How To Be Led By The Spirit-Part 3

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Romans 8:14 NKJV

In our previous lessons on being led by the Spirit we discussed the importance of being led, followed by ways to develop sensitivity to the Spirit of God. In this lesson we will discuss practical ways God leads. However, before we discuss ways God leads we need to set a a couple of guidelines. First of all, God usually leads you within your realm of influence. In other Words God will not give you a “word” to line out your pastor concerning the direction of the ministry. That is in his realm of influence not yours. If you feel like you are getting that kind of leading make sure you are not misinterpreting God’s leading. Jeremiah, for example, prophesied over nations because he was set over nations.
I ordained you a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5c
Secondly, if we want to be led consistently, we must honor the different ways God leads.
Do not despise prophecies. 1 Thesselonians 5:20 NKJV
Despising in the Bible has a different meaning than our modern understanding. Today, when someone says they despise something they mean they hate or loathe it. In the Bible, however, to despise just means to take lightly or esteem as unimportant.
Do not treat prophecies with contempt 1 Thesselonians 5:20 NIV
Do not spurn the gifts and utterances of the prophets [do not depreciate prophetic revelations nor despise inspired instruction or exhortation or warning]. 1 Thesselonians 5:20 Amplified
Do not scoff at prophecies, 1 Thesselonians 5:20 New Living Translation
Do not treat prophecy as if it were unimportant. 1 Thesselonians 5:20 New Century Version
Although in context this verse speaks of prophecy, the principle applies to all ways God leads. Let us not despise any of the ways God leads whether or not it fits our preconceived ideas. One practical way we honor different ways God leads is to write it down. I have lost many revelations and insights by simply not writing them down. When they come to us they come so clear sometimes that it seems we will never forget. But when that anointing leaves we often forget. Let us now look at some ways God leads.

1. The Word of God.

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
2 Peter 1:19 KJV

No valid leading from the Holy Spirit will violate the written Word.
For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. 1 John 5:7 NKJV
The Word is the measuring stick by which we measure all leading. If someone says that the Holy Spirit is leading them to “shack up” with their girlfriend, we know that is not valid leading because it violates the written Word.
Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Hebrews 13:4 NKJV
We will never go wrong following the Word. Where the scripture is silent we seek God’s specific direction for our life. I heard one minister say it this way. Green lights are in the Bible and red lights come through inward witness. Jesus told His apostles to go into all the world and preach the gospel (Green light). That was the Word of God to them and to us. Yet in certain places in the Book of Acts we see, as they moved on the Word, the Spirit of God forbidding them (Red light) to go certain places.
Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. Acts 16:7 NKJV
Sometimes the Holy Spirit will quicken a Word from the Bible as a means of leading to you. Once I was waiting to go into a job interview and I had a copy of prosperity scriptures from different translations that I had compiled in my notebook. While I was reading it a passage seemed to stand up off of the page.
Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage (or inheritance). As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor—this is the gift of God. Ecclesiastes 5:18-19 NKJV
I knew then that I was going to get the job I was interviewing for. To be honest, before,I was intimidated and not sure whether or not I would get the job. That leading gave me confidence in the interviewing process and I got the job. Sometimes God will speak a devotional word to a specific individual. I heard an example of this when a lady was praying for her brother to be delivered from marijuana. While she was praying the scripture reference came to her, “Psalm 81:6”. So she went to her Bible and looked it up.
I removed his shoulder from the burden: his hands were delivered from the pots. Psalm 81:6 KJV
This ministered encouragement to her. Now, a word of warning, when dealing with a devotional word it would be incorrect for her to teach that this passage is referring to marijuana because the Holy Spirit seemed to tell her so. The Holy Spirit made play on words to minister encouragement to her, but when we study the Bible we must apply established rules of Biblical interpretation.

2. Peace.

“ For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace;
Isaiah 55:12 NKJV

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Colossians 3:15 NKJV

When you are praying about a decision and you feel like you should do something, take a step in that direction and check the peace. The peace, not in your head, but down in your spirit. This is why it is important to develop sensitivity as we discussed in the last article. Notice the Amplified Bible says that peace, “acts as an umpire”. If you take a step in that direction and you feel peace take another one. If you feel inner turmoil or unsettling t take a step back. I remember once I was making a business decision and my children were small. They were getting fitful and tired so I was ready to get it over with. When I was signing the contract, I had bells and warning sirens going off on the inside of me. It reminds me of the robot on the old “Lost in Space” episodes, “Danger Will Robinson, Danger!” I yielded to the pressure of the circumstances rather than the inward leading and went through with it. It became apparent that very day I had made a big mistake. Thank God it was not a life and death situation.

3. Inward Witness.

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
Romans 8:16 NKJV

One way this manifest is through an inward impression or knowing. It can either be thunderous or a still small voice. There have been leadings i have received that I could have easily overridden. This is where time spent in the Word is invaluable so that you can determine whether or not that was you r mind or spirit.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 NKJV
The more time you spend in God’s written Word, the more you can recognize God’s inward witness. You can renew your mind to discern between soul (mind, will and emotions) and spirit (the place where the leading of God comes from).
Therefore thus says the LORD: “ If you return, Then I will bring you back; You shall stand before Me; If you take out the precious from the vile, You shall be as My mouth. Jeremiah 15:19 NKJV
The “vile” spoken of here need not be cussing or telling dirty jokes, but rather soulish earth bound thinking. When we separate earthbound thinking from God thoughts we become as His mouth.
Also praying in other tongues is an invaluable way to get sensitive to the Spirit of God. Jesus said that out of our belly shall flow rivers of living water. When we pray in tongues it is a manifestation of that river. The more we yield to that river by praying in other tongues, the more we become familiar with the source of all other of God’s leading. God’s witness will come from the same location that the tongues will come from.
For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: Acts 15:28 NKJV
Notice the wording of this passage. They did not see a vision or hear an audible voice (although both are valid ways God leads). It just seemed good to the Holy Ghost and unto them. This is why sensitivity and leading are so interrelated. One of the words for prophet under the Old Covenant literally means to “bubble up”. Sometimes words will just bubble up out of your inner man in the same manner that unknown tongues wo would. Only this time the bubbling up is in your known language and will be God’s direction for you.

According to Kenneth E. Hagin, there three levels of revelation or inward witness.

1. Knowing
2. Hearing
3. Seeing

Knowing would be the least and seeing being the greatest level of revelation.

Another way the inward witness manifest, is through a strong desire.
Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 NKJV
God often leads us through a strong desire. Once I was driving down the road listening to Christian radio. I heard an advertisement for a Bible School. I had a strong desire rise up on the inside of me to go to that Bible School, especially when they mentioned the “Full Gospel History” course. This was not just a “happy-wouldn’t-that-be-nice-thought”. It was an intense desire. Through a series of events I moved to another town. I ended up at a church where the Pastor was the instructor for the “Full Gospel History” course as well as other courses at that same Bible School in another city. I could not have planned that in a thousand years. Other times I have had a strong desire to pray for someone. And when I do, I find out later that they were dealing with things I had no natural knowledge of. I am not telling you these things to seem like a “hot dog”, God wills to use you the same way.

4. Audible Voice.

Sometimes God speaks with an audible voice. I will point out that this is usually the exception rather than the rule.

5. Gifts of The Spirit.

Do not just move out on a prophetic word. If it is true it will bear witness on the inside of you. If it does not bear witness, do not immediately throw out, for it could be counsel for the future. Put it on a shelf and meditate on it.

6. Dreams and Visions.

‘ And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.
Acts 2:17 NKJV

I know many times Bible teachers use dreams and visions figuratively. They use these passages to refer to dreams and visions on a natural level. Like, I have a dream to own a new house or this is the vision for my business. That is okay as long as we understand that when the Bible speaks of dreams and visions it is literally talking about divinely influenced dreams and visions. That is not to belittle having a “vision” for your business as you should. Neither is it to belittle daydreaming, which when is sanctified by the Word of God is a form of meditation. For this study, however we will discuss divinely appointed dreams and visions. Dreams and visions are so closely related that they are governed by the same principles.
He will fly away like a dream, and not be found; Yes, he will be chased away like a vision of the night. Job 20:8 NKJV
The primary difference between dreams and visions is that dreams occur when you are asleep, whereas, visions occur when you are awake.

Let us consider visions first. According ding to Kenneth E. Hagin, there are three levels of vision from least to greatest.

1. Spiritual vision
2. Trance vision
3. Open vision

There is not much difference between the highest form of revelation and the lowest form of vision. A spiritual vision is when you just see an image down on the inside of you. One time I had a brief little mental movie down on the inside of me. I saw one of those skeletons like in biology class. It looked as if a camera zoomed in on the hip of that skeleton. I could have easily overridden it. Yet it turned out to be a word of knowledge concerning someone who needed healing in their hip. Another time I saw one of those antique dolls that have the hinged joints. The vision zoomed in on the wrist. It turned out to be a word of knowledge about someone who needed healing in their wrist.
A trance vision is when a persons natural faculties are suspended and they see things.
Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. Acts 10:10 NKJV
In the Greek it says that Peter fell over bodily. Peter had fallen out under the power of God when he had this vision. You may or may not fall out under the power of God when you receive a trance vision, either way it is equally valid. This happened to me once that I can remember. I was sitting in Bible School and It was like the whole classroom went away both visually and audibly and I saw a vision.

An open vision is when all your natural faculties are not suspended and you see a vision superimposed over your surroundings. For instance, if you are standing in your living room you see your couch, tv and everything else is still there, yet you see something there supernaturally.

Finally let us consider dreams. In the second chapter of Matthew we see three different incidents of God using dreams to spare His people.
Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way. Matthew 2:12 NKJV
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” Matthew 2:13 NKJV
Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.” Matthew 2:19 NKJV
The subject of dreams is too vast and misunderstood to tack onto the end of another lesson. So I will just seed some facts about dreams.

1. We have no scriptural example of a literal dream.
2. Almost every dream in the Bible is symbolic and required an interpretation.
3. Dreams occur when man’s natural defenses and prejudices are down, thus speaking things that he might miss when he is awake.
For God may speak in one way, or in another, Yet man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night When deep sleep falls upon men, While slumbering on their beds, Then He opens the ears of men, And seals their instruction. In order to turn man from his deed, And conceal pride from man, He keeps back his soul from the Pit, And his life from perishing by the sword. Job 33:14-18 NKJV
4. Some dreams are prophetic.

-- Rev. Travis Johnson was born again and Spirit filled in May of 1994. He accepted God's call to ministry in 1996. He graduated from Faith Bible Institute in 1997. He is recognized as an anointed Bible Teacher. His desire is to, along with other ministers of the Body of Christ, empower believers to interpret the Bible for themselves and make the Word of God applicable to be successful in day to day life. Travis currently lives in Arkansas with his wife and daughter.
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  1. This was amazingly wonderful..our Pastor is teaching on being led by the holy sprig also..

  2. Keep on being a blessing - thanks for all you do!
    Wayne Sutton personal prophecy ministries!