8th August 2023

Don Stewart explains


How Does the Holy Spirit Guide the Believer?

The Holy Spirit is called the "Comforter" or "Helper" by Jesus.

Indeed, He both helps and comforts us when we need Him. We are also told that the Spirit of God guides or leads believers into God's truth. It is important that we understand how this happens.

The Apostle Paul emphasized that it is God's Spirit that leads, or guides, His children. He wrote to the Romans

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

If a person lives under the control of the Holy Spirit they will not fulfill their sinful desires. Paul wrote to the Galatians.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Thus, when the Spirit controls us we do the things which are pleasing to Him. Paul then gave the Galatians these encouraging words.

If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

In the Old Testament, the Lord made it clear that the nation had to consult Him for guidance. The prophet Isaiah recorded Him saying.

"Destruction is certain for my rebellious children," says the LORD. "You make plans that are contrary to my will. You weave a web of plans that are not from my Spirit, thus piling up your sins".

According to this verse, these believers were sinning by not allowing the Holy Spirit to guide them.
Thus, when we refuse to allow the Spirit of God to guide us, we are sinning.

The Bible reveals to us that Satan has put a spiritual blindfold over the minds of those who do not believe. They are not able to be guided by the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote the following to the Corinthians.

But if, in fact, our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
Regarding them: the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Once a person trusts Jesus Christ, the satanic blindfold is removed and the Holy Spirit begins the work of illuminating the meaning of Scripture to their newly believing mind. This helps them better understand the things of God.

Thus, it is clear that the Holy Spirit does guide the believer in Jesus.
We find the guidance of the Holy Spirit comes in a number of different ways.
Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would come and guide the believer into all truth.
John records Him saying.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

The Apostle Paul put it this way.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.

We can now have a better understanding of the things of God because of the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
We are told that Philip the evangelist was guided by the Spirit of God to preach the good news to the Ethiopian eunuch.

The Holy Spirit spoke to the people at church in Antioch.
He told them to set apart two men for the ministry. The Book of Acts records the following.

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.

Later in the Book of Acts, we read of the Holy Spirit actually stopping people from going to Asia. Scripture says.

They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.

We find an example of the Holy Spirit leading the Apostle Paul into suffering and jail. The Book of Acts records it in this manner.

And now, as a captive to the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and persecutions are waiting for me.

Therefore, it is possible that the Holy Spirit, for reasons known only to God, could guide believers into areas where they will suffer and be persecuted.

We know that God's ways are not our ways. The prophet Isaiah recorded the Lord saying these important words.

"My thoughts are completely different from yours," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts".

We must always respect this. Often, He will work in ways in which we did not expect or imagine. However, He always knows best.

Thus, we see that the Spirit will indeed guide us but He will guide us His way, not ours. We must, therefore, submit to Him for that guidance. We should not attempt to guide ourselves.

Bible references avaiable, on request

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.
Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one's mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.
The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture.

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