Being Led From Within
July 04, 2012
(This blog post came out of my daily reading from our 'Planted Journal'. Pick up a copy at Westside Church if you would like to participate.)
1 John 2: 27 But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.
We understand external authority. From infancy we are molded to obey those who give outside counsel and direction. And anyone who has attempted to be led from within understands the problem that this raises. It begins a battle between inner and outer. It brings up troubling questions like, 'What if the Holy Spirit teaches me things contrary to the things I've always been taught to believe?' To say that this is a challenge is a gross understatement.
This spiritual practice will turn your world upside down. In my experience, intellect battles the things that are revealed within. The rational side of me says things like, 'There's no way that the Holy Spirit speaks. Those were just my own thoughts. This is ridiculous.'
"Ridiculous": what a word. It calls you a fool for having faith. It says you're too emotional. It disqualifies you based on your thoughts and your behavior. 'God would never speak to you', it says.
But John is clear. You have the Holy Spirit. Whether you like it or not, He lives in you and He teaches you.
I believe this internal relationship is meant to be our primary source of communion with God, along with a corporate gathering of Christians. (What better way to filter what the Holy Spirit has been teaching you, then with the Community of Believers.)
Remember, Jesus said it would be better for us if he left, so that the Holy Spirit would come. So, take him up on it. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak. Read the Scriptures, and ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate them.
Learn to hear his voice, and get ready for the ride!