“While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’” Acts 13:2
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” John 16:13
I sat in my living room alone. As a young child, I loved cartoons. I was about to turn on the television, but something stopped me. I felt a pull to read the Bible that sat on the coffee table. What I read spoke to me so clearly that God was real, He loved me, and I could surrender my life to Him. There were many things that I didn’t understand, but that didn’t matter then. What I did know was that I wanted to give my life to Jesus. After that, I felt a similar pull and desire within my heart to be a missionary.
I could not have understood then, that the tug on my heart to read the Bible instead of watching cartoons; or the desire to go to the mission field, were the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I just knew these were burdens on my heart. Years later I can look back and see very clearly that it was God speaking to my heart and directing my path; but all I had then was a desire. That was really the beginning of my journey to the mission field, to doing what I was born to do.
When we are led by the Holy Spirit, it starts with the desires that flow from our intimate times with our Lord.
Some people are afraid that if they surrender to God, they will have to go to a far away land, give up everything they own, and start a new life. The truth is, if that’s what God created you for then that is what He would guide you to; but God gives us desires for what He created us to do. (This happens to be exactly what God called me to - but I can’t imagine doing anything so fulfilling and rewarding!! That’s because I was made to do that.) Being led by the Spirit starts with a spark that grows as we listen to His Voice. The more we listen, the more He continues to guide us down that path. It is the path that is best for our lives, since the designer of our lives is the One who has ordained us just for that.
Being led by the Spirit starts with listening. Listen to Him as you read the Word, pray, listen to worship, and let go of your sin. You, too, will be given burdens in your heart, new dreams or old ones reawakened; leading you into the truly abundant life that you were created for.
What are you waiting for?
What things might be holding you back?
What noises in your life may be drowning out His voice?
I challenge you to take some time right now to ask the Lord to quiet the world around you so that He can speak to you. That might mean disconnecting from your smart phone, putting on headphones, opening the Word and journaling. He is faithful to speak to His children!