If you and I want to be led by the Holy Spirit 24/7 and we are insecure about whether we have been led by Him or not, the following excerpt from one of T. Austin Sparks’ articles might be helpful to read. What I did not copy and paste were Sparks’ implementations on how and when Jesus refused to do what others told Him (whether his mother, his siblings, or other people were concerned) because that would have been too long an article on here. Nonetheless, if someone has time and wants to read the whole thing, you will find the link beneath the excerpt, as always.
The Lord Jesus knew that at a certain time He could not act, could not speak; He had no movement of the Spirit in quickening, no life so to do at that time; in His spirit there was no movement of life; the law was not active in the positive way. But when the Father, Who knew what was required in speech or action, saw that the time had come, He did not bend down and speak with an audible voice into His ear, and say, Now is the time! Say this! Do that! He simply quickened Him inwardly. The law of life became active in that direction, and He knew by an inward quickening what the mind of God was. That is what Paul means when he says, “The mind of the Spirit is life.”
If you want to know the mind of the Spirit about anything, you will know it by quickening, by life in that direction. If you want to know what the Spirit is against, you will know it because there is death in that direction in your spirit, you have no life, you say, in that direction. All right, that means you know the Lord, you know the Spirit, you know what it is to move on the basis of the law of the Spirit of life in Christ. The Father governed Him by that law. He governs us by exactly the same law when we are joined to the Lord, one spirit. Guidance, direction, is a matter of life in the Spirit, life by the Spirit. The Lord Jesus had His life ordered, governed, conducted, arranged in every detail by the quickening Spirit; the Spirit of life in Christ.
This it is, again, that provides the contrast. These Jews came along and said: Here is the Scripture, and the Scripture says, You ought not to do certain things, and You are doing them; You are all wrong because the Scripture says this! When Christ so acted was He violating the Scripture? Or was He giving God’s meaning to the Scripture? When God gave that law, did He not have a fuller meaning than what men see just on the surface? Was there not a spiritual interpretation? Was it not pointing on to something, which when it came was to supersede – I do not mean break but transcend – simply because higher, fuller, deeper meaning was reached? Christ is God’s Sabbath. It is in Christ that God comes to rest in all His works; His new creation. But they said, You must abide by the letter! We put it in that way to show the difference between taking the letter and having the Holy Spirit’s illumination of the letter. Life and the letter are often contrasted in the Word. The letter killeth, the Spirit maketh alive.
During the last few weeks the Lord made me more and more aware of what Sparks wrote about the perception of life and death in my own spirit. I cannot say that my experiences were overwhelmingly clear and easy to describe, however, what I can say is that being plunged into God’s flow of speaking (or not speaking) and acting (or not acting) is always accompanied by His peace, and joy, and love. It appears to me that the fruit of the spirit is directly related to our obedience. But there are times when I am insecure about what to do and what to omit. Then I remember that Oswald Chambers stated that we were always led by God whatever we did, but if God wanted to hinder us from doing a certain thing, we would find a more or less strong restraint in our heart. Indeed, I have known that restraint for many years now. From hence, the main reason for me to publish this rather short post, which I had already begun three weeks ago, was to let my readers know that blog posting lately has given me no life at all; the restraint in my heart and mind was so strong that I avoided the internet as much as possible. I even felt repelled by booting up the computer and that has not changed as yet, either. The only quickening through His Spirit led me to that “old stuff” which you have just read. And just now His life is leaving me again. So, I do not know when, or even whether, I will publish a new article at all.
Enjoy the summer, whatever the weather (pretty rainy and cold in Germany here). 🙂 Every blessing to all of you,