A testimony of walking in and being led by the Spirit
See also Paths of Life and Benefits of Christianity
The apostle Paul instructs the followers of Christ to be continuously “walking in the Spirit”:
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wishGalatians 5:16-17
Most believers are all too well of this problem. There is a spiritual war being waged inside each person, often leading to immorality, contentions, anger and selfish ambition. But by walking in the Spirit a believer’s life can be transformed:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control …Galatians 5:22-23
Being led by the Spirit
Let’s leave the concept of spiritual war on one side for now. There is an extra dimension to walking in the Spirit. The Greek word “peripatéō” translated “walk” can mean “to make one’s way – to live – to regulate one’s life” (by the Spirit). Paul calls it being “led by the Spirit” (verse 18). Apart from leading to a totally changed character, walking in the Spirit also leads to the concept of spiritual guidance in a believer’s life. A believer can be led and directed by the Spirit as they walk with Him. In other words:
To be led by the Spirit is the same as walking by Him, but carries additional emphasis on His leadership [Grace Community Church]
Being led by the Spirit rests upon many Bible promises, such as the following from the Psalms:
Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me … Who is the man that fears the LORD? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses … I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye … the steps of a good man are ordered (established) by the LORD …
A Personal Testimony
The following is a personal testimony of trying to follow God’s leading over a period of some 50 years. This “walking” usually involved praying (seeking God), Bible reading (meditation), and testing the way ahead (“door pushing”). Sometimes the wrong path was taken – but then it was corrected. It also involved “big decisions”, like moving house, changing work – and even moving country!
1. Early Days
At the age of 21 my then girlfriend realised that, besides a degree, I needed God in my life. So she bought me my first Bible. At the same time I found myself listening to His word as I sat at the back of churches. Whilst being hooked on UFO’s at that time, I was also curious about God. Eventually, given a visiting evangelist in our town, I made a choice to follow Jesus – whatever that meant. But from there on I can honestly say my life gradually changed, and usually in a positive direction!
Whilst studying for a higher degree in solid-state electronics I also met my future wife. Then came the marriage – and thoughts about a job, a house and a mortgage! My first test of faith followed. At that time, mortgage interest rates sailed to a record high (16%) and I wobbled and walked out on the engagement. I reasoned I could not afford it! But then my fiancée, a Christian, prayed and trusted in God. I also opened my new Bible, which opened at the classic verse for the occasion:
Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed (1 Corinthians 7:27)
As a young Christian I felt that verse spoke to me. Somehow we would get over the 16% interest rate. I took the plunge.
3. God Intervenes by Voice
My 20’s and 30′ seemed to fly by. We did all the usual things a young Christian family would do: take the kids to church, move house several times, and repair old cars. But at the age of 39, after no one in our department had been promoted for some 20 years I had had enough. I secured local work in advanced electronics making missiles (let’s not discuss the moral rights and wrongs of this for Christians). At least that was my plan. I put my resignation in to my present employer and was ready to go. But then my employer turned around and offered good promotion.
This was the first spiritually critical moment in my life. Faced with two good positions, which path was right? I found myself quietly screaming at God in church the Sunday before decision Monday. “Lord, you promise to guide us – please please tell me!” He did! The Lord said very clearly in an audible (to me) English voice “You are in the right place“. To confirm this, a man called Charlie (who seemed to have a hotline to God) walked from the back of the church and said “God has just spoken to someone here“. I took the promotion. I never forgot God’s very clear vocal intervention in my life. My faith went to a new level.
4. Moving House – But Where?
Over the years we had formed a close friendship with another Christian couple who owned a large 6-bedroom terraced house and used it to help (take in) those on the bottom rung of life, so to speak. The terraced property next door came up for sale and everyone thought: “Let’s try and buy it and form a 12-bedroom accommodation in some 3 acres to expand the Christian work there. It seemed the sort of thing Jesus might want us to do!
Our house soon sold, but, to cut a long story short, the owner of the property refused to sell it to us. So, having sold our house we looked for another property – and signed on it. The day after signing, the house owner said we could have his property after all. But it was too late – we had legally signed on the other property.
Looking back over the years, my wife and I are convinced that God intervened – again (“hardening Pharaoh’s heart” so to speak) to stop what seemed like a Christian thing to do. We never regretted moving to the other property. It has been the right place for us and we try and use it for the Lord.
5. Working Abroad – God Intervenes Again!
Being well past the mid-life crisis point I took early retirement. But it was really too early and I still needed another position, at least for a few years. After firing off a few CV’s I was offered two positions abroad, one in Australia and one in the Middle East. In fact, the Middle East offer was more than I had applied for; I was offered a well-paid Professor position. I accepted it and declined the Australian offer.
Then God seemed to intervene a third time (one day I will get it right). I had made the wrong decision. It seemed that the Middle East position could be not quite what it appeared to be and a friend I knew at the establishment advised me to reconsider my decision. It was like God asking me to think hard: does the excellent money, prestige and challenge compensate for a total change of lifestyle for my wife, for example? Add to that, during the day of the London interview I was actually propositioned by a lady working the hotels! The penny dropped; this was deception. I took the Australian job and we enjoyed some great years with the Ozzys!
6. An Angelic Messenger?
In my last year in Australia (2004) my mind turned to digital Christian radio. Surely this was the way forward for Christian radio in the UK? But upon returning to the UK my thoughts were put in their place. It was far too costly to consider, and current FM radio was the only realistic way forward. Then, what seemed like chance, I met someone who wanted to set up FM Christian radio in his home town. I asked where he lived. It was my hometown too! God seemed to be on the case!
It took several engineers, including myself, to set it up the system (obeying OFCOM rules of course). It “just happened” that a friend of mine knew a man with the expensive design software needed to find the optimum location for the transmitter. Or was that God’s guidance again? Then, weeks before the formal “switch on”, we found that, due to staff shortage, we did not have time to complete the final engineering. Nevertheless, the management went ahead with a public meeting and a formal announcement of the switch on date. What was I to do?
At the end of the large public meeting a man (not known to me) came up and told me exactly what I needed to do. I had to contact a certain man at a certain address in the city. He would help. This man turned out to be a retired BBC sound engineer; in fact, he had been a regional Head of Radio Broadcasting. Moreover, he only lived a few hundred meters from the transmitter site! With his help the Christian radio station opened on time. Was this angelic guidance? I never saw that messenger again.
7. A Working Friendship
In 2014 a lady contacted this website. At that time both her employment and marriage situations were very stressful and so she was seeking help and fellowship from Christians. But unknown to us, God seemed to have His own agenda! It turned out that, being married to a non-Messianic Jew (someone who rejected Yeshua as the Jewish Messiah), she had a wide knowledge of the Old Testament and Jewish feasts and customs in particular. So her cry for help led rapidly to the development of a website dedicated to Israel – the people and the country, link.
Was this meeting of man, or of God? It seems the God of Israel had created this friendship for His purpose and glory; we were to join God’s “watchmen” for the people of Israel. Recall the prophet’s words:
On your walls, Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; all day and all night they will never keep silent (Isaiah 62:6)
Today the Israeli site attracts much worldwide interest and some good discussions on many Jewish topics. In addition, this collaborative work seemed to be confirmed by a very vivid and meaningful dream. At the start of the work the person the lady contacted had a dream related to her employment. In essence, the dream said she was to be taken out of her unhappy and stressful employment and to be welcomed by friendly colleagues in a new job. This happened within weeks!
“Walking in the Spirit” (trusting God to lead in serious situations) has increased my faith. I would recommend stepping out and trusting God’s word for the big issues in life. After all, a ship cannot be steered unless its on the move! I have found that sometimes God does intervene, and in a loving and protective way, as promised in the psalms!