For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (Romans 8:14, ESV)
True Christians (sons of God) follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
We all value our independence – our culture promotes it and our self-reliance demands it. We think we know what we want and we do what we must to pursue it.
However, Christians are to be led by the Spirit of God. In order to be led, I must be willing to follow. To follow, I must pay attention to the One who is leading. To pay attention, I must listen to the One who is speaking. To truly listen, I must get quiet – emptying myself of all selfish and self-reliant thoughts, desires, requests, and busyness.
Who Are You Following?
Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). The authenticity and evidence of my faith isn’t based on what I say or do. It lies in me listening to God, Him knowing me, and me following Him as He leads.
In Matthew 7:23 Jesus also says, “And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” There are some people He will never truly know – not by His choice, but by theirs alone. To clarify, the word “knew” used in this verse means to know someone intimately from personal acquaintance – as opposed to simply being knowledgeable about that person. Yes, Christ is knowledgeable about everyone; but He intimately knows only those who have established a personal relationship with Him.
Paul says, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19). This is where the following part of Christianity comes in. We not only hear Him and are intimately known to Him, but we follow what He says and where He leads.
In the parable of the Prodigal son, the pigs were content to remain in the filthy pigpen; the son was not. He heard the call to return home to his father. There may be periodic occasions where we sinfully “wander away” from our heavenly Father – but deep inside we hear and heed His call to and follow Him.
Hearing, knowing, and following. Not much allowance for self-centered, independent wandering, is there?
- When was the last time you spent significant time being alone and truly quiet with God?
- When you spent such a time, what did you hear Him say or how did He lead you?
- What is the Holy Spirit leading you to do at this moment?