CONSCIOUS contact with God, together with the will that obeys His voice, is the process of being led by the Spirit.
I had it happen to me very recently in visiting a shopping precinct. I felt God’s hand lead me out of one store and into another. Was it for any discernible ‘faith’ reason? No. I just got the sense from the aimlessness I was experiencing in the first store to leave it, without hesitation, and continue walking in tune with the Spirit. For me, being led by the Spirit is decisiveness. That decision was not mine; it appeared to be mine, but Someone Else was in control; a subtle yet significant difference.
Being led by the Holy Spirit is a paradoxical awareness. It isn’t initially a cognitive awareness. It isn’t something we think up. It is revelation. It occurs to us that we feel a sense for, or an absence of, peace. It’s a thing to be trusted. The Lord speaks in terms of the inaudible knowing. We hear (inaudibly), we know, and we move in nearly the same moment.
Defying explanation, discerning the Holy Spirit is something of an imperfect art. But then this is nothing about a foolproof way of knowing God, for the Lord is at best a mystery.
Being led by the Holy Spirit is a flow of discerning wise action and having the courage to act on primary faith-guided impulses. These are impulses set apart from our own desires. They can only be called impulses because there is a lack of thought about going with them. It is pure trust of awareness. Being led by the Holy Spirit is hence the willingness to act with discernment and spontaneity in ways that please God.
It is the role of the disciple of Christ to learn how to trust the Holy Spirit.