“Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” – Romans 8:12-14.
Most Christians believe in the leadership of the Holy Spirit. However, like Samson, we often take charge in our lives instead of letting the Holy Spirit lead. It is easy to believe that our individual feelings, urges, and desires are the things the Spirit has led us to do. The question is how does the Holy Spirit lead us? What must we do in order to be Spirit led?
To be led by the Spirit simply means that we will be living as Jesus lived, since he perfectly lived according to the Spirit. “And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” (Acts 10:38) “…For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.” (Hebrews 9:14)
The Holy Spirit’s leading should be sought in all of our decision making processes. We should pray for the Spirit’s leading in all things. It’s a biblical thing to pray and to seek the counsel of the Holy Spirit, and to even expect an answer. “In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry. May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm. May he send you help from his sanctuary and strengthen you from Jerusalem…May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed….May the Lord answer all your prayers.” (Psalm 20:1-5).
Acts 13: 1-4 tells us: “Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas,…and Saul. One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Appoint Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.” So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.”
Barnabas and Saul were led by the Spirit of God. “Being sent out by the Holy Spirit” is the proof of responding in obedience to the call and direction of the Holy Spirit. My prayer is that we all desire to obey the call of the Holy Spirit, so that we may experience the direction of the Spirit in our life and ministry.
As we study Samson, we know that he made too many emotional decisions and too few Spirit led decisions. But hopefully we are using this teaching series to do some introspection. For example, if someone was looking into my life, knowing I was a Christian, would they come to the conclusion that my life is Spirit led? Because when we weigh what Jesus did for us, it is a reasonable expectation that we live a Spirit-led life.
- Why do you think Samson failed to be Spirit-led in his life?
- “Led by the Spirit”: This is essential to being developed into the person God created us to be. How do you think about the importance of the Spirit’s work in your life? How much of your life do you think you can handle on your own?
- The Spirit leads us and shapes us to be more like Jesus so others can see Jesus through us. In what ways does the Spirit lead you?
- What can we do this week to let the Spirit shape our character to be more like Jesus?