There are many Spirit filled Christians who are not necessarily Spirit led. This does not mean one’s love or zeal for the Lord is any less by any means. Often times I write about our faith must be based on the finished work of Jesus and the Cross. Of course, right? Jesus is our Saviour and His Cross is the means by which He saved us. The Lord’s resurrection and glorification is evidence of His perfection. Due to God’s righteousness, anyone less than perfect is unacceptable. Jesus did not have to sacrifice lambs to atone for His sin because He was sinless. The Lord was by all measure of the word – perfect. Instead, He sacrificed Himself to atone for our sins, our imperfection. What a gift we have been given!!
As a Christian our salvation came/comes through Jesus. However, what I see happening many times is once we realize we need a Saviour -Jesus, we then attempt to sanctify ourselves. Keep in mind, we don’t do this intentionally but our carnal mind is responsible. In our carnality we attempt to sanctify ourselves through our self will. Our carnal mind is motivated by flattery words which are temporal and not spiritual. Our carnal mind by its very nature is at war with God.
“For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” Romans 8:6-7. Once we are saved, the Holy Spirit dwells within us. It is only through the Holy Spirits guidance that life and peace is achieved. Through the guidance and counsel of the Holy Spirit the process of sanctification is begun; precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little there a little (Isaiah 28:10).
For example, even fasting can be carnal. (Ouch, don’t pinch me yet!) I know the beginning of the year is coming up and many churches will begin the 21 Day Daniel Fast. This is a wonderful thing, it can be a form or way of obedience. The question is though, obedience to who? Has the Holy Spirit led you to fast? What seems to happen is this, we are seeking an answer from God so we fast. While fasting we have faith and believe that God will answer us after we fast or because of our fast. Our faith has then been directed to “us fasting” or the fast itself. Our carnal mind led us to fast, not the Holy Spirit. PLEASE, don’t misunderstand this. If the Holy Spirit leads us to fast, we fast. On the other hand, if our carnal mind leads us to fast, our fast (our sacrifice) is in direct rebellion to God. A quick example of Spirit led fasting – a couple of weeks ago I felt the need to fast. I did not mention this because my carnal mind was not wanting to fast. Within 30 minutes my husband mentioned we should fast. I knew then, this was Spirit led. Don’t misunderstand – I have done it the other way around also and without realizing my faith was actually in the fast and not the finished work of Jesus. I was not Spirit led, but carnal minded.
The same thing can be said for many occasions of man made religious traditions. (Please note I did NOT just say fasting was a man made religious tradition in any way!) When we allow our faith to be led astray from the finished work of Jesus and the Cross we are being deceived. The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy. What is he trying to destroy – our faith in Jesus’ finished work on the Cross. The enemy doesn’t care where our faith lies as long as it’s not in Jesus Christ. “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He (Jesus) made a public spectacle of them (the enemy), triumphing over them in it.” Colossians 2:15.
Faith in Jesus’ and His work on the Cross is what allows the Holy Spirit’s work in us. Once the Holy Spirit begins His work we must follow Him promptings. Following the Holy Spirit is what allows our ongoing sanctification process. Our sanctification process is what builds our faith in the Lord. The Holy Spirit will never guide us to indirectly or mistakenly cause our faith to be in anything but the Lord. Through our faith in Jesus the enemy is once again reminded he was made a public spectacle and still is a public spectacle to all who believe in Jesus Christ and His Cross.
Because of our faith in Jesus and His Cross, we are saved. Through the guidance of His Holy Spirit we are continually sanctified; taking us from glory to glory. In turn, our faith in Him is made stronger and stronger. Our shield is made larger and larger. For all of this to happen, we must not only be Spirit filled but Spirit led. – Donna Warren