Tonight, I got a great lesson in pneumatology (The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit). I believe most of us are familiar with the general workings of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer, but there is one aspect of the work of the Spirit that seems to be controversial. That act is His leading. I’m sure we’ve all heard someone say they were led by the Spirit to __________. Perhaps you’ve even said this. But what does it mean to be led by the Spirit? These words are specifically found in a few places in the New Testament. In Romans 8:14 and Galatians 5:18, the context of being led by the Spirit refers to walking in holiness and turning away from sin.
In other instances, we see the Spirit directing or guiding the courses of people. Acts 16:6-10, the Macedonian call, tells us how the Spirit prevented Paul and his companions from ministering in Asia and Bithynia. We also read of how the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. (Matthew 4:1, Mark 1:12, & Luke 4:1) With Paul, the Spirit’s leading was preventative as opposed to Jesus’ leading, which was permissive.
So we see that the Spirit’s leading ultimately leads to our sanctification and the fulfilling of God’s will. A.W. Pink said this about the leading of the Spirit.
“…the blessed Spirit of God “leads” both objectively and subjectively: by pointing us to the directive precepts of the Word, that our actions may be regulated thereby: and by secret impulses from within the soul, impressing upon us the course we should follow—the evils to be avoided, the duties to be performed. The Spirit acts upon His own life in the renewed soul. He works in the Christian a right disposition of heart relating to truth and duty. He maintains in the believer a right disposition of mind, preparing and disposing him to attend unto the revealed will of God. He speaks effectually to the conscience, enlightens the understanding, regulates the desires, and orders the conduct of those who submit themselves unto His holy suggestions and overtures. To be “led by the Spirit of God” is to be under His guidance and government.”
Tonight, I experienced a leading of the Spirit (no apologies to my cessationist bretheren), not in a questionable way that exceeds the bounds of Scripture. Rather, in a way that was wholly consistent with God’s will revealed in Scripture.
I went to wash my car and I noticed a young guy vacuuming his car. General urbanite. He drove an Impala that was sitting on 26” rims. Secular hip hop banging from the speakers. His arms and his back were full of tattoos and seemed like he didn’t want to be bothered. But as I was washing my car, I kept sensing a strong inward compelling to talk to him about the Lord. I knew it was the Holy Spirit leading me to share to gospel with Him.
After washing my car I pulled into the slot next to him to so I could vacuum. The compel to share seemed to intensify! I had Reach Records Before You Die cd’s with me, so I grabbed one and walked over to him. I broke the ice by asking him what was he listening to, then I asked him if he’d ever heard of Christian hip hop. He said he’d heard of the genre, but not actual songs. So then I began to ask him what he knew about God, Jesus, sin, heaven and hell. I asked him how does one get to heaven and he said we have to be accepted by God. I asked him if he knew how that happens and he said if we’re good enough.
I asked him if he’d ever heard the gospel and if he knew the significance of Jesus and the cross. He said no. So I began to share the gospel with him detailing the evidences of his sin and sin nature, which he admitted to, and how that makes him an enemy of God. Then I began to lay out the perfection of Christ, His substitutionary death, resurrection and double imputation. I could tell that he was really zeroing in on what I was saying. After that, I gave him the tract/cd and he was really appreciative. By the end of the conversation his whole tough guy swagger was gone and he had a different demeanor.
The leading you ask? Well, early on in my conversation with him he told me he had just recently begun going to church with his girlfriend, yet he’d never heard the gospel. Is that not the Lord? To make it a little bit more interesting, I was going to wash my car last night, but it rained, forcing me to go today.
I wrote my name and number on the back of the tract and offered to meet up with him again. If you remember, pray for Adam’s (that’s his name) salvation and pray the Lord would continue His work in my life.
Grace & Peace,