The story of missions in more modern times tells of missionaries whose plans have been changed by the Holy Spirit. Alexander Mackay prepared for work in Madagascar but was directed to Uganda, to aid in founding one of the most remarkable missions in the world. Carey proposed to go to the South Sea but was guided divinely to India, to give the Bible in their native tongue to its teeming millions. Judson wanted to go to India, but his course was changed and he went to Burma instead. When David Livingstone was twelve years of age, he read an appeal for missionaries to go to China and he decided to go. His next decision was to be a medical missionary. With this in view, he began to complete his medical studies. About the time he was ready to go, the Opium War broke out and Englishmen could not go to China. Robert Moffat was in England at that time telling of the South African mission. Livingstone was interested in Moffat’s story and said: “What is the use of waiting for the end of this abominable Opium War? I will go at once to Africa.” Thus the Holy Spirit led Livingstone to Africa and the dreadful slave trade was laid bare to the world. [—Mrs. A. L. Aulick, J.H. Bomberger; Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc., 1996), 488–489.] In today’s post, we are going to address why it’s important for a believer to be easy to be led by the Holy Spirit.
What Are You Communicating Concerning the Spirit’s Leadership?
- People have made statements about being led into certain areas which they deem to be unpleasant areas.
- “God is really going to have to speak to me big before I ever do that…”
- Or, “He is going to have to send an angel or write a message big in the sky with His own hand before I ever go to a place like that…”
- You can fill in the rest here yourself.
- You’ve heard it.
- Have you ever heard someone speak along these lines?
- In fact, you may have even made these comments yourself.
- It’s a funny thing about words though.
What Jesus Said about Words
Matthew 12:36–37 (ESV) — 36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
- My advice to you, in today’s post, is to not ever speak along these lines when referencing the leading of the Spirit.
- First, the Lord is listening to your words.
- Are you really wanting to dictate to Him how He needs to lead you?
- Second, when you say things like ‘God’s going to have to supernaturally write it in the sky for before I will do it’ what are you really communicating?
- You are telling the Lord, and yourself for that matter, that His gentle voice in your heart is not enough direction for you.
Elijah and the Small Voice
- Elijah got over into this type of thinking after his victory over the false prophets at Carmel.
1 Kings 19:9–13 (ESV) — 9 There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. 13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
- Elijah was looking for God of the ‘special effects’.
- The freight train sound of a tornadic type wind.
- The in the big bang rumbling of a seismic shift.
- The scorching heat of a blazing wildfire.
- Elijah looked for God’s direction in these ‘over the top’ moments but God was not in any of it.
- It’s a great lesson to learn because how many times does the Bible record a God moment of this magnitude?
- What does your personal ‘walking with God’ experience tell you about receiving His direction?
- If you have followed the Lord for any length of time, you already know the answer to that.
- He is way more likely to speak to you in ‘the sound of a low whisper’, than in any other way.
The Real Question: Are You Easy to Be Led?
- Are you telling God you are a difficult case in this area of Holy Spirit direction?
- Are you saying to Him you are not easy to be led?
- And that He is going to have to do Hollywood special effects to gain your cooperation?
- What should your confession be?
- How about “I am His sheep and I know His voice.’
- What about ‘Whatever you ask me to do any time you ask me to do it, I am more than willing.”
- Aren’t these better statements to make?
Call to Action
How God chooses to communicate His intentions to you is God’s choice, not yours. That is one reason why putting out ‘fleeces’ doesn’t work because you are choosing the method of communication. God’s gentle still voice is accurate and trustworthy. You can get where you need to be by following it. Hear the Word on this: “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21).
Question: In what other way have you positioned your heart to be ‘easy to be led’? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.