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Spirit Led Living – Week #5

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Spirit Led Living

10.02.11

Isaiah 11

Our series is called “Spirit Led Living.”

It’s one of the great benefits of being a follower of Jesus Christ, you don’t have to go it alone!

We’ve discovered there are actually 7 distinct ways in which God’s One Spirit desires to lead us. 

We have to desire TO BE LED. These 7 realms of the Holy Spirit’s leading are found in the Book of Isaiah – Isaiah 11:2

Intimacy – {In-to-me-see}
Order – out of chaos
Clarity – a clear understanding of where to go
A Path – a clear course to follow
Energy
Ability
Accountability

I don’t believe the 7 are necessarily sequential, but it seems to me these three are in successive steps; wisdom, understanding, and counsel. 

I refer to them as order, clarity, and a path to follow.

Let me paint a scenario to help you wrap your mind around this.
  • We experience a season of darkness and chaos in our life.
    • Things that once felt certain no longer do. 
    • People we once trusted, we no longer can. 
    • Life that seemed to be on track now is derailed.
  • We become paralyzed with fear, self-doubt, and uncertainty. We don’t know what to do or which way to turn. 
    • So we hunker down and choose to do nothing

A friend suggests, “why don’t you pray about it?”

At first we may be offended. “What do you mean, pray about it, I pray all the time about this mess!”
  • Sometimes our prayers are more whimpering and whining than intentional and focused.

But we can’t seem to get their advice out of our head, so finally we block out a couple of days in order to fast, pray and earnestly seek God for direction.

And slowly, into the darkness and confusion a sense of calm and order begins to descend upon us, and out of the fog emerges clarity regarding what to do and where to go.

The big question then becomes; How do we get from here to there?

And that’s exactly what God’s Spirit of counsel provides.
  • God’s Spirit of counsel says walk this way and I will lead you out of this darkness into the Promised Land.
  • God’s Spirit of counsel says, if you’ll follow this path it will lead you to a place of full restoration and greater abundance than you have ever known!

I’m sure most of you have seen the Fidelity Investment commercial on TV? (Show Clip) “Stay on the line!”

I think that’s what God’s Spirit says to us, “Stay on the line! I have a PATH for you to walk on, but you have to stay on the line!”

God’s Word could not be any clearer about divine guidance. He desires to lead us, but we have to desire to be led – Isaiah 30:15-16, 18-21


#1 Jesus Is A Counselor

Jesus was often referred to in the O.T. as the Lord of Hosts. 

Isaiah 28:29 “The Lord of hosts is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance.”

Jesus is a wonderful counselor. The Spirit of God is an excellent guidance counselor! It’s in the very nature of the Trinity to provide exceptional counsel to all of God’s children.

And if that is the case, then it’s insulting to God when we don’t seek the counsel of His Spirit – Isaiah 30:1-3 

Under the inspiration of the Spirit Isaiah gave us insight into the kind of ministry Jesus would have while on earth – Isaiah 9:6

I like the sound of that. Jesus the counselor! Wouldn’t it be awesome if you set up an appointment with a counselor and when you walked in the sign on the door read, Jesus Christ?
  • The beautiful thing is, YOU CAN set up an appointment with Him any time you choose!

Counselor {ya-ats} 1. To advise 2. To resolve 3. To guide 4. To give a sense of purpose and direction

#2 Jesus Was Careful To Seek The Spirit’s Counsel – John 5

While He was here on earth, Jesus gave us an example of utter dependence upon the Spirit of counsel. He literally didn’t do ANYTHING, say ANYTHING, go ANYWHERE without the Spirit’s counsel. 

Jesus was very clear about it – John 5:19-20.

Jesus was leaving us a model to follow. Don’t do anything without God’s counsel, God’s divine guidance, absolutely nothing – John 5:30, 12:49-50.
Jesus plan for His life on earth wasn’t something He concocted when He got here. He was always deeply aware of the need for walking God’s path, for seeking God’s plan.

Even when He was just 12 years old He said to His earthly parents, “I must be about My Father’s business!”

#1 Jesus Is A Counselor
#2 Jesus Was Careful To Seek The Spirit’s Counsel – while on earth
#3 Jesus Promised To Send The Counselor

Are you getting a bigger picture here? The role of the Spirit’s counsel in our life is HUGE!

When Jesus was with His disciples at the last supper He shared an incredibly profound teaching on the Spirit of counsel.

He kept talking about this Counselor that God the Father was going to send after Jesus went back to heaven. 

He tole them that things were going to get better and better if they would but follow the counsel of the Spirit.

As a Pentecostal Christian I believe in the empowerment of the Spirit. On the day the church was born God poured out His Spirit on the church in an explosion of power.

But the power of the Spirit is never given without the purpose of the Spirit

There are many ways God’s Spirit desires to help us, and counsel is one of them.

Jesus said to His disciples that night…

John 14:15-18 NIV “If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16-And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—17-the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you. 18-I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

John 14:25-26 NIV “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26-But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

John 16:6-7 NIV “Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. 7-But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”

John 16:13-14 NIV “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.”

From that last verse we see a pattern emerge. Not even the Spirit does His own thing. 

The Spirit ONLY speaks what He hears from the Father and communicates that to you.

If the Spirit won’t speak without God’s instruction, and God’s Son wouldn’t move without the Spirit’s counsel, do you think you and I might need to listen to God’s counsel?

DISMISS COMMUNION SERVERS

#4 We Ought To Carefully Seek the Counsel of God’s Spirit

As I studied the Word I was amazed at how many scriptures in both the O.T. and the New talked of the absolute necessity to seek God’s counsel.

We see the disciples filled with the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, but throughout the Book of Acts we see snapshot after snapshot of them being LED by the Spirit.

Peter was struggling with the idea of the gospel being opened up to other ethnicities and cultures and the Spirit said to him, “Go with these men and doubt nothing!”

Paul and Silas tried to go preach in Asia but they were “forbidden by the Spirit to preach there.”

They pressed onward towards Bithynia “but the Spirit did not permit them.”

In the night a vision came, a man of Macedonia pleaded, “Come to Macedonia to help us!” 

They concluded that this was the counsel and leading of God’s Spirit.

There was not a dazzling 5 year plan developed by the brilliant minds of a planning committee, but rather a step by step, day by day unfolding of the path God’s Spirit was laying out.

Stay on the path! Stay on the path! Stay on the path!

Proverbs 19:20-21 “Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days. 21-There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel — that will stand.”

And with the rejection of God’s counsel comes a strong warning.

Proverbs 1:30-31 “They would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke. 31-Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies.”

Communion scriptures:

Psalms 73:22-24 I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You. 23-Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. 24You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.”

Psalms 25:4-5 “SHOW me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. 
5Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.”
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About Ron Bontrager

Lead Pastor of Lakeview Church in Indianapolis.

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