What Does it Mean to be Led by the Holy Spirit?

“If we rely solely upon inner peace, feelings, dreams, visions, or impressions, then we are not being led by the Holy Spirit. We are merely being led by ourselves, or worse.”

(Eric Davis – The Cripplegate)  We face a lot of decisions in life. Many of these can be tricky, having no particular Bible verse directly associated. Nevertheless, we are commanded to glorify God in everything we do (1 Cor. 10:31). And Christians want to honor God in all they do. But it’s not always easy to discern how to do so.

Related to that, there are many who often affix the phrase, “The Holy Spirit led me to,” upon their decisions and decision making. Perhaps that may seem like the easier way to discern things in life. But, isn’t that subjective and experientially based? What does it mean that the Spirit led them? What did the Holy Spirit do to lead them? How can they be sure he is leading them? Most importantly, what does Scripture teach about this?

These questions must be addressed by those who claim such leading. The Holy Spirit is the glorious third Person of the Trinity. He is God; a divine Person, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity. In all the divine attributes he is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son. Thus, we must speak reverently and correctly about his Person and work. So, if he is personally leading us in our daily decision-making, we must be sure. And, we can expect that he would give objective criteria in Scripture for discerning so.

To begin, we will identify a few things which indicate that we are not being led by the Holy Spirit. Then, a few things which indicate we are being led by him.

How to Know that We Are Not Being Led by the Holy Spirit

  1. Going against the word of God.

Making decisions that conflict with Scripture means we are not being led by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the Author of the 66 books of Scripture (2 Pet. 1:20-21). As Paul writes, the “things of the Spirit” are the words spoken and written by the apostles as they were taught by the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:12-13). We can no more be in-line with the Holy Spirit and going against Scripture than we can be in-line with living but refusing to eat and breathe. View article →