“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”
— Romans 8:14 (NRSV)
The greatest privilege of living the Christian life is also the greatest responsibility—to be led by the Holy Spirit. This way we are proved as children of God. To enjoy the revelation of the supernatural merging with life, there is the necessary condition: obedience in seeking God.
Acknowledging Jesus as the Lord and King over our lives is actualised only through the acknowledgement of the moment-by-moment leading, and converting that leading—the convictions of the Spirit—into obedience, of the Person of the Holy Spirit.
The children of God prove their allegiance, and are justified, by their faith—to seek after, and only after, the Spirit of God.
A Story of Obedience
Being led by the Spirit is first and foremost the surrender of the will in obedience.
Doing God’s will is obedience. Only when we come before God with no agenda of our own can we begin to perceive the silent voice of God from within, through convictions of conscience, thoughtful discernment, and social cues, etc.
The activator in being led by the Spirit is the giving over of the flesh desire to the Spirit—in redeeming, instead, the otherwise hidden knowledge of God. Only when we are being obedient can we perceive the convictions of the Spirit in strength bold enough to compel thought and feeling into action.
The story of obedience is the story of the Spirit’s activation. The Spirit has convicted us to the point where obedience—the surrender of our will—is critically important. When we listen for, and hear, this conviction what is added to us (for our obedience) is the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Obedience to the will of God is the first step. It begins with the Holy Spirit’s conviction of our inner person. That conviction continues, through ongoing obedience, and we are led by the Holy Spirit ever more.
Proof That We Are Children of God
A Christian can only be so through radical obedience; through a fervent willingness to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading wherever the Spirit of God takes them. That takes trust.
Such faith to follow—no questions of doubt asked—is the key test of the child of God.
But, of course, we will doubt, and our faith will fail through our doubting, cowardice, lack of vision, and lack of integrity. Only through frequent and subsequent failure, and learning through humility, and by continuing to come back to the leading of the Holy Spirit, are we proved as children of God.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.