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This month's teaching : Repentance

Being Led by The Spirit

Being led by the Holy Spirit is often viewed as being some kind of mystical experience of spiritual ecstasy. This is far from the truth in every way. Being led by the Spirit is an act of obedience to that which the Holy Spirit has inscribed within our heart. I have found that some of the greatest miracles performed by God’s hand in my life, were simply brought by obedience to something burdened in my heart by the Holy Spirit. I have often said that He leads our feet where He wants our face. Many are led by their face and what they see and hear, walking away from the place where God wants them to function. Lot is an example of this, having been led by what he saw by his face, he walked into Sodom.

The problem with most Spirit-filled believers is that they do not trust what is in their heart to do. When the baptism of the Holy Spirit comes upon a man, he is called to walk in the presence of God by the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. The sign of divine sonship is the basic truth of a walk of simple obedience to the voice of the Holy Spirit within, not without. We must recognize unquestionably that the Holy Spirit lives within the true children of God. Many clearly do not carry that authentication, having no confirming results of fruit of the Holy Spirit.

The affirmation of the Holy Spirit is the fruit of the Spirit. This fruit is not our own fruit, but solely the fruit of the Holy Spirit. This spiritual fruit cannot be cooked up or produced by ability outside of the power of the presence of the Holy Spirit. Some have forms of this fruit, but they are circumstantial and not spiritual fruit. Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance… These fruits abide under all circumstances when the presence of the Holy Spirit is within the temple of God. A lack of the fruit of the Spirit, speaks of a lack of the presence of the Holy Spirit. A lack of the presence of the Holy Spirit, speaks of the misunderstanding of the importance of being led by the Holy Spirit. When we are not being led by the Spirit, we are led by ourselves. When we are led by ourselves, we are not sons of God. When we are not sons of God, who are we? Many stand in this unsure position, not knowing who they are. Our confidence is in the conclusion of who we think we are.

Most professing Christians have almost no sense of the Holy Spirit within them, they are missing the link we must have between us and heaven. While many would argue this position, it is because they lack regard for the importance of being led by the Spirit—this being the only way to true sonship. Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit and came forth out of the wilderness by the power of the Spirit. When we are obedient in being led by the Spirit, we become empowered by the Spirit. This truth is the difference between powerlessness and living by the supernatural power of the Spirit. It was never God’s intention for His children to live out a form of holiness, without being filled by the power of the Spirit. Once one experiences the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, He becomes a reality within. This person is aware of His indwelling, and overflowing presence always. This brings a constant desire to be led by the Spirit. He becomes a guiding reliance that you are lost without.

When we are led by the Spirit, we are led into all truth; we love embracing the truth regardless of the cost. He comforts us, and we are receptive to being taught by Him. Many will desire to teach us preferences, but we cannot receive it when it is the opinion of man and not from the Holy Spirit. There will always be those who desire to derail the Spirit-filled man by foreign opinion, and mixed concoctions of self and pretense. But when a spiritual man knows the voice of the Spirit within, he is not persuaded by opinions or things contrary to the truth written in the Word and in his heart. Being led by the Spirit is being faithful to that which is written. Being led by the Spirit is being faithful to that true voice. True followers, who are full of the Holy Spirit, are as sheep to their master. John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. Jesus said in John 18:37, “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice”. If we are of truth, we hear His voice and it can be difficult to follow at times, but we hear it distinctly. Hallelujah!

The Will of God

Is the will of God something we have naturally obtained? When I look at the will of God concerning humans, my thoughts turn to duties that God assigns as a specific task for us to fulfill. One thing that is always in the picture of the will of God, is that He receives the glory and honor in everything we do. Is it not true that when our ability is admired, we receive the glory? Where the Bible speaks about the will of God, it never mentions anything that can be accomplished with much practice or great mental ability on our part. Certainly, we all must work to be able to feed ourselves, as the Bible indicates. So, is the will of God in what we do for a living or our common practices in fulfilling obligations? What is the will of God? If the will of God is not included in our work, then the vast majority of Christians would be outside of the will of God.

In the prior writing, I spoke of the three specific forms of God’s will. His good, acceptable, and perfect will. I wrote about the requirements for finding God’s will for our life. Once our own way is surrendered to Christ, His way becomes a visible picture to follow. There are so many people who try to surrender things, but fail to surrender their own way. This writing is a preface to a deeper teaching in the following writings concerning our body, soul, and spirit.

I understand that man is made of three specific functions. The body, soul, and spirit are the triune manifest of the human being. The body is the earthen vessel which was made from the dust of the ground. The soul was the result of the breath of God when He created Adam. The spirit is the divine central heart of the being, and is the very place indwelled by the Holy Spirit.

First, I want to look at the function of the body. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Our body contains all three relative functions designed by God, enabling us to do His will. Within this body, we are entirely capable of doing the will of God. When a man becomes born-again, he is brand-new and needs to function in a completely new way. Here is where the word, obedience enters the picture. Obedience is always to one thing; it is continually to the will of God. Knowing the will of God is of utmost importance so that we can fulfill that which we have been created for. We have been created in His image and His likeness. I believe the ‘good will’ includes what the body or human being does. The body does works primarily with hands and feet, and accomplishes things great and small. The body carries the soul and spirit, and transports these functions to where they need to be. The body is needed to function in the good will of God and it is within our body that the soul and spirit can function.

The soul is where our mind, will, and emotion are contained. This is the means of decision for the function of our being. I want to use a simple form of explanation—if our mind says go, and our will says go, and our emotions say go, guess what happens? We go! Our mind decided the direction of our feet. Our will decided to follow through and step forward. The emotions told us how fast to step. This is a simple way of understanding our functions. Our soul must be in subjection to a higher power or else it will fail in every way. Our soul needs to understand the acceptable will of God in the way it adapts its behavior to the purpose it serves.

Our spirit is the antenna that receives hearing by way of inspiration, enlightenment, and revelation. If our spirit is tainted with our self-life, we can easily hear wrong through our imagination and be deceived like Eve. Our spirit is the deeper compartment of our being. This part of our life needs a deeper transformation, otherwise the Holy Spirit will not function there. It must remain in a constant state of transformation by way of daily death, and resurrection. It is in this compartment that the perfect will of God is revealed.

The spirit of man yields upwards in spiritual quest to know God and His ways. Ecclesiastes 3:21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? The transformed spirit of man is spiritually-minded, and the carnal man is earthly-minded. It is within the spirit of man that the Holy Spirit dwells and empowers the whole being to do the perfect will of God.

1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. V.10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Finding the Will of God

Today I will write about two key verses that have brought clear direction to me throughout much of my Christian experience. Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. V.2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

In my young Christian life, I used to have the constant question – ‘how can I know the will of God for my life?’. I would also hear this question among many of my fellow youth during question-and-answer periods among our group. In those years, my future looked like a blur with no clear definition. I also never heard any minister of the gospel give a clear answer to my question. It was not until I set out to seek God for a revolutionizing change in my life, that I found these life-changing verses. When I followed the direction of this verse, immediately I found God’s will for my life. I have relived this verse many times throughout the ministry that God has placed upon me, to assure me, to hold me, to recommit the vision for my life.

Life, at times, becomes very complicated and extremely difficult to endure concerning God’s will and how we relate to it. We are challenged on every side to lay down what has been placed in our heart. If the enemy can cancel our submission to the will of God, then we will walk in our own will!

How do I find God’s will for my life? The clear key is to present our body as a sacrifice before God. We die to our own ideas, hang-ups, desires, and all private reservations as we lay them completely and unreservedly before the Lord without any hesitation. This is one complete package of surrender; it is all given up here. All fear and doubt and personal initiative is brought before God with one thing in mind—we will lay it down, and leave it there. All becomes silenced and final. This we do before the Lord as a lamb to the slaughter. This entire surrender to God is not unreasonable in any way, but is simply what God desires before He can lead us further. Let’s take a moment and do this today before the Lord.

What just transpired is called holy and acceptable to God, and He calls it “reasonable service”. Now our personal conformity to the world has lost its grip on our soul. It has shed itself from us, and has no more control over us in this position. Conformity to the world has all to do with our mind, and our thinking. We used to want approval from the world; now we desire approval from God alone. When we present our body as a living sacrifice before God in a spiritual sense, we become holy and acceptable before God in a moment.

The next thing we notice is that there has been a renovation of the mind. We are transformed by the renewed mind. The mind does not bear the old things nor the despicable struggles that enticed us at one time. Old arguments linger no longer, they have left us, and we are not controlled by those thoughts anymore. They lay dead at the feet of Jesus. When things are surrendered, they lose their power in a moment. It is alone in this state of surrender that our mind is renewed in a notable way. Now the will of God for our life becomes clear before us. Now, being transformed by the renewing of our mind, we may prove the good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

We can now understand the will of God because we have the mind of Christ.
There are three distinctive forms of God’s will:
1. His good will.
2. His acceptable will.
3. His perfect will.
God leads us in these as He sees us in three consecutive depths of surrender. The more spiritually mature we become in Christ, the deeper our purpose within His will is revealed. The deeper the perfection that the Holy Spirit’s refining brings, the more perfect His will becomes for us to fulfill. There is clearly a good, acceptable and perfect will of God.

When your deep surrender to God becomes a genuine reality, there arises a spiritual passion that is formed within to do a specific task known as the will of God. This task is one that rests in your heart as a burden and does not go away. This task is what God will lead you into only as you live a surrendered life. This alone is how we know and do the will of God. It is never complicated, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Hallelujah!

1 John 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

My Life for His Will

Years ago, I was in Japan and went on a tour during which they took us to places where we were asked to remove our shoes. They considered these to be very high places of consecrated activities, such as the presentation of offerings and incense. There was a statue of Buddha which they made offerings to. I would not go in but saw it through a large open door. There were scores of bells and many small containers of expensive substance housed there. The place was considered very sacred because it was a place to transfer gifts to some higher point of worship. There were signs indicating the many things forbidden in these places which they called shrines. Shoes, for instance, were not allowed through the door. There was only one thing allowed here, they called it worship.

When Almighty God thinks of His own people, what does He know them as? God sees our body as a temple. The original definition of that word is: shrine. 1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? V.20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Did the Japanese understand something about a shrine that we ourselves deface and disvalue before the true God? The purpose of our body is to temple the Holy Ghost. This is done with a grand welcoming from the once hell-bound human being. We present gifts and offerings of praise and thanksgiving, giving 100% of ourselves here. This is the first and most important thing in our entire life. When this is done, there is splendor and beauty that exists here. This royal practice is heavenly and powerful and so pure. To be at peace with God in this inner curriculum of selfish tendencies and yet defray all circumstantial power of the imagination is something only found where the Holy Spirit spreads his wings of serenity. Oh Hallelujah! Here we can walk in heaven’s balance contained within the human heart. This treasure in an earthen vessel is Holy before God and therefore Satan seeks to desecrate it, bringing continuous trouble to it. These are the inner chambers where the prayers of the saints prevail through faith that is not complex.

There are spiritual enemies that are persistent against this harmony. The accord is not all that visible from the soul of carnal man, but is a spiritual threat in the highest capacity because of the Holy Spirit’s unseen presence. It is the culmination of inspiration, revelation, and illumination as portals of Heaven presented on Earth. The Cain from Eden is never at rest in this pleasant portrait. Cain fights it within or without because he is a vehicle of jealousy to outperform everyone. Everyone is a threat to Cain. Cain is never satisfied with his own shoes. Until we are comforted and can rest in the shoes God designed for us, we are failures to the will of God.

Hebrews 10:5 Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me. Religious pragmatism appeals to the idea that we need to be a victim in order to be a sacrifice. We are no longer victims in sacrifice for offering. What we are, is a prepared body fitted to do the will of God. V.7 Then said I, Lo, I come in the volume of the book it is written of me, to do thy will, O God. Our task is a simple one to fulfill. We are here to do the will of God.

Scores of people have asked me down through the years how to know the will of God for their lives. I have only one answer to this self-adjusted and complex question: YOU KNOW! Within the daily activities of a temple of His glory, residing within a transformed life, there will always be a lineup of legitimate notations drawing our attention to a question of the simple will of God. Within the heart of the saint there is rest and peace in His will. The will of God is not an imagination. It is not in your head but profoundly quiet in your heart. In the heart, it is never covered with confusion. In the mind, it is seldom without confusion. What is the will of God for your life? You know, now walk therein.