What Does it Mean to be Led by the Spirit?
“O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams. –Saint Augustine
1. Begin your day with God. Make your favorite tasty, hot beverage and snuggle up with your Bible, your journal, and a pen. Pray and ask God to speak to you today as you read His Word.
2. Read Romans 8:1-17. Write verses 5 and 6 in your journal.
What Does it Mean to be Led by the Spirit?
When we put our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside us. The Bible tells us He will guide us in all Truth (John 16:13). But we still have to choose whether we want to live according to His will or live our lives on our own. We decide.
Unfortunately, I have not always chosen to tune into the Spirit and ask Him to teach me and guide me. When I look back on the years I didn’t, they were so dark, like the moments before dawn. The storms of life were overwhelming, and it was hard to find my way .
I was not spending time with God in His Word daily and I felt far from Him. Psalm 119:105 says, God’s “word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” We live in a dark world and sometimes the darkness is all-consuming. When we go camping and the sun goes down, it works best if each person has their own flashlight to light their way. Even if my husband has a nice, bright lantern burning at the picnic table, I won’t be able to see to walk to our camper. Without my flashlight, I will walk in the shadows and I risk tripping over rocks and branches.
God’s Word is our flashlight for Life. By reading the Word daily for ourselves, God illuminates our path so we can avoid the mud and the mire. It is so beautiful that Jesus says He is the Bright Morning Star (Revelation 22:16). He is the one who shines bright on the darkest of nights, lighting our way.
In the same way, the Holy Spirit guides us. We can learn to trust His voice by becoming familiar with scripture. Jesus says in John 10:27, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” By reading the Bible daily, meditating on it and getting it into our heart, we come to know the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Knowing God’s Word, His commands and how much He loves us, causes us to no longer want to sin. The Psalmist says in Psalm 119:11, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” As we read in Romans 8, the Spirit helps us keep our minds set on what the He desires rather than on our sinful desires. When we live according to the Spirit, God promises us life and peace (Romans 8: 5-6). We can ask God for help when the storms come and He will bring to mind helpful and comforting scriptures. In John 14:26 Jesus says, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” What an exciting promise! The Holy Spirit will teach us and remind us of what Jesus has said to us! So, dig in, my friend, read God’s Word consistently and watch and see how the Holy Spirit leads you!
3. Questions to ponder:
• Do you hear the Holy Spirit? If you don’t think you have ever heard the Holy Spirit, pray and ask God to begin to speak to you. Even if it takes some time to hear from Him, give glory to God when a scripture verse pops into your mind. That was the Holy Spirit speaking to you!
• What has God spoken to you today and what do you need to do to heed his prompting?
4. Faith-Filled Ideas:
• If you are not familiar with who the Holy Spirit is, read the following article by Billy Graham. http://billygraham.org/decision-magazine/may-2009/does-the-holy-spirit-live-in-you/
• Record in your journal when the Holy Spirit guides you, or when He gives you a scripture for your situation. It will be encouraging to look back and see His hand at work in your life!
Are You Still Hungry?
“You weren’t an accident. You weren’t mass produced. You aren’t an assembly-line product. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on the earth by the Master Craftsman.”
1. Grab your Bible, a journal, and a pen, get comfortable and ask God to speak to you and open your spiritual eyes as you learn about the Holy Spirit working in YOU!
Are You Still Hungry?
Has there ever been a time in your life when you’ve completed a Bible study, wrote in your journal, or finished listening to a sermon and still felt an unquenchable desire for something more afterward, like the feeling you get when you’ve eaten and still don’t feel full.
This type of longing could be an indicator that the Holy Spirit may be calling you to go deeper, to explore further in order to find out more about yourself, or even to reach a spiritual point you haven’t been to before to develop new gifts inside of you to use for the glory of God! All we have to do is ask the Holy Spirit to speak to us and teach us what we need to know and show us our gifts!
The Lord sent his Spirit to guide us to the next level, one that we cannot even understand. In 1 Corinthians 2: 7-10, we are told, “…of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began…God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.”
He goes on to say, “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.” 1 Corinthians 2:13.
In 1 Corinthians 2, the Holy Spirit reaches out to us in mysterious ways and calls us to become more like Christ. In 1 Corinthians 2:16 we see that He even shares with us the mind of Christ. God also gives us special gifts unique to each one of us. (1 Corinthians 7:7 and Romans 12:4-6) Isn’t that amazing!
We were given these gifts so we could serve the Lord according to His will. I am part of the Help Club for Moms graphic design team, and I am able to use my creative talents to design graphics illustrating the Scriptures used in the Bible studies.
I started recognizing the Spirit calling me during my devotional time early on in the Help Club for Moms. I would write in my journal and underline in my Bible, using various methods to help the Word sink in and be absorbed, yet at the end I felt like I wasn’t finished; like there was a longing for more–from ME!
Because I have a creative background and am a visual person, I decided to try making a visual journal. This was a wonderful answer and I did feel much more complete afterward! There was something truly special in adding a little color!
That’s when the doors started opening for me to create graphics for the Help Club and immediately the feeling of completeness sunk in and my calling became so clear. The key was responding to the Spirit’s calling. Once I finally took action I was able to savor the Lord’s gift he gave to me.
Maybe your special gifts are music or writing or teaching, or perhaps the act of worship and praising God through music helps the message wash over you. It could also be serving others–visiting a nursing home, helping widows and orphans or maybe teaching children in Sunday school. Whatever it may be, through prayer and discernment, you can harness that calling and serve the Lord. Who knows where it may lead!
3. Questions to Ponder: Write the answer to this question honestly in your journal.
– Do you hear the Holy Spirit speak to you? 1 Corinthians 2:14. Do you know what gift(s) the Lord has given you? If not, pray and ask the Lord to send His Spirit to speak to you and show you what they might be. Romans 8:5b
– Are you still pondering your response to the Spirit based on your calling or unique gift, waiting for another day when you may not be as busy or tired? If you have felt that yearning, that longing to respond, pray for guidance to carry it out. Ask for an opportunity to share and serve.
– Read this verse from John 3:8 “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” Pray that you will be able to discern the Spirit and answer accordingly.
4. Faith-Filled Idea:
– I wanted to share a picture from my visual journal so you can see how simple it can be (see web site). I just used a black micron pen and watercolors and you can find a little watercolor sketchbook from any of the local craft stores.
-Here is another link to an example I found through pinterest that you fellow creative people out there may like to see =) This woman is very talented and this may inspire you! http://visualblessings.blogspot.com/
– If you don’t feel your creative juices flowing, try encouraging yourself to go deeper this week and do one thing that would push the message further for you in whatever platform that may be. Strive to find a way to serve the Lord that utilizes your unique gift. 1 Peter 4:10
Leaning on His Counsel
Trying to do the Lord’s work on your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you. -Corrie ten Boom
1. It’s time to meet with your wise Counselor, the one who cares so very deeply about you and those things that concern you today. Take a minute to think about those things that you’ve been trying to do in your own strength and in a moment of prayer, place them in His capable hands.
2. Read the words of James 1:5 and take a few moments to meditate on it. Write this verse in your journal.
Leaning on His Counsel
During a recent visit to the zoo, my children and I stopped by to see one of our new favorites, a 14-month-old orangutan named Ember. While watching her play, I struck up a conversation with a docent who had stopped by to visit this playful little one while on break. She shared with us that Ember means bucket in Swahili. When Ember was born, her mother didn’t have any older females to teach her how to nurse and care for her baby. She simply had no clue what to do with Ember. The zookeepers would retrieve Ember in a bucket and bottle-feed her, and then pass her back to her mother in the same bucket. Upon receiving her baby, the mother would wander around her enclosure, holding her baby in that bucket, completely lost and uncertain about how to care for her baby.
Hearing all this presented me with some strange emotions that I wasn’t anticipating to encounter in the primates building at the zoo. As I looked through the glass at that mama, I felt some solidarity with her. I guess I too have had my days as a “bucket mama,” feeling completely lost with my own little ones and wishing desperately I had someone to show me the way.
So what is to be done? Thankfully, I have found the Holy Spirit to be so faithful in my “bucket” moments. In my darkest, most lost moments, I have encountered Him, gently reminding me that I can lean on Him and ask him for wisdom and guidance. When I do call out to Him for help, it always surprises me how consistently I find Him. He has taught me and instructed me in so many different ways. At times, He simply speaks as that still, small voice in my heart. At other times, He uses a book, a friend, or an experienced mother to instruct me.
Today, no matter what you find yourself lacking, stop and ponder what you do have. God’s Word has given us a great promise:
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3).
You may not have the support you crave from your own mother or other experienced women, but you do have something infinitely better. In those moments when you find yourself “bucket mothering,” feeling lost and alone, open your heart to his leading. He knows your need and the needs of your children better than anyone and He will faithfully guide.
Remember 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Reflect on that today in your bucket moments and rejoice that they are leading you to a beautiful dependence upon Him.
3. Questions to Ponder
As mothers, it is easy to live in guilt and regret. I think most of us could easily list of the areas we feel we have failed or are failing. Today, ask the Lord to show you a few areas in which you are succeeding, and write them down.
Look at your children and think from their perspective. What positive things would they have to say about you as a mother? Meditate on those things throughout your day, especially when you hit moments of frustration or failure.
4. Faith-Filled Idea
I truly believe what our children need most is a grounded and secure mother who is at peace with who she is in Christ. It is difficult to be at peace when guilt and failure constantly bombard you.
Spend some time thinking through one area in which you feel inadequate. For me, it would be getting impatient with my kids during high stress moments, such as leaving the house. How might you invite the Holy Spirit into areas of inadequacy and allow His work to impart life?
Begin today to pray and commit your area of weakness to God and ask Him for the help you need.