broad categories.
Leave My Comfort Zone. I can’t think of anyone in Scripture who lived a Spirit filled, Spirit led life and stayed in their comfort zone. I wonder, if I never get out of my comfort zone am I really being led by the Holy Spirit?
Be Faithful. It would be nice if we followed the Holy Spirit and everything we did produced fruit right away. It just doesn’t seem to work that way. Those who were Spirit filled and Spirit led had to keep on keeping on even when things were tough. I wonder, if I quit every time something gets hard am I really being led by the Holy Spirit?
Trust God. It seems that those who were Spirit filled and Spirit led always seemed to be led to do things that were bigger than they could accomplish on their own. They had to trust that God would do those things they weren’t able to. I wonder, if I can accomplish everything I am doing without God’s help, am I really being led by the Holy Spirit?
Bear The Fruit Of The Spirit. The love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control certainly is a part of what it would mean to be Spirit filled and Spirit led in every area of my life. One of the things that stands out about those who were led by the Spirit in Scripture is that while there may have been tough times in their lives, their lives didn’t seem to be characterized by a grudging acceptance of the way things were. They had love, joy and peace. The peace that Paul had that would lead him to sing hymns to God at midnight from jail is amazing.
So, do you believe that you can be Spirit filled and Spirit led in every area of your life? Do you really want to live this way?