You know life is a series of choices. We make our choices and then they make us. We make our decisions and if we make good decisions we become successful, and if we make bad decisions then you know, we’re not. Every decision has consequences and the potential for error is great because obviously we’re human beings, we’re imperfect. When you’re pulled in different directions by a decision because you can’t figure out which way to go it creates enormous tension in your life. Am I going to waste my life? How am I going to spend my life? Or am I going to invest my life? What is the antidote?
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Here are some highlights from this message about learning “How to Be Led By God’s Spirit” by Rick Warren.
The antidote is to let God guide you. The Bible tells us in Psalm 23 that life is a journey and that God has given us a road map. The Bible is our roadmap for life. God has given us a compass and that’s our conscience that keeps us headed in the right direction if we listen to it. God has even given us a personal guidance counselor and He is the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us God wants to lead us in the right paths. God doesn’t want you to mess up your life. In Psalm 23 it says, “He leads me in paths of righteousness.” That means God keeps me on track. God has good plans for your life, not bad plans. Because He’s good He has promised to guide. How do you hear God speak to you? How do you learn to get God’s will in your life and His guidance?
At 8:50, Rick talks about how you have to decide what is number one in your life:
I can’t follow a culture that doesn’t follow God.
You can’t serve God and money, you can’t serve God and anything else, you have to decide what’s number one in your life. You can only have one number one. In Exodus 23:2 it says, “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong.” You cannot conform to our culture and be just like everybody else and be led by the Holy Spirit, because He’s going in a different direction. Romans 12:2 says “Do not copy the behavior or values of this world. Instead, let God transform you.” The reason you don’t know what God wants you to do is because you’re too inculturated with this culture and you can’t think like the world and think like God thinks. Don’t copy the behaviors or value of this world. God has good plans for your life, not bad plans. God’s will for your life is good, it’s pleasing, that means it’s enjoyable, it’s not a bad deal.
If I want to be led by God’s Spirit, I can’t follow friends who aren’t led by God. You have to stop letting your friends set the agenda of your life. One of the reasons people miss God’s will for their life, God’s plan, God’s perfect good and pleasing plan is peer pressure. Proverbs 13:20 says, “Keep company with wise friends and you’ll become wise. But if you associate with fools your life will suffer great hurt.” Make sure your advice is from the right source. God wants you to have friends who are unbelievers but you are to influence them, do not let them influence you. We are to love the people, no matter what kind of lifestyle they live, but we are to hate the value system of like prejudice and racism and injustice and sexism and people hurting each other and war. Love the people, hate the value system.
At 22:56, Rick talks about things he must stop doing:
Five things I have to stop doing.
- I can’t follow the culture that doesn’t follow God.
- I can’t follow friends who aren’t led by God.
- I can’t look to other sources beside God.
- I must stop being led by my circumstances.
- I can’t be led by my feelings.
You better have more basis for your decisions than just a peaceful feeling. Feelings lie. Peace is a good thing, but it’s not enough to base your life simply on your emotions. Satan can give you false peace. Proverbs 14:12 says “You may feel you’re on the right path, the right road and still end up dead”. Why do we leave God’s path to follow our own? Because we felt like it.
At 38:46, Rick talks about things we must start doing:
If you want to be led by the Spirit there are five things you need to start doing.
- I must want to be led, it starts with desire.
Psalm 40:8 says, “My God, I want to do what you want. And your teachings are in my heart.”
- I must be willing to do what God says.
I’m willing to obey in advance before you even tell me what you want me to do.
- If I want to be led by God’s Spirit, I must look to God’s Word.
Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to guide me, and a light for my path.” If you’re not in the Bible every day you are in the dark.
A. God’s will is found in God’s Word. The principles are there. When you open your Bible, God opens His mouth, and when you close your Bible, God closes His mouth. Stop listening for a voice and start looking for a verse. God expects me to obey what I already know before He shows me something new.
B. God’s will never contradicts God’s word. If you can’t find a basis for your idea in the Bible, it’s wrong. If you read it God will guide you.
- If I want to be led by God’s Spirit, I must ask the Holy Spirit to be my guide. James 4:2 says, “You do not have because you do not ask God for it.” God is interested in every detail of your life.
So God gives us ideas through His word and the other way is He puts ideas in your mind. When God gives you an idea that’s called inspiration. When the devil gives you an idea that’s called temptation. Satan cannot control you except suggest thoughts. If you accept them then he’s controlling you.
If you want answers quicker from God here are two things to do.
A. Ask humbly. Psalm 25:9 says, “God guides the humble in what is right and He teaches them His way.”
B. Ask in faith. James 1 says “Ask Him and He’ll gladly tell you, for He is already ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask.” If you don’t ask in faith, don’t expect the Lord to give you any solid answers.
- If I want to be led by God’s Spirit, I must listen for God’s response.
We ask and then immediately run off. We don’t wait. Sit quietly and take some private time alone every day. God says, “I’ve got you exactly where I want you to be…watch this!”
I want to stop being led by my circumstances and mastered and manipulated by my moods. I’m willing to do whatever you tell me to do. I don’t have to understand it. I’m telling you yes in advance. Help me to remember that your will is found in your word. I ask you Holy Spirit to be my guidance counselor for the rest of my life. Help me to stop and just listen for your response.