Knowing How God Leads Us: Part Two

Did you know that God didn’t make it hard for His children to hear from Him and hearing from Him isn’t something that just a few special people experience. Never has there been a time it was more important to hear from God, as our lives and success may depend upon it.


In part one of Knowing How God Leads Us, I share how God uses His Word to lead and speak to us. Today in part two, I want to share how God will lead us by His Holy Spirit. Both Jesus and Paul remind us that one of the jobs of the Holy Spirit is to lead or guide us, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” (John 16:13 KJV)


One mistake that we can make is to expect God to lead us some other way than He tells us He will. We may have all kinds of thoughts and ideas but that doesn’t make them right nor the way God tells us He will lead us. With that being said, I want to talk about the primary way (the main way but not the only way) God tells us in His Word He will lead us by His Holy Spirit. It’s called the inward witness, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God…The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” (Romans 8:14,16 KJV)

These scriptures tell us we can expect the Holy Spirit to lead us through an inward witness in our spirits. The inward witness can be described as an inward knowing, intuition, prompting, impression, pull, or peace. All these terms describe the inward witness and how the Holy Spirit leads. If we can learn to follow the inward witness, we will know what to do or not to do.


In Romans 8:14, the Greek word for “led” is the word “ago”. This simply means to be led, to lead or to lead along. It was often used to depict animals that were led by a rope tied around their necks. Once tied to the rope, those animals willfully followed wherever their owners led the. This is the picture God wants us to envision, that by a gentle tug or pull, the owner could lead them and they would follow. This is how God says the Holy Spirit will lead us, by a gentle witness on the inside.


If we are born again sons and daughters of God, our spirits will know or perceive things our heads do not know because God leads us by our spirits, not our heads or minds. Remember the Holy Spirit lives in our spirits and that is where He will lead us from. In Acts 27:10 Paul said, “I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage.” How did he know that? Notice he said, “I perceive”. That’s the inward witness. Sometimes it’s described as a “check” in our spirits and we know from that, something is not right, and we shouldn’t do it.


This inward witness is also described in God’s Word as an inward peace. Isaiah 55:12 says, “for you shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace. This means we can know whether or not God wants us to do something or not by the peace we have in our hearts. Colossians 3:15 tells us, “let the peace of God rule in hearts.” The Greek word for rule means to umpire, to call the shots, to decide. The point is we should follow peace and not override it. We should let peace act as umpire, let it be the deciding factor. If there is not peace in your heart, then take it as a no from God and don’t do it. However, where there is peace, then you can proceed knowing it’s a yes. God tells us how He will lead us this way.


One word of advice, while there are times we know what choice to make, there will be other times we just don’t. When we don’t know, it’s important not to make a decision on a whim. So, when we are struggling to know what to do or what decision to make, remember following the inward witness is how we follow God. Anytime it is difficult for you to decide whether something is from your head or your heart, take time to feed and meditate on God’s Word. Lots of choices float around in our minds but when we spend time feeding on God’s Word and praying about the situation, and even worshiping God, then when you get quiet- check your spirit, look down in your spirit to see if there is peace or a check. Don’t be in a rush, take time to hear, take time until you know. You will find the inward witness is being led by peace. Remember being led is like a gentle tug, a pull in a direction and it will bring inner peace. With the peace, you can know your answer is yes. If there is no peace, but a check or stop in your spirit, it means no. Anytime we don’t follow peace, we make a mistake. So, follow peace, don’t override it.


Here’s the point: God leads and guides us, but He doesn’t always talk. Too often people expect a voice when they should expect a leading. The truth is we need to focus on the leading, not the speaking. “His Spirit bears witness with our spirits that we are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:16)


Click here for a more in depth study on this subject.