How I Follow the Holy Spirit

I’ve been a Christian for over 55 years and a pastor for 40 years.  If I could tell you one of my greatest secrets of success, it would be: learn to stay in step with the Holy Spirit.  That’s exactly how Paul put it:  “If we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Gal. 5: 25).

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Photo Credit: Christi Childs

He is a Person, not an impersonal force (like gravity).  He can be grieved, hindered and insulted.  He was sent to earth by Jesus to guide us, teach us, and empower us.

How do we walk with Him? 

1.    Talk to Him directly.

  • I speak directly to each member of the Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  They each occupy a role in my life.  Every morning in prayer, I welcome Him into the role of leadership in my life.
     
  • As a leader, I consciously ask Him for help the moment I face a decision, a crisis, or a difficulty. I verbally address Him and immediately the situation begins to work itself out.

2.    Listen to His voice.

  • He speaks to me through His Word. He is the author of the Bible and knows it pretty well!  Hundreds of different verses have stood out to me over the years as I faced major crises.
  • He speaks to me in my impressions. When I am asking Him to help me, suddenly an impression will enter my conscious mind.  When I inject that thought into the conversation, everything changes.  Paul called it a “word of wisdom.”
  • He speaks to me through my parents, pastors, and peers. The Holy Spirit has used people who I have submitted my ministry to as correction and encouragement when I’m going in the wrong direction.

3.    Follow your peace.

  • Israel followed a cloud and a fire every step in the wilderness. These were physical representations of the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  They did not need to be “decision makers,” only followers.
     
  • The Holy Spirit lives in your spirit (heart). When your heart is not at peace, it is a signal 100% of the time that something is out of order.  If you don’t feel peace about that purchase, that move, or that person, follow your peace.
The Holy Spirit will use people you have submitted to as correction and encouragement when you get off track.
— Larry Stockstill

4.    Fast about major decisions

  • I knew you wouldn’t like this one! Paul and others fasted (Acts 13) when they desperately needed to hear the voice of God.
     
  • I never make a major decision without a brief time of fasting. It minimizes my body and mind and opens my spirit to hear the Spirit’s voice. Directions become obvious when they are very confusing.  Fast until supper in a crisis.  You won’t die…most of us could “live off the land” for quite some time!
     
  • Never make a major decision without a brief time of fasting. It minimizes your body and mind and opens my spirit to hear the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit will use people you have submitted to as correction and encouragement when you get off track.
— Larry Stockstill

Focus on and follow the Holy Spirit in your ministry, your marriage, and the marketplace.  Nothing is too difficult for Him, and He is waiting for you to call upon Him for every crisis you are facing!

QUESTION: How has the Holy Spirit helped you in determining God’s will for your life?