How the Spirit of God Leads All Those Who Trust Him

First we must see why we cannot do anything by our own power:

ISAIAH 40:15-17 This is how God views the whole world - His creatures.
PSALM 39:5 Every man at his very best - is vanity.
GENESIS 6:5 The whole world is seeking after things that cannot profit: nothing has ever changed.
ECCLESIASTES 7:29 And this is hardly God's fault: man was made in His own image, but instead of submitting to God they have tried to work things themselves; they have chosen their own ways (ISAIAH 66:3). God tells us that the best we can do is still vain in his sight, yet people will not hear. The classic example:
GENESIS 11:1-9 To try and make a name for yourself is a waste of time (PSALM 49:11-12); to try to reach heaven by your works will only force God to confound you. Why?
ISAIAH 55:8-9 Because our thoughts are not His! Because our ways and our ideas can't even begin to reach Him. So He tells us to stop wasting time and listen to Him (v.1-3), to forsake our ways and our thoughts, and rely on His grace (v.6-7). If we don't:  
PROVERBS 1:24-32 The fools will be forsaken: their own ways will destroy them, because they would not listen to God and let Him lead. But v.33 is there if we want it, and God wants it for us: v.20-23 - He is crying out for men to humble themselves and be saved (MATTHEW 11:29-30).  
PROVERBS 19:21 Men are full of ideas: but only God's Word will stand: 1 PETER 1:24-251 JOHN 2:17 (the lust of the world just means the things the world wants; all the things we might have wanted to do).  
PROVERBS 16:9 Our hearts and minds were full of ideas, but God shows us how all these things must be mortified so that He can lead us in all things. If we don't wait on Him for this we will surely be led astray (21:2) - and that means DEATH (21:16).
So 1 PETER 2:11 Don't follow your own desires: these things are warring against your salvation, and will KILL you: PROVERBS 16:25.

What are we to do?

ISAIAH 64:6 Shows us that nothing we can do can save us: v.8 shows instead how we must be. 66:1-2 gives the same pattern: we can do nothing, and have no choice but to obey God in everything. 
EZEKIEL 36:29-32 God promises that He will save us Himself, not by our ways or our doings -we ought to be ashamed of these things.  v.25-28 tells us how: God Himself personally promises
  • (i) that He will cleanse us (He has)
  • (ii) that He will make us able to receive the Word, by giving us a new heart and His Holy Spirit as well (He has)
  • (iii) that He will then cause us to walk the way He wants us to.

If we believe the first two then we must believe the rest as well: God cannot lie. This is God's promise: HE WILL SAVE US. We cannot save ourselves. All we can do is believe that He is leading us and walk with Him.  

JEREMIAH 31:31-34 This is a COVENANT: God cannot go back on it. He will write His Word on our hearts. This is so important that it is repeated twice:  
HEBREWS 8:6-12  
HEBREWS 10:15-17  

God wants us to know this deeply: that His living Word is within us, grafted onto us. This means that at each moment, instead of following our own thoughts, we can find out what God wants, and do it. This leaves no room for self: if it is going to work we must be brought to NOTHING.

1 CORINTHIANS 1:26-31 So God tells us exactly that: our calling is to be made nothing, so that Jesus can fully work – His wisdom, not ours, and so on. It is this that separates us from the rest of the world: we walk as Jesus, not according to man's ideas. This letter is specifically written to the holy ones (v.2) - to God's people, the ones with His law in their inward parts (JEREMIAH 31:33; EZEKIEL 36:28). And we are besought to stay this way (v.10), all speaking Jesus' words and thinking Jesus' thoughts.  
PSALM 86:8-11 There is no-one like God, and no works like His - so don't try it! Leave it to Him: He does wonderful things (and only He can: PSALM 72:18); learn His way, walk in His truth, with all your heart.
2 CORINTHIANS 6:16 Here again is the promise: God will dwell in us and walk in us; this makes Him our God and we His people. So v.17-18, and then 7:1. Perfect holiness means a complete separation from all the ways and thoughts of men.
PSALM 119:9 This is how we cleanse ourselves: by obeying the Word. And the only way  we can is with all our heart behind it.
PSALM 119:10-12 Ask your Father to teach you what to do.
PSALM 119:15-20 also How much do you want eternal life? Is your soul being poured out before God?
PROVERBS 4:20-22 He tells us again: His Words are life to us.
And then: PROVERBS 4:23-27 Life is at stake. God has a walk prepared for us (EPHESIANS 2:10) and we will die if we do not walk it. This means that at each step we must be sure that what we are doing is the will of God: all thy ways means all thy ways. In everything there is a will of God.  

This means that every time we are faced with a decision or a choice to be made we must find out which of the many alternatives is the one God wants. We have all seen how an apparently unimportant choice can lead to something more important; for example, when you are giving out leaflets it may not seem to matter which side of the street you walk on, but if you end up on the wrong side you will miss out on someone whom the Lord wanted to have a leaflet, so that there is a right side and a wrong side, although there is no rule by which you can work out which is which.  Even the smallest thing may have consequences that we cannot foresee. But God can foresee all things, and in every situation He has weighed up the countless possible alternatives and decided which is best. We can’t possibly work it out ourselves, so we must abandon our own thoughts and do what God wants. The problem then is how to find out what that is. The Word tells us not to do certain things (don't steal, don't murder, don't disobey scriptures) and to do others (love your neighbour, pay your taxes), and also lays down broad principles (as far as possible live at peace, in everything give thanks), but you just won't find a scripture telling you what side of the street to walk on, or what brand of toothpaste to buy, or what days you should or shouldn't fast. Instead God deals with us on a completely personal level, as explained in the scriptures so far: He Himself will cause us to walk in the right path. Indeed, He will walk in us; He says so. All it needs is for us to trust Him and let Him do it.

JEREMIAH 17:9-10 The same old thing (!) We can't trust ourselves to do anything right. Meanwhile all the time God is watching for those who will yield their hearts and be led. Verses 5-8 give us the choice: trust God and live, or do it yourself and die.
JEREMIAH 7:21-28 God requires nothing of us except to obey Him, and that means doing His will in the smallest thing. We ought to learn from the Children of Israel: they were led in the most obvious way - all they had to do was see whether the cloud was taken up in the morning or not, and follow it if it was - and yet they rebelled, and said that God was leading them into a trap, or that He wasn't at all, that the cloud was only in Moses' imagination or something. So in the end they ceased to be His people (v.23) - See Hosea, for example. It is as we obey Him without question that we are His, and He is our God - for otherwise we are making other gods.  
JEREMIAH 9:12-14 Note this one carefully. Paul tells us to cast down imaginations – remember the men of Babel.
ISAIAH 41:28-29   No man can vie with God; anything we can do is rubbish. So 42:1-4 – Look to Jesus: do it His way!
1 JOHN 5:2-3 Love means obeying God - whether something written in the Word, or an instruction from a husband or an overseer or a parent, or a leading in the heart.
1 JOHN 4:16 And this is how it works: by God dwelling within, walking in us.
So 1 JOHN 1:5-7  

God is love, so abiding in Him means abiding in love. God is light, so walking in the light means walking in Him, walking by Him, God walking in us (2 CORINTHIANS 6:16) - nothing of us - we are dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God. When this is working, v.7 comes in: mistakes may be made but Jesus' blood removes them.

1 JOHN 2:6 = JOHN 5:19,30  
EPHESIANS 5:1-2 Follow God - walk in love, as Jesus walked - walk in obedience to God, to all the Word, to every leading, letting God walk in you.
EPHESIANS 5:8-10 This is walking as children of light, children of God: whenever there is a choice to be made you don’t decide yourself, don't work it out or do what you want to do; prove - test, examine - what is well-pleasing to God: find out what His will is.
EPHESIANS 5:15-17 Understand what His will is - don't walk like a fool.
PHILIPPIANS 1:9-11 Paul prays that our love may abound. This will manifest itself in more and more keeping the commandments of God; that is, in knowledge and in perception or understanding of what His will is (it is assumed that once we know what He wants in any particular situation we will do it automatically). In particular we ought to be able to 'approve' (or test - the same word as 'prove' in EPHESIANS 5:10) things that are 'excellent' or superior - what this means is, when faced with several alternatives with good reasons for doing any one of them, to examine and find out which one in God’s sight excels the others, in other words which is the best, the one He wants. And all He requires is that we be truly sincere in this: if we get it wrong and blunder then as long as we sincerely wanted to do the right thing and thought we were, the blood of Jesus will keep us from all sin - there is no sin in an honest mistake (or, if you prefer, the sin is automatically cleansed). Fruit follows: in fact, this love is the fruit of righteousness.

How then are we going to find out what the will of God is?

ROMANS 12:1-2 By the complete mortification of our minds and the renewing of them in the mind of Christ, so that all reasonings are destroyed and every thought is according to Christ (2 CORINTHIANS 10:5). Everything must go. When we have offered up ourselves we will be able to prove the will of God.
ROMANS 12:3-8 So let's see where we stand and lay down our lives for one another: even the tiniest thing we do for one another is a ministry to the body of Christ -wait on the Father concerning it.

How much are you willing to believe?

1 CORINTHIANS 2:15-16 God says you have all discernment: you have the mind of Christ.
2 CORINTHIANS 10:4-5 God says you have the power - His power in you - to bring your mind into subjection and think only the thoughts of Jesus.
2 CORINTHIANS 11:1-3  If God says these things then they are right. Don't let your mind be corrupted into trying to make it more complicated: keep it simple – in Jesus.
EZEKIEL 36:26-27 This is God’s promise; this is how He says it will work: BELIEVE IT. He will walk in us. He will cause us to do His will.
PHILIPPIANS 2:12-13 Again. He is working in us. BELIEVE IT.  Don’t let your mind be corrupted from the simplicity of it.
1 JOHN 2:27 God will teach us. God is teaching us, moment by moment, what He wants us to do, so that by doing it we are able to abide in Him and walk with Him.
1 JOHN 2:28-29 This gives us complete confidence: when we have learned to recognize God leading us then we will never be ashamed; if somehow we do make an honest mistake we know that Jesus’ blood has cleansed us from it.
1 JOHN 3:18-24 As love grows – in keeping the commandments of God in our hearts, in knowledge and in all judgment – so does the confidence. And the more confident we become, the easier it is to walk with Him. We know that He is working in us. How? Because He has given us His Spirit: the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us (HEBREWS 10:15).
1 JOHN 5:10-15 All we have to do is believe it: the Spirit convinces us. Don’t make God a liar. We have eternal life. He is working in us…
PHILIPPIANS 2:12-13 … to will and to do His good pleasure. This means that not only does He cause us to keep His commandments, but He also makes us want to: Jesus’ will is God’s will, and we have the mind of Christ – so when our mind is truly mortified, our will coincides with God’s. Day by day God leads us and teaches us His ways and causes us to want what He wants. This is why His commandments are never grievous – in fact we are literally doing as we please, but be sure you understand why this works: it won’t work at all as long as you are thinking your own thoughts and not His thoughts. But when you have offered yourself wholly as a living sacrifice, when your mind is renewed and transformed into Jesus’, then you can be confident that you are doing those things that are pleasing in His sight. You can be sure that God is working in you and leading you – and you must obey that leading because of v.9-11 – Jesus is Lord.
PSALM 96:6-8 So come on, let’s kneel before Him. That means today, if God speaks to you (and He will), DON’T HARDEN YOUR HEART: out of it are the issues of life. If you ignore God’s leading, you will die. Look at what happened to the Israelites (HEBREWS 3).
1 PETER 1:13-25  Bring your mind into subjection – be obedient – and understand why: God has redeemed us with the blood of Jesus and given us His living Word. Then 2:1-3 – be babes with Him; just do what He says.
PHILIPPIANS 2:14-15  No murmuring, no arguing – believe what He tells you.
1 JOHN 2:6   We are obliged to obey. Jesus walked according to JOHN 14:10; we must also: nothing of ourselves. So …
1 THESSALONIANS 4:1    God has told us how to walk: let’s get on with it, more and more.
MATTHEW 22:36-40 We ought to walk in love!
MATTHEW 23:12 This is love: deny yourself.
MATTHEW 10:16-20 Jesus is telling us how to walk: He says TAKE NO THOUGHT.

 

MATTHEW 10:37-39

 
MATTHEW 6:24-34 No thought means no thought. Our Father wants us to set aside all reasonings, all our thoughts (which are not His) and TRUST Him.
ROMANS 13:14  
JAMES 4:13-16 All worrying and planning is evil. (When the assembly proposes to go somewhere it is understood that if the Lord wills anything can be changed at half a second’s notice: the evil is in fretting and in working things out according to the flesh and trusting in those plans, and then panicking if anything is altered).
HEBREWS 12:1-2 God has everything planned (EPHESIANS 2:10) – just TRUST Him and don’t try to work things out: prove His will. As we look to Jesus He is moment by moment telling us what to say, where to go, what to do – revealing His will. All through the Bible we see God’s people forsaking their own thoughts and walking in faith that God looks after His own.
HEBREWS 11:8 The obvious example – he didn’t have a clue, but he went, in faith.
ACTS 13:1-3 Much the same: they were not told where to go – they just went. Then v.4: they were led to the right place – the proconsul of all Cyprus believed the Word (v.6-12). If they had gone to the wrong place, he wouldn’t have (This doesn’t mean that the Lord wouldn’t have sent someone else later – ESTHER 4:14 – but we ought to be doing the right thing anyway; then if we do make a blue of it God can patch things up).
ACTS 16:6-10 The same sort of thing: the Holy Ghost leads in many ways - not only in dreams (which are quite unusual) but more often, mostly, just working quietly in our hearts. Paul had to know exactly where to go, just as Jesus did: otherwise he would not have met Lydia, for example (v.11-15), or the possessed girl (v.16-18).

The Spirit is always ready to lead us and show us what to do, and we ought to reach a place where He works automatically. With Jesus, every word He spoke and everything He did was of the Father - we ought to be the same. When we open our mouths, Jesus speaks; when something is to be done the Spirit stirs within us and it all flows: Jesus does the works (ACTS 17:15-17 for example) Note...

1 KINGS 19:11-13 God's voice is usually not spectacular. We shouldn't be waiting for bolts of lightning: rather we should be listening for the still, small voice within our hearts.
ISAIAH 30:20-21 That voice will always be there: God says so! And more: He says that we will hear it – believe Him. Whatever happens God promises to counsel and to lead us in the way that we should go. If somehow we make a mistake and get off the track, God promises that we will know about it! And we do, don't we?
ISAIAH 42:5-7 A wonderful promise: whatever happens, God will be with us and keep us -because He is the LORD (v.8). Without Him we could see nothing: He tells us so in v.16 - and promises He will lead us. We can be absolutely sure that at every moment our Father will be showing us what we ought to be doing. But if we don't do it:
ISAIAH 42:17 - ISAIAH 43:3

We'll be greatly ashamed and turned back! So He says in v.18. This means YOU (v.19). V.22-25 show us the story through the ages; God's people have rebelled and gone back to other Gods rather than obey the voice of their Lord. What about you? Today if you hear His voice - and you will - DON'T HARDEN YOUR HEART. OBEY.  

If you want to go on - then all the promises are yours; don't be afraid (43:1-3). God gave His Son for you, so He won’t forsake you now; He will walk with you and in you - if you let Him.

ISAIAH 46:3-4 God will do it - forget your own ways!
ISAIAH 48:16-22 God teaches us and leads us, for our good (how could we do it ourselves?). If we listen when He speaks we will have peace like a river, nothing to worry about, because we know that whatever comes God will show us exactly what to do. So keep clear of the world and its ways - Babel - and be led: you'll never thirst.
DEUTERONOMY 8:1-6 As long as they were led, there were no problems, but when they rebelled, they died. They couldn’t or wouldn't see that what God was doing was for their profit - but we should, and we must. Even if we are taken to Marah, we believe our Father and obey - and in the end we will see His wisdom, and learn to depend on Him more and more.  
MATTHEW 14:22-33  A good example: while Peter was not doubting he could obey the Lord's command, but when he looked about with his own eyes, trouble. But the Lord saved him; in the same way if we do something stupid the Lord will fix things up when we repent and cry out to Him – so don’t be timid; launch out in faith.
MATTHEW 17:24-27          This was probably an even greater test of Peter’s obedience. If the Lord told you to go and catch a fish, would you? We are not told what Peter thought, but we do know what Jesus said next.
MATTHEW 18:1-4 If we’re going to stay in the Kingdom we will have to be as little children. When the Lord tells you to do something, do you argue? Do you demand to know why? Little children don’t: a babe just gets carried around from place to place and hardly knows anything except that he keeps getting fed at the right time. Of course our Father has given us His wisdom as well, and often He shows us what He is doing and why, but realize that this is only by His grace; if He leaves us completely in the dark except for the very next step then we must make that step, doubting nothing, and trust Him to keep us and to take us from there. We must humble ourselves as a little child. Then the Lord deals with us as sons.
PROVERBS 4:10-13            The Lord teaches and leads, and He promises that HIS CHILDREN WILL NOT STUMBLE: trust Him! This leading, this instruction = this chastening is the way of life. So …
PROVERBS 4:23 Keep your heart! When God speaks, don’t harden it, or you’ll die like the children of Israel died.
PROVERBS 6:20-23 When the Father commands, keep it.  And He will always be commanding, because His Word is written on our hearts, leading us, keeping us, whether awake or asleep – moment by moment God is leading.
PROVERBS 1:22-23 Hear Him! He has poured out the Spirit …
1 CORINTHIANS 2:12-16 … for a reason: so that we might know the things of God; so that we can think the thoughts of Christ instead of our thoughts.
EPHESIANS 1:7-9 If there were any excuse this verse (v.9) removes it: by His grace the Father has revealed to us His will. That means that at each moment you know what God wants you to be doing. So God expects you to examine yourself moment by moment and prove His will, and do it; in other words, to enter into complete and perfect rest – completely and perfectly in the death of Christ – and to allow God to dwell and walk in you. You will never worry about what to do; you will never try to work anything out or bring up your own ideas or reasonings. You will cease from your own works, as God did from His. You will cease to exist except as a vessel fit for God to use. You will normally not know what lies ahead – sometimes not ten minutes ahead (JAMES 4:14) – but you do know that at every moment the Father is keeping you by His own power, holding your hand, leading you step by step. Are you prepared to let everything go and trust your Father in this way?
JOHN 3:5-12    Jesus says that everyone born of the Spirit is like this – like the wind, not tied down, unpredictable. Stop trying to hang on with those last few reasonings! You are dead! Let go, and be free – really free – for God to use you.
2 CORINTHIANS 3:17-18  God is a Spirit. He can work in the fullness only when we give Him complete liberty. And He makes it so easy! All we need to do is keep looking to Him and He removes the flesh and makes us more and more like Him.
2 CORINTHIANS 3:4-6 We can do NOTHING of ourselves – what’s the use of holding back? DENY yourself and let God take over by His Spirit. Don’t make Him force you, lest you start to walk by rules and laws, which kill. Let His free Spirit uphold you – let Him take over completely.
PSALM 32:9   Don’t be like the beasts that perish – they have to be pushed and kicked and forced to walk the right way. Our Father loves us enough to do this sometimes, but it’s no way to be walking; what He wants is for us freely to lay down our lives and let Him take over; no arguments, no striving, just a smooth and even flow. Verse 8 is God’s way – let Him lead you and teach you.
ROMANS 8:28 Because of this verse and countless others we can trust Him completely – some manuscripts have “And we know that God works all things together for good …”, which is even better. But we ought to see the deadly side of things as well:
ROMANS 8:13-14              We have the choice. We can do things our way – work it out in our fleshly minds – or we can forsake all and be led by the Spirit. Those who are led by the Spirit are the sons of God.

So we want to be led! And the Father wants us to tell Him so!

PSALM 5:7-8  Fear God: ask Him to lead you (enemies are watching).
PSALM 7:1 For this to work we must trust Him.
PSALM 7:8-9 Integrity is what it’s all about: if we’re asking God to make His way plain to us and are always doing what we honestly believe to be His will, then the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin; we can stand before God in integrity. And of course He is always trying our hearts to make sure this is really what’s happening.
PSALM 16:1-11 If we trust God then of course He will preserve us (v.1). He has to: we’re certainly not good enough to do anything of ourselves (v.2). So we let God be our God: we obey only Him, and no-one else: we listen only to His instructing, and don’t add our ideas or anything else – no other gods. There is a path which He has chosen for us – and it’s a good path (v.6) – so thank Him and ask Him to keep on keeping you in it, counseling you, instructing you in the night. Set Him before your face; look right on; rest in Him. He will keep you: He will never let you see corruption; you will never be moved.
PSALM 17:1-9 As we live by His Word He keeps on trying us, but there are no problems if we’ll be taught: He holds our steps, He hides us from troubles.
PSALM 18:24-36 As we keep clean, in the light, God lightens our way, showing us what to do, making us mighty through God. He makes our way perfect if we’ll let Him; He teaches us what to do, holds us up, keeps us from slipping.
PSALM 23:1-6 He causes us to walk where He wants us (EZEKIEL 36:27) and leads us. Whatever happens, God is with us: don’t be afraid; just trust Him.
PSALM 25:1-15 When we trust He won’t let us be ashamed; so keep on telling Him to show you His ways, teach you His paths, lead you in His truth. He does. Those that fear Him (v.12) He leads and teaches, not in the way that we would have chosen, but in the way that He knows is best for us.
PSALM 27:1-6 One thing is needful (LUKE 10:42): here it is.
PSALM 27:11-14 Over and over – if we don’t believe that God will keep us then we can’t even begin: believe Him to see it!
PSALM 31:1-8 Commit the keeping of your soul to Him (1 PETER 4:19) – you can’t do it yourself (PSALM 22:29).
PSALM 31:14-15 Leave everything to Him.
PSALM 31:19-24  
PROVERBS 8:1-21 God wants men to know and to use His wisdom – not ours. His Word is perfectly plain (v.9) – both the written Word and His Spirit in our hearts. Counsel, understanding, strength, true riches – all come from God. His wisdom leads us in righteousness and judgment.
PSALM 37:23-24 All are ordained by God – each step. God promises that even when we blunder He will still keep us by His hand.
PSALM 37:34,39-40  
PSALM 119:1-11 Do you want your heart directed to God’s ways – so that no matter what happens you are clean from all iniquity? Then take heed to His Word – keep it hidden in your heart and you won’t sin.
JAMES 1:21  The same Word keeps us – 1 JOHN 3:9 – those begotten of God cannot sin, because they are His children.
1 PETER 1:23  … and that Word is incorruptible, which is why it is able to save us.
HEBREWS 10:15-17  This is God’s covenant, written in that same Word, so we know that it’s true. And if Jesus truly has done these things (v.12-14) then there’s absolutely nothing we can do – v.18. So if we reject Jesus there is no hope – v. 26-27. Make sure you understand what this means: things done in our bodies which are not according to God’s will are sinful, but no sin is counted to us because of Jesus and His righteousness: this is what 1 JOHN 1:7-10 is about, for instance. But if we refuse to walk in the light this will no longer work; if we deliberately decide not to do something when God tells us to, whether in the Word or by the voice within us, then this is sin (JAMES 4:17). Likewise if we do something when God is not telling us to (ROMANS 14:23). Of course everyone makes honest mistakes, and of course God forgives them, but when we do something which we know beforehand is wrong – when we deliberately rebel against what we know God wants us to do – then we are sinning, willfully. Possible God may be gracious and allow such a one to repent (He probably has with all of us in times past), but unless that happens there is nothing more Jesus can do. This is why it is now CRUCIAL for our salvation that we learn at once to recognize the voice of God in our hearts: in EVERYTHING we undertake we must see the will of God, for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
2 CORINTHIANS 5:6-7 We ought to be always confident – always knowing that we are doing the will of God (1 JOHN 3:21-22) even in the most trivial thing: without faith it is impossible to please Him.

The first time you realize the fullness of this is probably a bit frightening: in times past we have all done many things thinking that God didn’t care much one way or the other – usually more mundane things involving our jobs or housework. But the plain fact is that He does care, that He has His will in everything we do: He wants to work it in us. And the Scriptures show us that we ought not begin to do anything unless we are sure it is God’s will. Now if you are going to sort it out in your head you’ll only end up in a worse muddle than ever, and unsaved as well – so don’t. There is a very simple way by which we can be always sure we are doing the will of God: read on!

First, examine yourself:

Do you want God to work in you and perform His will?

Do you believe that He has cleansed you from sin and put His Spirit in you?

Do you believe that He has written and is writing His Word on your heart?

Do you believe that He is causing you to walk in it?

Most important of all: do you believe PHILIPPIANS 2:13 – that God is working in you to make you do what He wants, and to make you want to do it?

Then if your mind is truly mortified it surely follows that in any situation what you want to do must be the will of God for you. Amazing! And dangerous, too! – because if your mind is not mortified you cannot please God – your thoughts are not His! This is why every now and again somebody murders someone ‘because God told him to’; the thought was there, but not of God. So if we want to walk with God, every thought must be in captivity (2 CORINTHIANS 10:5) – we must offer ourselves completely to Him, soul and body, so that we can prove His will (ROMANS 12:1-2). When this is working, we have confidence with God (1 JOHN 3:21-22), and we know that He is working with us and hears all our prayers (1 JOHN 5:13-15). At the same time God will be leading us moment by moment, showing us His way and His will.

So suppose you have a decision to make: this means anything from ‘big’ decisions like your career (if you have one), marriage, where you live, etc, to ‘small’ ones like when to pray or leaflet or do your shopping. First, check the Word of God. This will mean you can immediately rule out anything illegal or dishonest or otherwise unscriptural (which you probably wouldn’t have considered anyway), and often you will find general indications of the sort of direction to move in. Then pray about the problem – talk to God about it, tell Him you want to know His will, perhaps go over the alternatives with Him. If the matter is not purely personal – if it affects the rest of the body of Christ – make sure you discuss it with your overseers (HEBREWS 13:17). Then, when you are sure that your own mind is not entering into the matter, and that what you are considering is going to edify the whole body rather than cause offences, don’t wait for a bolt of lightning, or writing in fire on the wall, for this will rarely happen – just weigh up what is in your heart, and follow it. TRUST YOUR FATHER that He means what He says, that He is leading you and teaching you.

1 JOHN 2:1-2 And if you are wrong, well, as long as you honestly meant to do the right thing, Jesus ever lives to make intercession for you – He will save you to the uttermost (HEBREWS 7:25).
1 JOHN 1:6-7 If you’re wanting to be led Jesus’ blood can and does cover every mistake – TRUST HIM.
ROMANS 8:1-2 Believe it! Jesus has set you free from sin and death – you will never be condemned if only you stay (= abide) in Him. V. 10-11 show us how it works: Jesus lives in us! So v. 12-14 show us how we ought to be walking – as Jesus walked led by the Spirit. And remember v. 15-17: it’s not a hardship or a burden to walk with Him! All we have to do is trust Him and follow His leading – and if we mortify ourselves fully this will mean doing exactly those things that are pleasing to us as well as to God.
PSALM 107:23-30 So here is the way we live: LAUNCHING OUT and losing ourselves in the will of God (just like JOHN 3:8). This means letting every reasoning go and abandoning ourselves completely, calling out to the Father to keep us. And of course everyone makes many mistakes, sometimes big ones, but through it all we see Jesus interceding for us, and the Father Himself working all things to our good. After a while the ‘storms’ become less frequent and less troublesome, and more and more we ignore what goes on around us, seeing only Jesus in His glory, we crucified and living together with Him. Nothing else matters. More and more we can trust the leadings in our heart so that we walk automatically by the Spirit: obviously you can’t pray and fast about every decision, so moment by moment we have to be able to know what God wants – no thoughts of our own should ever intrude. So tell the Father that you want to be led, and tell Him to work in you to will His will. Tell Him that you are going to believe that He is doing this, and walk in that faith: tell Him that if you’re wrong He must show you and bring you back to the right path. Tell Him that you sincerely want to do His will in all things, and that you trust in Jesus’ blood to cover every mistake you make. In this way the Father will bring you to the desired haven.

Well, do you trust Him this much? Check the Scriptures and make sure you understand what is happening. If unsaved people decided to follow the inclinations of their heart, no matter what, then satan would very soon feed all sorts of terrible things into their minds and lead them into disaster. Sooner or later the question will arise, how do you know it is God leading you, and not your own thoughts or something satan has planted there. Jesus tells us:

LUKE 10:17-20 All the power of the enemy is subject to Christ: NOTHING WILL BY ANY MEANS HURT US.
JOHN 10:27-29 NOTHING can separate us from God.
ROMANS 8:38-39 NOTHING can separate us from His love.
EPHESIANS 1:18-21 See where Jesus is – and we are with Him, in Him (chapter 2:6) – all principalities and powers are under His feet.
1 JOHN 5:18 Believe it! God has begotten us again by His Spirit – we are His children. So SATAN CANNOT TOUCH US. God will not allow satan to corrupt His children. God will not allow them to be led astray. If we are willing to be led and listening to the voice behind us, God will make sure that we are always led in the right way, that we are never misdirected or deceived. All those who go back or leave the path will have to admit on the day of Judgment that they deliberately and knowingly disobeyed God.
PSALM 55:22 If we let Him, God will keep us and sustain us – He will not permit us to be moved from off the rock, Jesus.

So, again, tell Him we want to be led!

PSALM 43:3-5 Is your walk full of exceeding joy? Or are you cast down or disquieted? HOPE IN GOD.
PSALM 66:8-12  God holds us in His hand – even though moment by moment He is trying us, He keeps us, and brings us through: when we are going through it He is with us.
PSALM 40:1-4  He has set us upon a rock – we WILL NOT BE MOVED. Trust Him! His works are wonderful (v.5) – He always thinks of us and looks after us. And what does He want in return? V. 6-8: just OBEY HIS WILL. Have your ears opened to hear His voice within you – and DELIGHT to do it. When God is working in us to will His will, with our minds mortified, we simply do the things that delight both us and Him – a wonderful, joyful walk.
1 PETER 1:5 God is keeping us by His own power – satan is powerless before Him.
ISAIAH 28:16 So we shall never be ashamed! – Because we believe Him.
ISAIAH 50:4-11 The Lord has given us a mouth to speak His Word and an ear to hear Him – so don’t turn back, don’t rebel, don’t harden your heart. Set your face to ignore and destroy any thoughts of your flesh by the power of God’s Spirit – if you do you will never be confounded, and you will know it. GOD HAS JUSTIFIED YOU. But don’t forget v.10-11 – trust in God, fear Him, and don’t kindle your own fire or try to do your own thing – it doesn’t work.
PSALM 33:10-11 All the devices of the people – including His people – He brings to nothing (Tower of Babel). God’s counsel – His Word – stands for ever. Don’t try to mix them!
PSALM 33:18-22 But He surely watches over those that fear Him, and trust Him, and rejoice in His mercy.
JOHN 10:3-5 If we are His, truly His, we will follow and obey His voice without question, just like sheep.
2 CORINTHIANS 10:3-6 This means anything left of our flesh must be constantly mortified: every reasoning must go, every rebellious thought must be brought down. Every thought we think must be obedient to Christ; it must come from His mind.
MATTHEW 18:12-14 It is God’s will that we be kept safe – so …
PSALM 62:5-8 Rely completely on God at all times – don’t try to work anything out, just trust Him and seek out His will.
PROVERBS 3:1-6 Never set His commandments aside – never forget to trust in His mercy. Trust God, with all your heart. Don’t try to work out anything with your own understanding, but acknowledge God in everything you do.
PSALM 116:1-9 Love God – keep His commandments. If we stay simple He preserves us and keeps our feet from falling.
PSALM 117:1-2 Just praise Him and give Him glory in everything.
PSALM 51:15-17 All He wants – a humble, broken, contrite heart that will follow every leading.
PSALM 119:105-106 Let His Word lead you.
PSALM 119:109 He keeps us – remember what He says.
PSALM 119:112-117 Our heart’s desire is to keep and do His will as long as we live – hating all thoughts not of Him, hoping only in His Word. He promises to hold us up and keep us on the right paths; if we step astray by mistake we will hear that voice behind us leading us back.
ISAIAH 26:3-9 Trust Him, and God Himself will keep you in perfect peace; exalt yourself and He’ll bring you to the dust. Let God weigh your path for you – let Him make the decisions for you, let Him work the works in you (v.12).
ISAIAH 26:20ISAIAH 27:6 God will surely judge and punish the wicked of the world – but those He loves He keeps every moment. Don’t set yourself against God, or you’ll be burned – use His strength, make peace with Him, and He’ll cause you to take root and bring forth much fruit to the Father’s glory.
PSALM 91:1-13 Perfect love (= a perfect keeping of the commandments of God) casts out all fear – no evil will befall us.
PSALM 121:1-8 The LORD Himself is keeping us.
PSALM 37:29-31 God has made us righteous – He says we will never slide!
PSALM 37:3-6 Trust Him – do His will from the heart, which is our will – all our desire is fulfilled in obeying Him.
ISAIAH 58:13-14 So no more of our ways or our words – delight in the Lord and the kingdom of heaven is ours.

But remember where we stand:

PSALM 50:1-23 We serve the mighty Creator of all – fear Him and give Him glory; don’t dare despise His Word.
PSALM 99:5-9 Exalt Him, worship Him – don’t make up inventions.
PSALM 99:1-3 A terrible King – fear Him.
PSALM 97:1-12 But a wonderful Father as well – thank Him.
JOHN 1:12-13 Our salvation is not of ourselves, or of any man’s will – by God’s grace alone – so be led; be His sons!
JOHN 14:10-27 Know all these things – Jesus in us does the works; His Spirit is keeping us – the peace follows.
PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7  

Compiled by Pentecost Revival Centre, Ballarat, Australia, approx. 1968-1972