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“The Spirit is Leading Me to…” Part 2

posted Feb 7, 2017, 10:04 AM by First Baptist

Last week, I wrote about the practice of attributing what we think, feel or do (or not do) to the leading of the Holy Spirit.


I’ve known Christians who attribute nearly EVERTYHING to the Holy Spirit (example: “the Holy Spirit told me to call you today”), while others (probably the majority) attribute only certain things, such as the choice of a spouse, vocation or some other major life decision.


The article sparked some feedback, so I’ll continue with the topic.


The Traditional View


Dr. Garry Friesen, a now-retired Professor of Bible & Theology at Multnomah Bible College, spent a career studying what is commonly taught & believed in the Christian community with regard to the leading of the Holy Spirit.


Dr. Friesen calls what MOST Christians believe (or been taught) “the traditional view.” Here it is in a nutshell:


Premise: For each or our decisions, God has a perfect plan or will.

Purpose: Our goal is to discover God’s plan or will and to make decisions in accordance with it.

Process: God expects us to correctly interpret the inner impressions (feelings) and outward signs (circumstances) through which the Holy Spirit communicates His leading.

Proof: The confirmation that we have correctly discerned the will of God comes from an inner sense of peace and outward (successful) results of the decision.




“Selah” is a Hebrew word that basically means “stop & think.”


Look at each of the four points above. Isn’t this what you’ve been told or taught? Isn’t this what you believe & try to practice, at least with regard to major decisions?


If so, how is it working for you? And even more important, is this what the BIBLE says we should believe & do?


A Critique


Dr. Friesen makes a powerful & compelling argument that “the traditional view” is deeply flawed for three main reasons: (1) it doesn’t work very well in practice; (2) it is deeply frustrating and anxiety-inducing; and (3) it’s not taught in Scripture.


In fact, as to the latter, Friesen says there’s not a single example in Scripture of a decision being made in the manner outlined by the traditional view!


So, where does that leave us?


Next week, I’ll summarize what Dr. Friesen says the Bible actually teaches on this subject.



Pastor Dan