So how do we walk led by the Spirit? This after all is the topic of this teaching, and I can encapsulate how it is that we can walk led by the Spirit within four necessary actions.
The first action we must undertake, the first thing we must do in order to walk led by the Spirit is to come to a decision or realization.
Romans 6:11, “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The word ‘reckon’ in this verse, can also mean consider, both of which are verbs, which is the part of speech that expresses action. Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, come to that decision, then to that realization that you are alive to God in Christ Jesus, and as a direct result of being alive in Christ you are indeed dead to sin.
Romans 6:13, “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”
Once again a decision then an action is required on our part, that we no longer present our members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but rather present ourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and our members as instruments of righteousness to God.
You must present your members as instruments of righteousness, you must reckon yourself to be dead to sin, you must decide to obey and follow after Him with all your heart. I cannot make the decision for you, neither can your parents or your spouse, we make this decision in the sight of God as individuals.
We cannot be mere spectators, waiting for the Spirit to descend, we must actively decide to pursue and desire and hunger for the greater things of God.
The second action we must undertake in order to walk led by the Spirit is to obey God in all things.
God is not a fan of selective obedience, He is not enthused, excited or elated when we choose to obey Him in certain areas of our lives, and disobey Him in others. Neither is He pleased when we choose disobedience rather than obedience because we knew there would be consequence and detriment to our person if we had obeyed. Often times God will command difficult things, He will place us in uncomfortable situations, He will require us to speak uncomfortable things to influential people, but no matter the circumstance, no matter the context, no matter the situation we must first and foremost be obedient to God.
One of the greatest examples of obedience within the Word of God is the prophet Elijah whom God commanded to go to the King and bring a message of rebuke, and a prophecy of judgment. Keep in mind, Ahab, the king at the time, was not known as a calm and coolheaded individual. In fact he was known for his temper, yet Elijah went as God instructed, and delivered a difficult message to a volatile king.
1 Kings 17:1, “And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, ‘As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be no dew nor rain these years except at my word.’”
After delivering the message from the Lord, Elijah was instructed to get away from there, turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith. At this point human logic would have assailed most individuals, and they would begin to reason to themselves that if they fled from before the face of the king, then the king would think them a coward, or if the Lord was truly with them why would they have to run and hide, but Elijah was accustomed to obeying God, he was accustomed to deferring all the decision making to the One who knew far better than he, and so Elijah obeyed the voice of the Lord.
1 Kings 17:5, “So he went and hid according to the word of the Lord, for he went and stayed by the brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan.”
Too often we make obedience difficult because rather than simply obeying God, we attempt to understand the mind of God, and perceive the finality of the journey He has set us upon. When we establish a relationship with God, we learn to trust God enough not to know the purpose of our task in its entirety, knowing all the while that He does have a plan, and in the end we will see in full what we had only seen in part.
If we study this chapter in the life of Elijah we come to realize that God gave him instructions piecemeal, one task at a time, one journey at a time, yet throughout it all Elijah did not murmur, complain, attempt to sway the mind of God, or set off on his own; he simply obeyed.
After being told to run and hide by the brook Cherith, after being fed by ravens in the morning and in the evening the word of the Lord came to Elijah again with the next set of instructions.
1 Kings 17:8-9, “Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.”
As in his previous interaction with the Lord, Elijah arose and went. Obedience is a beautiful virtue, one necessary for us as children of God if we desire to walk led by the Spirit. If the Spirit is attempting to lead us, and we are constantly resisting Him, if He tells us to go to the right, and we go to the left because the road is better paved, we won’t get much done, and our progress will be minimal at best.
In order to understand just how much against the grain of human reason God’s command was, we must be aware that Zarephath was the birthplace and the hometown of Jezebel, Ahab’s wife. It was like being sent into the lion’s den, because surely she still had family and acquaintances there that would readily send a message to the king informing him that the man he had been hunting, the man whose head he desired to see severed from his body, was among them.
Another thing we must be aware of is that before Elijah got to see the flour and the oil multiply, before he got to see the resurrection of the gentile woman’s son, he had to be obedient in the little things, the seemingly insignificant things, like going from one place to another, then from that place to another still. If we are not obedient in the little things, we will never see the greater things of God. If we are not humble enough to perform humbling, insignificant, seemingly worthless tasks when God commands, then we can never expect to be used in a greater measure by Him.
God is not impressed by how capable we think ourselves to be, God is not impressed by how educated we think ourselves to be, He will not choose one vessel over another based on the seminary he graduated from, God seeks out obedient vessels, He seeks out humble vessels who go when He tells them to go, who speak when He tells them to speak, and who labor when He tells them to labor.
Most people today have a difficult time obeying the Scriptures which are established in their entirety, never mind a singular instruction from the Lord or a word of prophecy that reveals only part of a plan.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.