After becoming a follower of Christ I was discipled to believe that the most essential elements in understanding the word of God was logic and common sense. A “plain reading” of the scripture would allow all people to come to the same conclusions and opinions. Any literate person on the planet could open the word of God and understand it. If they read it plainly they would come to the same “truths” as our tribe concerning how we do worship and the steps to salvation. People who discovered different “truths” were making a conscious effort to deny the plain truths found in God’s word. It was that black and white.
With this philosophy of Bible reading and teaching came a de-emphasis of the Spirit’s work in leading someone to Christ and His work in teaching spiritual truths. It also seems to make Philip’s role in converting the eunuch in Acts 8 an exception. If the Bible is easy to understand then you don’t need someone to explain it to you. The Bible in “plain reading” circles is viewed as having concrete evidence of God’s truth and relying on the Spirit may seem to “loosey goosey.” When Paul says, “We are led by the Spirit and not under law,” we always follow that up with a “yeah, but.” Admittedly, that does sound “loosey goosey.” It is no wonder that early Celtic Christians refer to him as “The Wild Goose.”
In a conversation about salvation, Jesus refers to the Spirit as the wind! Granted, the Spirit will not contradict God’s word or lead you anywhere except into the presence of Jesus. The Holy Spirit will use any truth, because all truth is God’s truth, to lead you into the presence of God. He is at work all around us using life events, science and nature (just to name a few) to grant you knowledge of the existence of God. He is at work recalling God’s word in your heart to lead you to produce the fruit of God in your life.
If you are compelled to love your neighbor, that is the Holy Spirit at work in you. When you read God’s word and choose to obey His commands, that is the Holy Spirit doing work. If you are not a follower of Christ but you choose to take a step in the direction Jesus, that is the Spirit’s presence among you. If you are convicted of your sin, you guessed it – Holy Spirit. You get the picture.
You don’t need a command to practice a life led by the Spirit.
You live a life by the Spirit because you have experienced God’s saving grace through the resurrection of Jesus. You’ve already got all you need in “love God and love people.”
Once in a leadership team meeting (another ministry) we were discussing allowing small groups to meet on any day of the week that they choose. One person expressed his concern, “If we don’t give groups a set time to meet then I’m afraid that some groups won’t meet.” “Give us a new law and we will follow it” is how many Christians operate. Instead we must believe and say, “God has given us His Spirit and now we can accept the things of God.” With God’s presence we not only accept the things of God we do the things of God.
Pray this week for the Holy Spirit to transform your standard mode of operation from logic, common sense and plain readings of God’s word to surrendering complete control to the “The Wild Goose.” Be convicted. Be led into the presence Jesus. Be fruitful. Be filled with the Spirit’s wisdom and fullness of Christ’s love.