Jesus calls us to Spirit-initiated behavior, not self-initiated behavior. Being led by the Holy Spirit is radically different than being led by our own desires. It’s vital to know the difference.
When we ignore the Holy Spirit’s leadership, we’re left to the control of our own opinions, desires, and feelings. Romans 8:14 says that those “led by the Spirit” are God’s children. Being led by the Spirit isn’t optional for Christians. To be Spirit-led we must be attentive to and obedient to the Spirit.
Biblical Christianity shifts people from a self-steered lifestyle to Spirit-steered living. Repentance is making that switch from being self-steered to being Spirit-steered.
Self-motivation frequently falters, but Spirit-motivation is an inner fire that never goes out (unless we quench it). To be self-led is to languish in a mix of good and evil. To be Spirit-led is to journey toward joy, peace, and purity. The Holy Spirit won’t take the wheel in your life as long as self clings to control.
If Christians were trained and released to individually hear and obey the Holy Spirit, spiritual awakening would spread far and wide. Since the Bible says that Christians should be led by the Spirit, perhaps we should learn how. (Romans 8:14.)
Christians are also commanded to “walk in the Spirit.” To do that we have to ignore our own desires and follow the Spirit instead.
When we shut down our heart and our conscience, we shut down the Holy Spirit’s communication and step out on our own. If our thoughts, words, and behaviors aren’t becoming more and more Christ-like, we’re not being led by the Spirit. If we’re always doing what we want to do, we’re not being led by the Spirit.
Desire is deceptive and dangerous. What we desire is often destructive to our well being. It’s much safer to follow our conscience.
Self-focus stymies joy. Christ-focus stirs it up! God offers us an amazing replacement for self-focus: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Search for: The Joy of Early Christianity book.)