When people say “Let the (Holy) Spirit lead” they mean “Put agenda, order and planning to the side and say or do whatever comes to mind.” Why can’t the leading of the Holy Spirit be through planning and study and forethought?

Martin Luther and John Calvin studied God’s word and wrote theology: were they not led by the Spirit of Him in whom are all treasures of wisdom and knowledge? William and Catherine Booth formed an organisation to help people in need – the Salvation Army: were they not led by the Spirit of Jehovah jireh [1]? George Washington Carver and Dietrich Bonhoeffer sacrificed their personal safety and comfort to help others: were they not led by the Spirit of Jesus?

Of course we must be open to listening to – and obeying – God; however, this isn’t just in a meeting of the church; it is in all of life. It isn’t just a single action or word; it is in everything we think, say and do.

The Spirit of God will lead us in our plans, work, study and free time. Choosing a career, marriage, success and failure, comfort and suffering – God’s Spirit will lead us through it all. But He doesn’t just lead us through inner promptings at the time (He might not); so we won’t be unprepared, He has given us a guide for life in His perfect, unchanging, eternal, trustworthy word.

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Footnotes

[1] In Hebrew, jireh means “he feeds, pastures”. It brings to mind the image of a shepherd.

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