Feb28ThuFebruary 28, 2019
Are you more of a person who is driven…driven to succeed, driven to perform, driven to make things happen or are you the type of person who is led… led by your instincts, led to find your sweet spot, being in the right place at the right time? It is often more easy to recognize a driven person because of how they get things done; however being led is not always as easy to detect because it often takes time, patience and perseverance.
When it comes to your spiritual life as a follower of Jesus, it is often a tug of war between both of these ways of living the Christian life; however, being led is absolutely the way we must go. The way of being driven or placing demands on ourselves can only take us so far as our will power goes. Speaking for myself, I know I used to joke about my life goal being to “burn out” serving Jesus, but ministry is so much more than running around trying to meet everyone’s needs. Sharon and I have done a lot of hospital visitation of late and you can either be driven by the expectation of others or be led by the Spirit even when doing ministry. You know when you are being led because you really sense that this is a divine appointment with someone.
Enter the Holy Spirit!
One of the identifying marks of a child of God is being led by the Spirit of God as I was sharing with our BYOB (bring your own Bible) Manor family this past Sunday.
For all who are allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Romans 8:14 AMP
So, what does that look like? How do I know I being led by God’s Spirit. I believe it just has to start with slowing down enough to listen. I am guilty of being one who wants to just get doing or race out ahead. I have a hard time just sitting still, but what I’ve realized in those quiet moments is that God is longing to speak to me though Holy Spirit. As I simply ask the question, “Lord, what is it that you want me to know today?” His Spirit speaks and I have my journal ready. I’m slowly learning to take my cues from a place of listening as opposed to a position where I already know what to do. Sometimes the question needs to be, “Lord, what is getting in the way of my intimacy with you? What is the one thing that is consuming me?
What I do know as well is that the voice of the Spirit is not a condemning voice, but it certainly can be convicting and there is a difference.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 NIV
A condemning voice is one that will always make you feel less than, that you never will measure up. It is a voice that tells you that your life doesn’t matter and it is the voice of the enemy of our souls.
The voice of conviction is a powerful voice and a reminder of who you are in Christ, the you DO belong, that you DO matter to the Lord, that nothing can ever separate you from the love of Christ.
The work of the Spirit in our lives also can come in very emotional and powerful waves. It is a profound sense of the Father’s love that you cannot prescribe or dictate but one that often comes over you and it is undeniable.
As a challenge to our Manor family, we asked them to read Romans 8 and allow the Lord to really speak to them through a verse in this powerful and impactful chapter.
So, here is some of the verses that spoke to our Manor peeps this past Sunday.
Laura shared on verse 38
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
She shared no matter how down you are, how strung out, at the lowest of lows, nothing can separate you from the love of Jesus. It was such a wonderful revelation for her and not only that, but Laura is the first one who has asked to lead a Bible study and that is so exciting for us as we are seeing more hunger and more maturity as they grow in confidence and faith.
Barb shared on the same verse and the message of “Jesus’ footprints with her” She shared, “He’s always there.” She spoke about a time when she was working as a nurse with sick kids in the pediatrics ward. She remembers a time distinctly when a little 3 year old dying girl said to her, “I can see the anger in your eyes, but you wouldn’t be if you could see what I can see and where I am going.” It was in this unusual and unlikely place where Barb’s faith would begin.
Tiara, who has been confined to a wheelchair since her childhood, shared on verse 18
“ I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
She shared how the sufferings and trials of this present world are nothing compared to the glory that we will receive. It is Tiara’s attitude and faith in spite of all that she has gone through that has inspired so many of us connected to this ministry.
As I close out this post I want to share just how important the Holy Spirit is to our prayer life and how the Spirit and our Jesus pour out their heart for us before the Father as we pray.
The ministry of the Spirit is to teach us to wait patiently for those things which will last forever. They are the things that don’t come easy, they come often with tears and pain, but the end result is always beautiful and worth the wait.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26
Holy Spirit teaches us to pray. We groan. Why? Because often when you get to the place of intense prayer, where you are overwhelmed at the prospect of what is staring you in the face you understand Paul when he says, we do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express!
There are times in particular I have sensed and felt this incredible groaning. I was at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem praying that people here would recognize Jesus as Messiah and it was an intense moment for me. Another time was at my bedside on an Easter morning as I prepared for the service and overwhelmed at the realization that I would be baptizing Jordan and Brynley, my two oldest children at that time. I have also groaned at the loss of my own identification with a pastoral position, but have also learned in that place the unimaginable leading of the Lord though His Spirit into the ministry at the Manor. We certainly weren’t driven there that was for sure, it was an adventure of being led by Holy Spirit and I wouldn’t want it anyway else!
This is how we are led by the Spirit. We all need to hear his word and move out in response to that word. We need to hear God speak promises and take possession of those promises.
When we hear the promise but don’t take action, we live in fear, and the promise remains unfulfilled.
When we take action but aren’t really listening for the promise, we live in our flesh, aimlessly kicking in all directions at once and never really bearing fruit. Ben Sternke