Looking back, I realize that over the last 60 years of my life, I have made hundreds of important decisions about which path to take. Often, I had no idea how important that decision was. That’s why I think it is so important to continually learn more and more about how to be led by the Holy Spirit.
The second distinctive of a disciple that Logan and Ridley identify in their book, The Discipleship Difference is SPIRITUAL RESPONSIVENESS.
“Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” Galatians 5:25 (NLT)
For the first ten years of my Christian life, I don’t ever remember anyone talking about being led by the Spirit. My teachers did a good job of emphasizing the importance of the Scriptures. I knew God spoke to us through his Word. However, no one ever taught me that there were other ways that God speaks to us. They certainly need to be tested by the Bible, but still they are significant ways in which God leads us by his Holy Spirit.
The Bible is full of stories in which God speaks to his people through the scriptures, but also through dreams, visions, visitations by angels, a soft quiet whisper, prophetic words, etc.
In fact, Jesus himself tells us that he lived his life continually listening to the Father, and he had confidence that the Father would speak to him, BECAUSE THE FATHER LOVED HIM.
“Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does.” John 5:19f (NIV)
These words from Jesus bring up another important truth about spiritual responsiveness: We must be willing not only to listen for God’s voice, but also to obey his voice.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22 (NIV)
Here are some specific ways that Logan and Ridley suggest that Spiritual Responsiveness should show up in the behavior of a disciple:
- Receiving guidance and empowerment from the Holy Spirit
- Discerning opportunities for involvement in God’s work
- Checking what you’re hearing with Scripture, and with your faith community
- Acting in faith through loving obedience
- Listening for God’s calling in your life
(The Discipleship Difference, p. 28)
WHAT HAS GOD BEEN SPEAKING TO YOU RECENTLY?
WHAT PRACTICES HAVE YOU FOUND TO HELP YOU LISTEN TO GOD’S LEADING?