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“The Spirit is Leading Me to . . .” Part 3

posted Feb 14, 2017, 10:22 AM by First Baptist


 

I’ve been writing about the practice of attributing what we think, feel or do (or not do) to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Some Christians do this a lot (with nearly everything); while others, probably the majority, do so only on occasion.

 

The Traditional View

 

Dr. Garry Friesen spent a career studying what is commonly taught & believed in the Christian community with regard to the leading of the Holy Spirit. He has identified a so-called “traditional view “that I summarized in last weeks’ article. He believes this view is deeply flawed and isn’t taught or modeled in Scripture. I suspect some of us bristled when we read his critique. If you’ve forgotten, go back & read last weeks’ article.

 

The Way of Wisdom

 

What IS taught & modeled in Scripture, Friesen argues, is what he calls “the way of wisdom.” Just like the traditional view, it has 4 main ideas:

 

1.      Where God specifically commands something in His Word, we must obey.

2.      Where there is NO command, God gives us the freedom AND RESPONSIBILTIY to make our own choice.

3.      In such cases (no command), what God gives us WISDOM to choose well.

4.      Once we have chosen what is moral & wise, we must trust God to work all the details together for good (Romans 8:28).

 

The way of wisdom is best summed up by the apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:15-16:

 

“Therefore, be careful how you walk [i.e., how you live your life], not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”

 

Friesen goes on to demonstrate that the way of wisdom is modeled throughout Scripture, except on those RARE occasions when God gives supernatural guidance to certain persons at critical points during the formative years of the church. Friesen emphasizes the rarity of these occasions. One of the problems with the traditional view (and the “belief system” of many Christians) is the expectation of regular, if not constant supernatural guidance via the Holy Spirit (i.e., the Holy Spirit telling us what to do).

 

Implications

 

If Friesen is right, we can stop trying to ascertain how the Holy Spirit is “leading” us (a highly frustrating & subjective endeavor) and focus instead on acquiring wisdom. Which leads to the question:

 

How do we acquire wisdom for our decisions and choices?

 

We’ll take that up next week.

 

Pastor Dan

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