Why Believers Should Be Sensitive to the Holy Spirit
One of the major roles of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers is to guide. Jesus did not leave his disciples alone. He sent them another Comforter who encouraged, helped, and guided them in all their endeavours.
The Christian walk is spiritual. Our God is a spirit and those who worship him must do so in truth and in spirit (John 4:24). The major challenge for most believers is how to migrate from the physical to the spiritual. It is the desire of every genuine believer to operate in the supernatural, but more often than not we find it difficult to do so simply because we lack the proper knowledge and spiritual discernment.
The fundamental step in becoming sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit is to receive Him first. Jesus did not allow his disciples to venture into ministry without first receiving the Holy Spirit and they had to wait until they were empowered from on high. He knew that they would have operated absolutely in the flesh and would have wasted their ministerial careers without the presence of the Holy Spirit in them. “He who does not have the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, but considers them folly and cannot understand them because they are discerned only by the Spirit” ( 1 Corinthians 2:14).
Obviously, sometimes we have trouble understanding God’s leading, and other times we have trouble distinguishing carnal promptings from those of the Spirit. Accepting that we are only limited mortals and asking the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us are surefire ways to escape the consequences of poor decisions and unguided actions.
In my opinion, the church in Antioch was more sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit than the church in Jerusalem. God used persecution to force them to obey His mandate to spread the Gospel. But the church in Antioch was sensitive enough to hear the Holy Spirit and immediately obeyed by sending Paul and Barnabas on a missionary journey. “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set me apart Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them'” (Acts 13:2). Without hearing the Holy Spirit, the church of Antioch would not have evangelized Asia Minor.
If believers are sensitive to the Holy Spirit, many calamities and disasters could be averted. When Paul wanted to go to Bithynia, the Holy Spirit stopped him (Acts 16:6). He then went to Macedonia and preached the Gospel there. He was able to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit who led him to understand God’s will for his ministry at that very moment.
Unfortunately, many believers have completely deviated from God’s purpose and vision due to carnal thinking. Sometimes we are led by the flesh but ignorantly claim that we are led by the Spirit. A quiet time in the presence of the Holy Spirit daily and a constant awareness of the need for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all that we do will inevitably help us to develop our spiritual nervous system which will enable us to respond positively to the prompting of the Holy -Spirit. After all, only God’s children are led by His Spirit (Romans 8:14).
Oscar Amaechina is the President of Afri-Mission and Evangelism Network, Abuja, Nigeria. His calling is to take the gospel where no one has preached or heard of Jesus. He is the author of the book The mystery of the cross revealed.