Dear Loved One,
Have you ever asked yourself: What does it mean to walk in the Spirit? How can I be led by the Lord?
Throughout my ministry, people have asked me those questions countless times. Despite the frequency of these questions, for many years I did not have a “pat answer.” Sometimes, I even became a little flustered at my inability to give such an answer.
I would often wish that I could say something like, “Here. Magic statement number 12 says how to walk in the Spirit, and spiritual axiom number 3A covers how to know the leading of the Spirit.”
But the truth was, I did not have that specific of an answer to those questions. Then, one day as I was preparing a message on Romans 8:13-17, the Lord illuminated something from this passage of Scripture that was a tremendous blessing to me. Verse 14 of this passage says, “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” (NIV)
In His glorious way, He quickened my heart to the answer: Basically, when you love the Lord, you don’t need to worry about walking any other way. I hope to bless you by sharing how this truth will deepen your walk with the Lord.
Romans 8:14 is not saying, “If you’re led by the Spirit, then it’ll prove you’re a son of God. So, you better be led by the Spirit, because that’s the way you prove it.” This is important, because I have heard believers say there have been times they really felt God was leading them to do a certain thing, and it did not turn out well.
It is important for us to understand that even when those things happen, or we feel we missed the mark in some area of our lives, the Lord didn’t forsake us. Some may say, “Well, at times, I felt like He did.” But, I want you to know that when we enter into a relationship with the Lord, the Holy Spirit keeps leading us, no matter what.
God’s Commitment to His Children
“And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.” (Exodus 13:21-22 NKJV)
Dear friend, closely look at the first few words of verse 22, “He did not take away the pillar.” He did not take it away... This is an incredibly powerful statement.
Now, this was not a particularly “spiritual” group of people. Yet, the day the Israelites launched out, the Lord began to lead them by His presence and His Spirit. This was not because they had done so much for the Lord. It was because if He did not lead them, they didn’t have any other hope. If God didn’t lead them, they didn’t stand a chance.
And God led them, no matter what. He didn’t say, “Well, they’re murmuring today. I’m not going to lead them.” He did not take away the cloud. He did not take away the pillar. When they did some awfully foolish, and even sinful things, He still led them. Loved One, please hear this, the Scriptures say God commits Himself to His people. He gives the cloud to lead those that are His sons and daughters, the ones He’s called out to Himself.
Seeing in the Spiritual Realm
Something similar happened on the day of Pentecost, when the members of the early Church were all together in one place. Suddenly, the sound of a mighty, rushing wind came from Heaven, filling the house where they were gathered, and over the heads of these believers appeared what looked like tongues of fire.
That almost sounds similar to a pillar of fire, doesn’t it? It’s like each person had their own individual glory cloud; their own pillar of fire.
Now before the spirit of doubt and skepticism creeps in, I want to bind it up in the name of Jesus and share something powerful with you. Loved One, I pray you will receive this. You do not get anything less than Israel got. You don’t get anything less than the first century Church got. The same power and guidance of our Father’s Holy Spirit is available to you today! Just as the Holy Spirit came to lead them, the Holy Spirit comes to lead you and me. You may be saying, “Well, Pastor Jack, we don’t see that kind of thing anymore.” But we must remember, both the pillar of fire in the wilderness and the tongues of fire on Pentecost were seen by people in the spiritual realm. The people of the early Church did not have candles sitting on their heads. It was not a physical thing. It was something in the spiritual realm, and people saw it spiritually.
Now I point that out because what I am going to tell you is a bombshell illustration for many. If you love Jesus and have been born again by the life-giving work of the Holy Spirit, that flame is over your head right now!
What believers experienced at Pentecost is the same thing we get. What the Israelites experienced on the day of their release from Egypt is available to you and me today.
The Holy Spirit wants us to expect that same glory and presence to be with us and bring settled peace and certainty in our lives. The Spirit of God is saying to us, “I’m not going to forsake you. I’m going to lead you. I’m going to make your way clear.”
But that doesn’t mean life will always be a bed of roses...
Sometimes, we have the tendency to think that if we are led by the Spirit, then everything is going to come up roses. Many times, I have heard people say, “Boy, I don’t know. I must have gotten out of the will of God somewhere. I’m really going through it.” Dear friend, even when we are going through difficult times, the Lord is right there in whatever that difficulty is with us.
Now there are times that our disobedience gets us into a mess, but even then, the cloud still hasn’t departed from us. The glory of His Spirit is still present to see us through.
It is also important to understand there will be occasions the Lord is going to have you turn a corner that doesn’t make sense to you. And if you’re not sure, He’ll speak to you. He will confirm to you to turn that way and not be afraid. It may look like a dead-end street, but we can rest assured that with the Lord’s glory cloud, we are never on a dead-end street. Hallelujah! Just stay where the cloud is. Stay where He’s leading you. Don’t rush off or rumble off on your own thing. Don’t try to fight the difficult times by yourself or go into a frenzy of worry and anxiety. The Lord’s instructions to us in these times is to wait and trust in Him. As we stand still in faith, we will see the salvation of the Lord.
Trusting the Lord’s Schedule
Each of us faces times and seasons in our lives when things just don’t seem to be “happening.” I want to encourage you to remember these seasons are not because God is trying to work up an idea of what to do or where to lead you next. Nor is God doing pushups to try and work up the power to overcome the obstacles in your life. These times teach us how to wait for the Lord and trust His perfect timing.
His manifest, miraculous workings will come to your aid. And He is still in the business of doing the unplannable and inconceivable to open up the way before you. That’s exactly what the Lord is committed to do for you and me. But, if we go striking out on our own, or trying to fight the enemy in our own strength, we are going to be defeated. Rest in the glory of His presence, because that’s where your victory is assured. As you trust His timing and plan for your life, you will be amazed at the works the Lord will do on your behalf.
“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. . .” As His children, God promises to lead us by His Spirit, no matter what. In every season of life, we can count on that promise. He led the Israelites. He led the early Church. He will lead you!
Grateful for His Promises,
P.S. To better understand how to be led by the Holy Spirit, I invite you to look at the enclosed page. There you’ll find some special resources designed to help you learn how to recognize and follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit each and every day.
How do you walk and live in the Spirit? How do you know the leading of the Holy Spirit? To help you answer these questions, Pastor Jack would like to send you these empowering resources in appreciation for your support this month:
For a gift of $25 or more, we’ll send you, Living in the Spirit. In this 4-CD set, Pastor Jack Hayford explains that the Lord longs to lead us by His Spirit, but sometimes we don’t recognize it. You’ll learn how to hear His voice and better understand how to follow His Spirit’s direction. You’ll also discover the importance of receiving a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit, so that you can see clearer, love dearer and walk nearer to the Lord.
The 4-CD collection includes: Led by the Spirit Pt. 1 – Led by the Spirit Pt. 2 – Receiving Fresh Surges of the Holy Spirit – Developing Dimensions of Spirit-Filled Living
As our “Thank You!” for your gift of $75 or more, we’ll send you Pastor Jack Hayford’s classic book on spirit-filled living, along with the Living in the Spirit 4-CD set. In it, Pastor Jack shares how to deepen your walk with the Lord by rediscovering the power and blessings of prayer and fasting, daily worship, and the release of repentance and forgiveness. You’ll find it to be an inspiring guide on how to live the Spirit-formed life… where God guides and we thrive!Click here to DOWNLOAD this 4-Message set for a gift of $25 or more Click here to receive the 4-CD set for a gift of $25 or more Click here to receive the 4-CD set and book for a gift of $75 or more