Led By The Holy Spirit

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Puritan Board Freshman
I started a recent thread on Worship and The Holy Spirit, this thread should focus on the heart of the issue. I hope I can explain things coherently

It seems to me that there is belief out their that could be best described as "Do It And The Holy Spirit Will Make It Work vs. Do it to the best of your abilities". That probably doesn't make since but let me give an example that deals with worship (sorry if this looks like rehashing)

Example A:

I get scoop for the week on what the sermon is on, what should be theme of service (repentance, resurrection, etc.). With that I seek to create a service that I feel is needed. Prayer is involved as well as studying the scriptures.

Example B:

Man first picks the songs after prayer. The scoop comes in and Man is amazed at how the songs correlate to the theme and what have you. He attributes it to the Holy Spirit making sure everything fits together.

(Please disregard issues with the service itself, I know)

Can you guys help me with finding the verses that deal with how the Holy Spirit leads and what it looks like? Perhaps this is part of the Cessationists debate?

To me, I picture Da Vinci painting the Mona Lisa. Did he just throw paint of the canvas and out this artwork came? Or, did he methodically paint it?


Puritan Board Junior
Regarding Leonardo Da Vinci and his Mona Lisa, brings to mind the quote from the great jazz alto saxophonist Charlie 'Yardbird' Parker, "Master your instrument , then forget all that stuff and play." I think that explains how the Mona Lisa came to be.


Puritan Board Junior
Gary Friesen wrote a book that I found helpful. It's called DECISION MAKING AND THE WILL OF GOD.

It is a long way of addressing your question, but the book is very worth the read. I always recommend this book when such matters arise on the board.

The book can be summarized into two sentences: "Where God commands, we must obey. Where God does not command, we have the freedom and responsibility to make a wise decision." This is not to say that we shouldn't pray before selecting music and sermon topics. One thing that can be accomplished before making such decisions is that we may ask God for wisdom.

I don't ever look for that "still small voice" in my relationship with God. That is not to say that I don't seek to be led by the Holy Spirit. If I am led by the Holy Spirit, I am led by what his word commands. There are many times throughout my days where I have a scripture come mind that applies to a situation at hand. In that case, I am led by the Holy Spirit when I follow what he told me to do from his word.

We all know God works in mysterious ways, but taking our cues from God's providences is a horrible way to try to be led by him; especially as we see many providential obstacles standing in the way of our obedience.

If we see that God has worked out a mysterious convergence of events, we can rejoice in how he cares for us. The secret things belong to God, but the things revealed to us belong to us and our children that we may do them.


Staff member
David's advice to all of us:

Psa 119:15 I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.
And Paul's advice to Timothy:

1Ti 4:14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
1Ti 4:15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
1Ti 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
The Spirit works through his Word primarily. I think, no matter what work is asked of someone, if he wants to be "Spirit led," he must first be immersed in the Scriptures, take good heed of what the Scriptures say about his condition, and learn and apply the doctrines in them as he uses his skills to execute the task set before him.

So God demands effort from us in understanding his will.


Puritan Board Freshman
I don't ever look for that "still small voice" in my relationship with God.
I was curious about this statement, could you unpack that for me a bit.

I have in the past been wrapped up in charismatic settings and did too much introspection and desiring to hear God directly, (which wasn't all time wasted, hours in a prayer closet with an open bible is actually a good thing vs. hours in front of a tv playing video games or worse which would have been the alternative) but now I'm very pragmatic and I wonder if I am too much so. I still hold to certain thought processes like for instance that it is bad to just do everything without consulting God because even minor things can have great impact on your life or other's so I still hold James 4:13 in my mind a lot. But that's not to say I wake up in the morning and pray "Lord is it your will for me to brush my teeth" but rather rely on common sense and as Victor said a renewed mind that knows what is right and does it because it is saturated in the scriptures. I wonder though if there is a place for the still small voice.

Also I was listening to an interview with Doug Wilson and Mark Driscoll (I know PBer's favorite guys lol) but Wilson who is a cessationist gave an example in his life about some inside knowledge he just knew this woman's husband was beating her, he won't say that was a miraculous gift but rather just a leading of the Spirit.

If you have spent time on the streets evangelizing as I have you are quickly humbled and realize that the Holy Spirit is smarter than you are and more keyed into the person you are talking to's life and needs than you are. For instance I once got ripped off my a hustler on the street pretending to be passing through my city on the Grey Hound and I gave him 10 or 20 bucks, but then months later I saw him again when I was out with another brother evangelizing one on one and as soon as he rolled up and started giving his spiel I wanted to nail this guy, but something quieted my spirit (i'm assuming God's Spirit lol) and humbled me and so I asked God right there how to trap this guy so it would be shown that he is lying before I come out and call him to repentance. Well i just knew then like God spoke to me but without an audible voice, and inward knowing, to ask him if he had ever been to our city before. I did and he denied it and I just yelled "Repent for your crimes against God" (well not really yelled but said slightly forcefully) and his head just fell in conviction. I told him of his crimes in using my bible to bring in comradery by him saying he was a fellow christian to hustle me was using the word of God for selfish gain, and his head just hung in contrition. And then out of know where I was prompted to ask him "Do you smoke crack?" And it wasn't like I just thought that up on the spot with common sense it was like something outside of me prompted me to ask him that, which the answer was yes. So just curious if you'd consider that a small still voice or leading, prompting, or am I just wishful thinking and its just really common sense?


Puritan Board Junior
I am okay with using the phrase "still small voice" when it is properly defined. When the still small voice is defined as being God's voice in matters of intuition and wisdom, I deny that. In other matters, the still small voice can be seen as the Spirit's prompting to do the loving thing according to a word in the Scriptures. I look at your mysterious leading in the matter of your encounter as an instance of wisdom and intuition, but God's providential hand was upon the situation to bring about a favorable end—the conviction of the man's sin. He led you, but he didn't lead you in the way of discovering his leading before the outcome. God leads us in a myriad of ways that we are not meant to discover until after the fact. We are not meant to discover God's secret counsels until he has already accomplished his purposes. When that happens, we can look back and rejoice at seeing God at work. His leading is revealed in the Scriptures and his already accomplished purposes. Beyond that, all we have are things into which we cannot and should not look. At this point is where many go beyond to the point of saying "God told me." This, I believe, is an error.


Puritanboard Amanuensis
Can you guys help me with finding the verses that deal with how the Holy Spirit leads and what it looks like? Perhaps this is part of the Cessationists debate?
The Scripture's use of walking in the Spirit and being led of the Spirit refers to the blessings connected with salvation, especially regeneration/sanctification. It will create confusion to directly connect these with making wise choices. The Scriptures speak of the latter as prudence, proving the will of the Lord, etc.


Puritan Board Freshman
Good stuff thanks guys. Quick question though, with that scenario I painted with the guy, with asking him if he smoked crack, I knew he did before I asked him. Would you chalk that up to intuition, because it wasn't like "Oh I have a hunch this guys does drugs" it was like "This guy is struggling with crack addiction I need to ask him to get it out in the air so we can take it from there.

I am very much on the same page with you guys especially since I lean cessationist and desire strict heurmenutical exegesis of even the smallest things so as to not take things out of context, like for instance everyone in my former circle's favorite saying "God laid it on my heart" which I'm still looking to find that phrase in the scriptures. The question then is, if it isn't taught explicitly is "The Lord laid it on my heart" an implicit concept.


Puritan Board Doctor
but Wilson who is a cessationist gave an example in his life about some inside knowledge he just knew this woman's husband was beating her, he won't say that was a miraculous gift but rather just a leading of the Spirit.
Wilson and his theology notwithstanding, this comment brought to mind an experience I had while at a charismatic christian commune (yeah, I know) in my youth. I had left for the day to work at a job that the administration knew I had taken, but a member had decided I had gone partying and tossed my possessions in the dumpster. When I got back and found them gone, he told me the Holy Spirit had told him I was up to no good, so there was no point in arguing - he had the inside scoop. Turns out he was a wife beater himself. I put no stock at all in people who profess such things. Particularly Doug Wilson.
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