“Then the Spirit told me to go with them.” Acts 11:12
I forget who it was, but I remember hearing someone say that the book of Acts could be called the Acts of the Holy Spirit because it’s filled with actions taken under the power and leadership of the Holy Spirit.
This morning, as I write this post, I’m hearing, in my imagination, one of you asking me, “But Pastor Jon, how do I know if the direction I am getting is the Holy Spirit speaking to me and not just my own thinking?”
For me the answer to this question has come down to three things, three criteria, it you will. 1st, the instruction given must be morally and ethically consistent with godly principles given in scripture. The Holy Spirit would never ask me to break God’s law. 2nd the instruction must be in harmony with Jesus goals for the work of his church. The Holy Spirit would never ask me to work against God’s church. And 3rd, no matter how the leading was first given to me, at some point, I always have come to understand that this is a matter of obedience for me.
This 3rd element is the trickiest to explain so I’ll give you this example. I don’t remember when the first thought came that God was calling me to be a pastor. I only know that by the time I was 18 I had become confident that that was where I was being directed. But by the time I was in college any personal desire, or ambition, for the office I might have had was being vigorously tested. So much so that I really didn’t want to become a pastor. Yet, even then I knew that the decision of whether or not to become a pastor was a matter of obedience for me. I was being ask if I was willing to follow the path God was calling me down or not?
In talking and working with others I’ve realized that for everyone, if we will take the time to seek God’s clear will for our lives, he gives the same assurance. The same conviction that his personal leading in our lives is a matter of obeying or disobeying. After that the choice is ours. Let’s choose to follow the example of obedience set by the apostles and in our own lives add to the legacy of the acts of the Holy Spirit