The Christian life has many ups and downs. Some Christians I know seem to have more downs than ups. I can totally relate. For 14 years I’ve been saved and the last two years I’ve been a Christian. I kind of say this in jest, but personal revival brought me to life two years ago and I’ve never been the same since.
I’m sure Jesus counts the first 12 years as time served. I went to church faithfully. I tithed 10 percent and even gave in special offerings and pledges. We hosted people in our home and cared for those in need. We did everything right, but we did everything right.
I hope you catch that. What we did was not what God was after and it was only when we could not that a new abundant life in Christ was born.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Romans 8:14, NKJV
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25
We don’t need any more Christians doing things their way. Our way makes a mess of things. What we need is Holy Spirit led Christians doing everything His way. His way makes masterpieces.
Peter chopped off some dude’s ear — Peter’s way
Peter leads thousands to Christ immediately following Pentecost — Holy Spirit’s way
Paul (then Saul) tries killing the new work of the Church — Paul’s way
Paul establishes churches all over the region on multiple trips — Holy Spirit’s way
I love how Paul pens it in that verse found in Galatians — “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Most Christians believe we only live because of the Spirit of God lives inside of us, yet too many are forsaking the most important part — walking the rest of our lives out with Him.
What does it look like to walk out our lives with Him? I’m so glad you asked.
Here’s four practical ways to be led by the Spirit in your daily life:
1. Ask God what He wants to do today.
God still talks to us today. He speaks through His written word and he speaks to you personally. If you’re having a hard time hearing His voice, simply start with worship. Dive into the written word for it reveals the heart of the Father and contains His will for mankind. Stand on the promise that we ask and we receive.
2. Do what He says to do.
Obedience to what He says to do will always open doors for more. We are to be faithful in the little before we can be trusted with much. So practice rapid obedience when you feel the Lord is telling you to do something.
3. Pay attention to your feelings.
Sometimes God says, “Justin, go pray for that person,” and then there are times I feel like I need to pray for someone. God uses our feelings to lead us into a God encounter. He made our feelings, so don’t ignore them. Does someone’s story make you sad? Then you should pray for that person’s joy to return. Does injustice make you mad? Then pray for justice and peace to return to people’s lives.
4. Get out of your pew.
I believe God enjoys our corporate gatherings. The worship and word put a smile on His face, but I also believe when we are the church instead of doing church, God busts out some dance moves. God doesn’t want to just lead you into an encounter once or twice a week, but through every thought, action and purpose you set out to do. He wants to lead your life — the big decisions about buying a house or job to take and the little decisions on where you should eat dinner and the route to drive home. Holy Spirit wants to lead your life, because He can do so much more with a surrendered life than one that remains in total control.
Here’s why — “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” 1 Cor. 2:13 — human effort reaps human rewards, but spiritual efforts reap spiritual rewards.
Friends, let’s be the Church who does everything we do to reap spiritual rewards in our city and as the spiritual culture changes, so does the natural. That, my friends, is what revival will do.
Justin Simmons is the executive pastor of Reach C5 Church.