Exercising Faith in Following the Spirit
Life will inevitably bring us to problems which beg solutions. In these moments fear and doubt rise quickly to the surface. If we listen though, God will lead us to His answer. Try as it might, the wisdom of the world can’t save. We must come to a place of obedience by exercising faith.
“Those who are motivated by the flesh only pursue what benefits themselves. But those who live by the impulses of the Holy Spirit are motivated to pursue spiritual realities.For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set controlled by the Spirit finds life and peace”
—Romans 8:5-6 (TPT)
Our Answers Versus God’s
The battle between following the Spirit and our flesh is fought daily, and a good picture of it is found in the Old Testament book of Judges.
In a 7 year period as a result of the Israelite people ignoring God, they suffered hunger and oppression at the hands of a foreign nation. As a man named Gideon was threshing hidden wheat, an angel of the LORD appeared saying, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you (Judges 6:12 NLT)!”
Gideon replied stating God had abandoned his people, but the angel was not deterred. “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you (vs. 13)!” Gideon asked the angel how he, being weak, could do what God was speaking to him.
“I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man (vs. 16).” But the prophetic word of the angel was not enough, Gideon required a sign.
When he came into faith, God moved mightily through Gideon, showing He was the answer to Israel’s problems. Each time God called him into greater faith, Gideon debated and asked for signs, but eventually relied on the LORD to deliver Israel from bondage.
In trials, we devise a small-picture plan, like Gideon hiding food for his starving people. However we recognize God’s presence, He bids us take a faith-filled step. I’m ashamed to admit my doubt, but I don’t think I’m alone in questioning God in these moments. What’s most important is if we’ll ultimately trust and obey Him. Despite our initial lack of belief, God will save us when we follow His Spirit.
The selfish and fearful impulses of the flesh make us incapable of solving our problems. The best answers of the un-renewed mind are small and lead to death. But God will use them to reveal our need for Him. At the end of our rope, the Holy Spirit speaks of a deeper truth and asks us to act. We’ll find life and peace on the other side of obedience to God.
Since exercising faith, I’ve seen mine grow and I’ve also perceived God’s leading more. Even though I’ve feared mistaking Him and following my flesh or the enemies deception, I’ve learned to obey Jesus’s gentle nudges faster. I’ve found He always comes through, bringing clarity, working out mistakes when I make them, and leading me into more abundant life.
In the midst of issues you’re facing lately, what is God saying? Whether you ask Him to prove Himself or not, come to the place of obeying the Spirit. This is how you will overcome.
Share your thoughts below!
For a great resource, check out Chris Hendrix’s devotional on Stretching Your Faith.