How to Be Led by the Holy Spirit
The Apostle Paul informs us, in Romans 8:14, that “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” And then, in Galatians 5:25, he exhorts us to “ …walk by the Spirit. – if by the (Holy) Spirit we have our life [in God], let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit” (The Amplified Bible).
So we can begin to see how important it is for us to live our lives completely directed by the Holy Spirit. Because, not only is it a command, but it is also a must if we are to live a successful Christian life. An example of this is seen in the Old Testament.
Joshua stepped in after Moses’ death and took on the tremendous responsibility of leading the nation of Israel. God’s instructions to him were that he should not let the book of the law depart out of his mouth, to meditate on it day and night so that he could observe to do all that was written in it. The promise was, if Joshua obeyed, then God would make his way prosperous and he would have good success (Joshua 1:8).
The same applies to us today as we seek the leading of the Holy Spirit. By studying the Word and meditating on it, your mind is renewed to spiritual things (Romans 12:2). Renewing your mind is an important and necessary part in hearing the Spirit of God. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).
Furthermore, the Word plays a vital role in your being led by the Holy Spirit in that it serves as a standard. You can be certain that the Spirit will never lead you unto doing something that is opposite God’s written Word (John 16:13). The Spirit and the Word always agree. But if you find yourself in a position where you lack knowledge of the Word, it can be difficult to know how the Spirit of God will lead (Hosea 4:6).
In those times, however, when you are not sure if the Holy Spirit is the One leading you and you don’t know what the Word says about your particular situation, you can rely on the peace in your heart. Peace is always the umpire (see Colossians 3:15, The Amplified Bible). Nevertheless, this does not relieve you of your responsibility for find out what the Word says.
Another important part of hearing the Spirit of God is spending time in prayer, asking God to make His will for your life clear to you. Once you do, you also need to take time to be still and quiet before the Lord…and listen. He will speak to you; He’s always ready to talk to you.
Your prayer time should also include praying in tongues. By praying in tongues, you give the Holy Spirit opportunity to speak the perfect will of God in your life (Romans 8:26-27, The Amplified Bible). Praying His will by praying in tongues (also referred to as praying in the Spirit) opens the door for the Spirit to reveal to your spirit – which in turn reveals to your mind – what God is doing and how you fit into His plan (Proverbs 20:27). You will hear answers to questions you’ve had and you will gain understanding (1 Corinthians 2:9-12).
Finally, as you begin hearing the voice of God in your inner man – or your spirit – it is vitally important that you be obedient. Obedience will keep you in a position to continually and accurately hear from God. He rewards those who diligently seek Him and willingly obey.
Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.” As you continue to renew your mind according to God’s Word, spend time in prayer seeking the Spirit’s direction (praying in tongues as well as in your own language) and listen to that still, quiet voice of God’s Spirit, you will begin to recognize when your heart is directing you to do something (1 Corinthians 2:11).
By listening to the Holy Spirit speak to your heart in every decision you make, you will always come out right (1 John 3:20-22). It still requires faith on your part to step out and act on what the Spirit is telling you to do (Romans 14:23; Hebrews 10:35-38). Therein lies your success!
Here is a prayer you can pray when seeking to be led by the Holy Spirit:
Lord, I want to walk pleasing to You and be fruitful in every good work. I will set aside time every day to read and meditate on Your Word and pray. I thank You that I will hear Your voice, that of the Good Shepherd, and I will not follow the voice of a stranger. And finally, Lord, I will be obedient in the small things so that You may trust me with more. Thank You for helping me gain understanding I ask these things in Jesus’ Name.