A Greater Response to the Holy Spirit’s Leading
By Mike Buckingham
Lately I have noticed a heightened sense of the Spirit’s leading in some practical details in my life. Sometimes these details do not even seem important at the time but it becomes obvious later why God prompted at that moment. God is continuing to show us that He wants us to live by the Spirit all day every day and not just when we think of it, are having a good day or when we are in a Christian meeting.
He is teaching us the greater life of the Spirit so our practical natural lives are ordered and do not become a hindrance to us being ready in a moment to obey and walk in His purposes daily. We will see the Kingdom of God advance as we are not so bogged down with practical cares and personal concerns that cause us to shelf or postpone obedience, missing an opportunity for the power of God to flow through us to change us and those around us.
Remember, God desires to bring us into Christlikeness. We are bought with a price and are not our own. We need to continue to learn how to abandon our own self- life, self- will and self-consciousness to live in Him. A lot of our Christian teaching today trains us to be focused on our personal problems, comforts, advantages and blessings when we are to live in what Christ died to give us seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness which focuses on the King and His purposes.
I was thinking about the disciple Peter and how he denied Christ three times. The Word tells us that he went out and wept bitterly. How he must of felt denying Christ who he loved so much. However, when we read of Peter in the books of Acts, he is different, powerfully led of the Spirit of God, performing miracles, a leader of the New Testament church and writing parts of the Bible that are life to us today.
Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and we see a change in him in regards to boldness and power but there are other changes as well. There is a death to self that is evident in how he lives now. There is a relationship with Christ and the Spirit that he did not understand previously.
For example, after Pentecost we do not see Peter nursing the pain and guilt of his denial of Christ. He is not wondering about his relationship with God with questions like...does God love me, does He forgive me, can He use someone like me who screwed up so bad...NO! Peter knows the love of God and His forgiveness. He knows to be dependent on the Spirit as an imperfect person. He knows he must die to all self pity and human temptations to measure up to some standard a man or religion has set.
How often does our flesh and our human thinking get in the way of being led of the Spirit and the life of Christ living through us? How often do we stop before obeying His voice to self evaluate if we measure up, to see if we are ready or have the time or desire to do what He is asking. We wonder why the church of Canada lacks in power while we nurse our flesh back to life instead of crucifying it with Christ. Galatians 2:20 - I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 5:24 - And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires. Amp Bible
God is exposing these struggles of the flesh so we have the opportunity to choose the life of the
Spirit within us and through us. Peter says in Acts, “We ought to obey God rather than man” and
that man at times may be our own self.