14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. NKJV
The bible does not set out in any one place a manual for people as to how they should walk in the Spirit.
Keys are given in various places which lead us into this walk. By looking at how great men of God have walked with Him....and the keys Jesus taught....and from the experiences of the apostles....we can be instructed as to how to come into a personal 'walk with God' ourselves.
God has two ways to lead His children today....the principle way is by means of the written word....the scriptures. The second way is by means of His Spirit. The Spirit, who is the Spirit of Truth, will never direct us in ways contrary to the Word of Truth. The word however, often cannot give you the detailed instructions God desires. ...ie "go over there this morning and you will find a man I want you to witness to" (as per Acts 8:26)
Where we have no leading to witness to a specific person, we still have a general and direct command from the Lord to preach the gospel....lay hands on the sick....and cast out demons. The right understanding is that, in the absence of a counter instruction (as per Acts 16:7), we are in God's will and do His will when we DO WHAT THE BIBLE says! This was the general approach which Jesus and the apostles took.
1. YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN
Nicodemus was a 'religious' leader of Israel....yet he did not KNOW anything experientially of the 'realm of the Spirit'. Most religious people today still knows very little of the reality of being led by the Spirit.
He was, however, prepared to take the first step. He knew that GOD was moving and instead of denying it, he came and asked ...even if he was not even sure what to ask!
"Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him."
3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"
Rebirth is the start....we come to the place where we admit we are 'as children'....not knowing what to do but wanting to learn. This is a place of simple surrender to the love of God who draws us. Believing HE is GOOD and trusting Him to lead us in this relationship. Faith is the vehicle which enables the surrender of our independant spirits to the Spirit of God who is drawing us into this relationship. It is best described as that of a loving Father and with HIS children. We will find a 'new life' within....the Spirit of God.
5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
We will find ourselves experiencing a realm which is not visible....this is the spiritual realm. This is the realm where we interact with God. The realm where you will hear...and see ...and experience things you have not even dreamed of before. This IS the kingdom of God.
9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him,"How can these things be?"
10 Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? NKJV
Much of "organised religion' knows little of a walk with God. They have much to say about the rules we should follow but know little of the power of God experienced and manifested.
Have you seen a miracle?...or a 'burning bush'...or heard a message which stirs a depth in you which you hardly know?
Did you follow it up?...Moses turned to see what it was ...and THEN God spoke.
God wants you to RESPOND to His call
God will then show you the next step....it is to come to the place where you say..."OK God what must I do now"
2. THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
..... through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins."
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.
The experience of speaking in an unknown tongue...be it a tongues of 'men or of angels'...is the primary scriptural manifestation of being baptised in the Holy Spirit. It is sometimes received simultaneously with salvation.....and sometimes later. It is a powerful tool to aid us in walking in the spirit. Some receive it later as a separate infilling (Acts 19:1-7)
The purpose of this experience is decribed by Jesus as being
you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." ....
8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
The power to BE witnesses to the work of God in our lives!
Very few who have not been baptised in the Holy Spirit would claim to have the boldness and the power to witness....let alone effectively.
Does being baptised in the Holy Spirit mean you will speak in tongues? No...but it most certainly is one of the signs that something has happened.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues , as the Spirit gave them utterance. NKJV
because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. NKJV
6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. NKJV
Tongues is a powerful tool for building yourself up in your spiritual walk. It brings us out of the realm of the mind
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, NKJV
1 Cor 14:3-4
4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, NKJV
But there are other signs too
17'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.
18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
And they shall prophesy.
Clearly prophecy, visions and dreams are signs too
A start is to say "Father I open myself to your Spirit's guidance.....please speak to me in dreams and visions so that I can walk in your ways"
3. THE WALK.....THE HUNGER TO EXPERIENCE MORE
Having all the tools in the world are of no help UNTIL we take them up and DO the job!
We are now 'born of the Spirit' and 'baptised in the Spirit'....the question now is 'Will we seek to do the work that God has prepared in advance for us to do'? (Eph 2:10). The pews of most churches are filled with christians who are fully equipped but not seeking to know or do what God wants! This you may say is unfairly critical.....but I know only because I have been one for 30 years.
The KEY to going further in your walk with God is to say..."Father ...what would you have me do?"
The religious world is full of those who are doing their own religious things. All that matters however is that we do in our lives what HE wants of us. We will then stand before him and hear the words that matter most ...."Well done good and faithful servant"
I too know that it was ONLY when I asked this question that my world was turned upside down. God spoke to me AUDIBLY to tell me in the few words that I heard so powerfully, that if I want to do His work.....and do something that has eternal value....I needed to change my focus. I had to see that this world is not what really matters...it is eternity which has the highest value.....and that my relationship with God is the 'pearl of great price'.
Like many christians, I had hovered between being choked by 'the cares of this world'....and... 'the deceitfulness of riches'
Over the following days, weeks and months, God will lead you into clarity about what He wants you to do. I knew that God wanted me to speak....I knew that I have an anointing which has no place in the majority of churches today. Christianity today has in many places become a religion and a business which entertains people. God wants it to be about our relationship with HIM as His children....and then as brothers and sisters with each other. The control and authority structures which many churches adopt are UNGODLY!
I knew that my 'work' is to speak the truth in love BUT without compromise....and pay the price it will cost.
I told God I was not worthy...(Satan in a split second flashed almost every sin I have ever committed in my life before my eyes).....God however gave me a vision from Isaiah 6:5-7....and told me He had made me worthy.
A month or so later I was called out by a visiting minister, who I had never met, from among about 100 people and told "God has given you a teaching ministry....and given you an anointing .....and you are to step out and teach". He then described the vision God had given me , saying...."this picture will mean something to you"
I know my task.....it is get reach out to those who are hungry and hurting and oppressed in the world and by religion in the 'church'.....and to minister the gospel of God's grace to them.
18 "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." NKJV
God wants us all to come to the place where you say....'speak Lord, your servant is listening'
Two truths make this place of surrender strangely appealing. The first being that the God of this universe is incredibly GOOD and LOVES us more than we can ever comprehend. The second being that the God of the universe has a unique purpose for each of us personally to accomplish.
As you open yourself to this intimate walk ....and to the voice of the Good Shepherd....and to the leading of the Spirit ....and the love of the Father, ... your life will be transformed.
You will find yourself almost insatiably hungry for His word.....in almost 24/7 worship and fellowship with God....longing to spend time alone with Him.
And you will experience things that you almost cannot decribe to people (2 Cor 12:2)
This is what 'walking in the Spirit' and being 'led by the Spirit' is about. To live this life as God intended and to enable you to fulfill the work God has purposed for you to do.