Am I following the Spirit’s lead?
What a great question! How do I know whether is it the Spirit’s lead or my own wishes? How do I learn to identify the Spirit’s voice? I saw a poster a few years ago that attributed a quote about friendship to John Lennon. I’m a lifelong Beatles fan and I’ve read probably way too much about them, and I knew that quote was not John’s voice. A little research proved my gut reaction. So then I wondered…
How can I learn God’s voice as well as someone else’s? I suppose it is by approaching the Lord and His Word with the same intensity, with the same desire to know.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and the Lord will direct your path”. (Proverbs 3:5-6) I was walking along a bayou and going over my memory verses and this was one of them. As I walked, I suddenly understood that the Lord would “direct my path”, but that meant I needed to be moving somewhere, and be willing to surrender to the leading.
Am I engaging mission? Am I following the Spirit’s lead?
At least for me, the answers are not readily apparent. This week I’ve been revisiting Psalm 46:10 — Be still, and know that I am God.
I’m wrestling with many things, or so it seems to me. I’m a retired pastor serving a wonderful, small church and our denomination is splitting. Like every divorce there is rancor and blame on both sides. If we leave where we are, we will take a financial penalty but we’ll be free. If we’re free, do we want to yoke ourselves to another denomination or would we want to be simply Christians, being part of the Church that is the Body of Christ in the world? Or maybe the denomination is not that important, but the fellowship of our local church, a form of “life together” as Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote about. Where can we best be obedient to Christ?
I don’t know what decisions we’ll make. (It’s “we” because my wife and I are a ministry team and we will make the decisions.) In my reading this week I came back to Psalm 61. Here are the first three verses, from the King James Version. (I’m not a KJV only person, but it tends to be the one I go to most when troubled, probably because it is the version I read when I fell in love with the Bible as a little boy.)
Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.
“Lead me to the rock that is higher than I” moves me. Lord, let me see as you see, let me understand from your perspective, lead me to a place of peace beyond my understanding, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Am I following the Spirit’s lead? I hope so; I am seeking to; and I am waiting and listening.