Tag Archives: spirit led

Being Shepherd Led

One of the things in the Bible that has lost context over the years are the constant metaphors to sheep and shepherds. The Old and New Testament talk about sheep a lot. We know Psalm 23 starts out that the Lord is our shepherd. In Mark 6:34, Jesus had compassion on the crowd because they were sheep without a shepherd. Ezekiel 34:31 says that we are the sheep of God’s pasture. Isaiah 53 says that we are like sheep who have gone astray. Over and over there’s this comparison to sheep, but shepherding sheep isn’t as common as it used to be. I don’t know a lot about them, but I do know that they are defenseless, like to flock together and prefer to be led from the front rather than pushed from behind.

As a person who teaches leadership, I can tell you that people need a want a leader worth following. As John Maxwell says, “Leadership is influence.” By that definition, we all have leaders in our life who influence or lead our decisions. 2 Peter 3:17 warns us about who we allow to lead or influence us. It says, “As for you, divinely loved ones, since you are forewarned of these things, be careful that you are not led astray by the error of the lawless and lose your firm grip on the truth” (TPT). We must be careful in who we allow to lead us because there are those who would lead us astray. Even Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1 to only follow Him as he followed Christ. It’s important to know who’s leading the people that are leading us.

Leaders and pastors will be held to a higher standard on judgement day (James3:1), but you will still be held liable for your actions. That’s why it’s important for each of us to not just follow a person. We must also be led by the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:25 says, “Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives” (NLT). We must know our shepherd’s voice for ourselves without relying on another leader to hear it for us. If we don’t learn to hear it ourselves, we can easily be led astray. Each of us must take time to listen to what God says through His Word and to our hearts. Anyone who gives contradictory advice to what God says will lead you astray. We are to be Spirit led more than people led, but our sheepish nature simply wants to follow the sheep right in front of us. We must fight against that and listen to the Shepherd ourselves.

Photo by Ronnie Overgoor on Unsplash

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The GPS Of The Flesh


In one of the episodes of “The Office”, Michael Scott and Dwight were out on sales calls together. Michael was using a GPS navigation system to get where they were going. The device said, “Turn right.” As Michael began to turn right, Dwight asked what he was doing. He said, “I’m turning right.” Dwight frantically said, “You can’t turn right! There’s a pond right there.” Michael said, “But it told me to turn right so I have to.” He then drove the car into the water.

I’m pretty sure almost all of us have used some sort of GPS navigation system by now, whether it’s in our phone or not. When you don’t obey it, the voice comes on, “Rerouting. Make the next legal U-Turn.” If you keep going, it keeps trying to get you to go back. I usually turn it off at that point because it starts to annoy me. I know a better way, but it doesn’t want to see it or give me directions to take it. That GPS system is a lot like our flesh. It wants to direct us and tell us where to go.

If we follow our flesh, we’ll end up in a lake like Michael Scott. Sadly, many of us think we have to do what it says. It leads us down the road of temptation away from God. We know there’s a pond there and we’re going to wreck, but we follow it because we feel we have to. Meanwhile, the Holy Spirit is frantically saying, “You can’t turn right! There’s a pond there.” Too many times we end up in the water of sin and have to pay the price, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Just like you don’t have to obey your GPS navigation, you don’t have to obey your flesh.

Romans 8:12 says, “Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do” (NLT). You are free to make your own decisions. The flesh will constantly try to re-rout you and get you to U-Turn, but you have the power to ignore it because you have God’s Holy Spirit in you. When we are Spirit minded, we no longer have to follow the GPS of the flesh, and that leads to an abundant life.

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Quit Being Self-Confident

  
In life, we tell people the way to be successful is to believe in yourself. We say. “Don’t doubt. Have confidence in yourself.” We’ve learned that when Henry Ford was right when he said, “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” A lot of success in life comes from being self confident. If you believe in yourself, others will too. Self- confidence is contagious and people want to be around others who are confident.

I looked up the definition of self- confident, and bing.com says, “Trusting in one’s ability, qualities, and judgement.” In many areas of life, that’s a good thing. In our Christian life, being self-confident is a bad thing. Salvation isn’t earned by what you do, it’s only through what Jesus has already done. Your abilities have no say on whether you get it or not. It’s only through humbly asking the One who paid the price for your sin to apply His grace to your life.

When it comes to living like a Christian, so many of us think it’s just a matter of will power. We think we can force ourselves to live right. Ben Franklin tried that. He kept a daily journal of his sins so he could focus on them and thereby not do them anymore. What he found was when he corrected one, he ended up doing another. He ended up getting frustrated trying to live a good life on his own.

In Romans 7, Paul wrote about trying to live the Christian life in your own ability. In verses 21 and 24, he summed it up this way, “I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?” (NLT) He couldn’t do it and neither can we. The life we are called to live can only be done through the power of the Holy Spirit.

In I Corinthians 10:12, Paul wrote, “Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence” (MSG). We can’t live the life we are called to live in our own abilities, qualities, and judgement. It’s only through God’s, that we can be successful. If we continue to try to live it in our own, we will be miserable like Paul was until we learn to live this life like he did through the Holy Spirit’s ability. Cultivate your God-confidence when it comes to living righteously and you will be successful.

I encourage you to read Romans 8 where Paul goes into more depth about living a Spirit-led life.

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Choices And Obligations

  
Have you ever felt you were obligated to do something you didn’t want to do? For me, when those situations occur, it always happens when something better is going on and I have to pass on it in order to do something I felt obligated to do. That causes frustration, disappointment, and a bad attitude. I spend the whole time thinking of what I could have done instead of being stuck doing what I felt obligated to do. It’s very disappointing to say the least.

Have you ever felt that way spiritually? Have you felt obligated to do something you knew wasn’t right or that God didn’t approve of? We all have at one time or another because we’ve all failed God. In every situation or temptation, we have a choice. We can do what God wants or what our sinful nature wants. Many times we choose what our sinful nature wants while knowing what God wants. After a while, we can begin to think we can’t beat the sin, so we give in to it every time.

James 4:17 says, “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it” (NLT). When we do what’s wrong when we know what’s right, we have the same emotions we do when we do something out of obligation over desire. In Romans 7, Paul talks about the struggle of wanting to do what’s right, but not being able to. When that happens, we realize we are a slave to sin and feel obligated to do what it wants instead of what God wants. In those moments, we can feel frustrated and disappointed in ourselves.

Coming out of that chapter of failure to do what God wants, I like what Paul reminds us of in Romans 8. He said, “Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.” You and I don’t have to have those feelings of disappointment. We don’t have to feel like we let God and ourselves down. We are not obligated to sin just because that’s what our mind and body wants. We can choose to do what God wants and forego the guilt and disappointment that comes from doing what’s wrong.

We don’t have to be slaves to our sinful nature. Christ has set us free from the law that binds us to go against God. He has placed His Spirit within us to bring the freedom to choose what God wants us to do. Once you accept Jesus as your savior, you are no longer obligated to do what you used to. You are no longer a slave to sin. You have been set free to live a Spirit-led life free from your obligation to sin. If you’re struggling still with slavery to sin, pray that God would give you a Spirit-led mind so you’ll be set free from slavery to sin and do what God wants.

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