The Spirit leads us in many different ways, often way less dramatic than we expect. He leads us by:
a. The Word of God (screen)
2 Tim 3:16 ’All Scripture is God-breathed…’ (screen)
(’And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”, John 20:22)
b. Godly traditions (screen)
(Luke 2:42, ’When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom.’)
(Luke 4:16, ’…on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom.’)
Acts 3:1 ’One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon.’ (screen)
Them living according to their Godly tradition was the birth of a miracle, the healing of a lame man.
c. Christian common sense (screen)
Being good to others, helping the needy, praying for those in need etc. These things will have you be led by the Spirit more times than you think.
You can follow along these three ways of the Spirit leading you, and have a great life. Still, there is another level of the supernatural that God wants to grow in you:
d. The Holy Spirit speaking to you personally (screen)
Might not happen every day, like a. b. and c. Most often when God wants you to step out of your comfort zone and do something unexpected or unusual.
”So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. Now he had to go through Samaria.” (screen)
Look at this map (Pic: Map Israel). Traveling from Judea to Galilee, going through Samaria makes sense, it’s the shortest route (Pic: Map Israel arrow 1). But in Jesus’ days NO jew ever through Samaria when traveling from Judea to Galilee. The Samaritans had a polytheistic religion, mixing in Assyrian gods and the God of Israel. Jews avoided them at all cost (Pic: Map Israel arrow 2) and walked around the area.
So Jesus does not have to go through Samaria for any other reason than the Spirit asking him to, leading him out of what was ordinary and natural for him.
And because he was obedient to this specific request, a whole city came to faith!
2. Story: Word of Life in Soviet Union - ’Raise four million dollars in four years - the wall is coming down’.
Info we could have received from a. the Word of God, b. Godly traditions and c. Christian common sense. (’I have a train’
- cue for pic Trans-Siberian train
How to grow in hearing the voice of God:
1. Relax (screen)
- Over complicate
- don’t cramp
- don’t fear (’What if I miss God??’)
1 Sam 3:1-4 “The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called Samuel.” (screen)
Samuel was in the temple (the right place) serving God (doing the right thing). One day the Spirit started speaking to him personally, initially so natural that he even mistook it for Eli’s voice.
Make sure you are in the right place (church), doing the right thing (serving) to the best of your ability - and leave the rest up to God.
Many times when I have been used by God, is was so relaxed and natural I had no idea God was even leading me.
- Story: the taxi in Mexico City
2. Respond (screen)
1 Sam 3:6-7 (Samuel to Saul:)
The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.
The Spirit will not speak to you today, until you’ve done what he asked you to do yesterday.
- Story: Annica (Pic: Annica)
3. Reach out (screen)
When the Sprit speaks to you, nine times our of ten it’s not going to be about you, but somebody else in need of help.
Luke 15:8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? (screen)
The woman represents God. The lost coin represents a lost soul. The lamp represents you and me!
When God ’lights a lamp’ - when He fills us with his Spirit - it’s not for us to brag about or even use this fire for selfish purposes. It’s so that we will be even more effective to seek and save yet another lost coin.
Suggested ministry time:
All eyes closed, head bowed. Think about the people of ’your world’ (friends, colleges, students, neighbors, relatives). Out of them all, pick one. When you have, raise your hand as a sign. We will believe together that the Spirit made you think of that person because he/she needs Jesus, and needs him through you. Make up your mind to reach out to this person this upcoming week (meet, call, email, text - do something). Dare to believe in the Spirit speaking and leading you so relaxed and natural. Now respond with your decision, and get ready to reach out! Prayer.