FILLED, LED, EMPOWERED
by paul hoffmaster
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The phrase “led by the Spirit” has been so maligned and misunderstood. The populist view is that if you let the Spirit direct your life you will experience the joys of Christian living as well as enjoying the benefits of the Kingdom of God. There is a reality of truth to these viewpoints, but we fail to realize that the trip to the mountain top sometimes includes a guided tour through the valley. There are times the Holy Spirit will lead us into situations that will try our faith. These “trials by fire” are intended for our refining that our faith may be found unto praise and honor at Jesus appearing. (I Peter 1:7)
Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to face Satan and his temptations. After 40 days of relentless pressure, Jesus walked out of the battlefield in the power of the Spirit. Notice how the Spirit worked in His life. First, the Spirit descended on Him at His baptism, (Mk. 1:10) then he was led by the Spirit, and finally He experienced the power of the Spirit.
There are some Christians that want the power of God without the daily influence of God’s Spirit in their life. They desire the supernatural signs and wonders, but to be led by the Holy Spirit is only acceptable when they can dictate the direction. Some seek the experience of being overwhelmed by the Spirit, in which they are literally taken off their feet. This “slain in the Spirit” phenomenon electrifies their minds as they charge ahead in pursuit of emotional releases that overshadow their lack of spiritual obedience. Within shouting distance of these spiritual pep rallies are people who are “slain in the flesh” by drugs, alcohol, and immorality. As long as Satan can keep Believers seeking emotional and personal gratification, his legions of lost souls will continue their march to self destruction.
When will Believers understand directional motivation? Instead of analyzing why a certain path is awaiting our journey, we need to look forward to a time of learning and discipline. We must never be afraid of the road less traveled. Let us stand in unity and proclaim that where He leads, we will follow.
The Apostle Paul learned through the Holy Spirit how to be abased and how to abound in all situations. There was nothing Paul could not accomplish when directed by God’s Spirit. Let us realize the Spirit is our enabler. He is our lifeline to God through Jesus Christ. He is our source of power. He gives us boldness to present the Gospel message. As He enters our lives and leads us through the courses of life, an explosion of power develops that will affect all those with whom we come into contact. Sadly, some look at this power as an implosion, affecting only them.
Church, we must get this right. The Holy Spirit’s ministry is not to emotionally satisfy, but to spiritually motivate us to reach out to the lost! If you are looking for a great spiritual rush in life, it will not be upon your back, but on your feet as you bring the Gospel to the lost!
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