Week of August 17
Being Led by the Holy Spirit
And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened.…
Matthew 9:27-30It may be hard for you to believe, but most of what we have done in life has been initiated by us, not by the Spirit of God. After the ball is rolling and we've already started "doing our thing," that's usually when we pray and ask God to bless what we have initiated. We just assume that it is His will because it seems like such a good idea. No wonder we have such poor results!
We must learn to put on the brakes, stop ourselves for a while, and learn to wait until the Holy Spirit speaks clearly to our hearts. It may seem as if this way of doing things takes longer; but when He does speak, the results will be more rewarding and longer lasting. Furthermore, we can avoid pitfalls that would have cost us a lot of time and effort in the long run.
Believers must learn to let the Holy Spirit lead them. Take healing as an example. How many ministers have thought, I'm going to empty all those wheelchairs by praying for those sick people! But after they finished praying, most of the people were still in their wheelchairs and those ministers left feeling embarrassed, defeated, and powerless. Didn't God want to heal those people? Of course He did, but the anointing may not have been present at that exact moment to heal in that particular way.
Being sensitive to the Holy Spirit is important if we want to see successful results in any sphere of life, including healing, family, business, and leading a church congregation. Only the Holy Spirit sees and knows everything that should be done; that's why it is so imperative to learn how to follow His leadership if we want to be successful in life.
I think a classic example of being led by the Spirit can be seen in the account of the two blind beggars in Matthew 9:27-31. These two blind beggars heard that Jesus was walking by, so they waited for Him to heal them. However, Jesus walked right past, never stopping to heal them. The two blind beggars were so upset that Matthew 9:27 tells us, "And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us.…"
The word "followed" is the Greek word akoloutheo, which means to follow after someone or something in a very determined and purposeful manner. Even though these two men were blind and couldn't see where they were going, they were determined to follow Jesus until they got His attention! The verse continues to tell us that they were "crying" out. The word "crying" is the Greek word kradzo, and it means to scream, yell, exclaim, or cry out at the top of one's voice. In other words, they were screaming as loudly as possible to get Jesus' attention! What a dramatic picture! Think about it - here were two blind men, desperately wanting to be healed, who were screaming, shouting, and yelling, trying to get Jesus to notice them. But He just continued walking on as though they weren't even there. Pursuing Jesus relentlessly, they groped along in their darkness, still screaming, yelling, and crying out for Him to heal them.
Jesus couldn't have missed these two blind beggars because they were yelling so loudly; yet still He didn't stop. So they just kept screaming at the top of their lungs, over and over again, "Have mercy on us! Have mercy on us! Have mercy on us! Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on us!"
For years this section of Scripture perplexed me because I couldn't imagine why Jesus wouldn't acknowledge the two blind men. I wanted to know why He didn't immediately turn around and heal them. They were so determined to get His attention that they followed Him all the way to the house where He was staying, crying, "Son of David, have mercy on us!"
Finally, Jesus came to the two blind beggars and asked, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They answered, "Yea, Lord." Matthew 9:29 says, "Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you." But why didn't Jesus stop and heal the blind men when He first saw them? Why didn't He immediately turn to heal them when He recognized their blind condition? And why did He answer them, "…According to your faith be it unto you"?
Jesus evidently did not sense the anointing to heal at that moment; otherwise, He would have stopped to lay His hands on those men. However, this didn't stop the two blind men from receiving. It was as though Jesus said, "I don't sense the anointing to heal right now, so you're going to have to receive this on your own! Be it unto you according to your faith!"
So the only explanation for the fact that Jesus didn't stop to heal the two blind beggars is that the Holy Spirit wasn't leading Him to heal at that exact moment. The good news is that the two blind men could use their own faith to be healed anyway - and they were healed!
As for those whom the Holy Spirit led Jesus to heal, He healed them with a perfect, 100-percent success rate. The Bible describes His healing ministry this way: "And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him and, healed them all" (Luke 6:19).
You see, when that healing virtue was flowing, everyone got healed. But when it wasn't flowing, Jesus didn't attempt to heal. There are other instances like Luke 5:17 where Jesus was busy teaching the Word of God. Suddenly He sensed that "...the power of the Lord was present to heal them."
When Jesus sensed the anointing to heal, He put aside His teaching and followed the leading of the Spirit. As a result, multitudes were healed that day, including the paralytic whom a group of friends lowered down into the room through an opening in the roof of the house.
I love this example in Luke 5:17, for it shows Jesus' pliability in the hands of the Holy Spirit. Although He was busy teaching at the moment, suddenly He felt the anointing shift. The power of God was suddenly present to heal the sick, and Jesus knew it was time to set aside the preplanned program and go with the flow of the Holy Spirit. He faithfully followed wherever the Holy Spirit led, and He did what the Holy Spirit told Him to do. If the Spirit told Him nothing, then nothing was the right thing for Him to do.
In John 5:30 , Jesus told of His complete dependency upon the Holy Spirit. He told the disciples, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just.…" Notice that Jesus said, "...As I hear, I judge…." You see, Jesus was constantly listening to the voice of the Spirit, waiting for that divine signal to act, to heal, to deliver, or to cleanse someone who was sick.
Then Jesus said what He did as soon as He was confident of the Spirit's direction to act: "…I judge: and my judgment is just.…" The word "judge" and "judgment" are both from the Greek word krino, a legal term meaning to make a decision on the basis of information, like a jury who has heard all the evidence in a trial and now possesses all the information needed to take action.
This word is used in John 5:30 to let us know that Jesus never acted until He had all the direction He needed from the Spirit. Once that direction was given and Jesus had all the information He needed, He acted. Because He acted on directions given by the Spirit of God, He was able to say that His actions were always right. In other words, Jesus had a 100-percent success rate because He followed the Spirit's leading!
If Jesus didn't go with a preplanned program or act mechanically every time He was confronted with a need, we need to learn from His example and depend on the leading of the Holy Spirit just as he did. If we will listen to the Spirit and do what He tells us to do - if we will learn to wait until we hear Him speak - we will have powerful results just like Jesus had in his earthly ministry.
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, I want to learn how to follow You more closely! I want to learn the sound of Your voice, to sense when You are speaking to me and trying to lead me, and to become so sensitive to You that I know when to act and when to wait. I am sorry for all the times I've acted before praying - and then assumed that You would bless what I was doing. I don't want to function this way anymore. I only want to initiate what I know You are leading me to do. So please help me become more sensitive. Give me the boldness to do what You say to do and to wait when I hear You tell me to wait.
I pray this in Jesus' name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that I am completely dependent upon the Holy Spirit. Just as Jesus was constantly listening to the voice of the Spirit, waiting for that divine signal to act, to heal, to deliver, or to cleanse someone who was sick, I am also sensitive to the Holy Spirit's voice and wait for Him to speak to my heart. When He speaks, I hear; then I do exactly what He instructs me to do. Because I follow His voice, I make few mistakes and I see great results!
I declare this by faith in Jesus' name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Has there ever been a time when you suddenly sensed the Holy Spirit leading you to stop what you were doing so He could use you to do something different than you had previously planned?
- Did you follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, or did you stick with the preplanned program because you didn't want to interrupt your schedule?
- Is there a reason you resist when you sense that the Holy Spirit is trying to redirect your steps? What are those reasons?