The Direction of the Holy Spirit
“The Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me…He (The Spirit) will glorify Me…”
John 15:26 & 16:14 (NKJV)
Part of a walk which I frequently go on takes me beside a brook. The amount of water flowing in it can vary considerably. In dry periods there is very little water. After prolonged rainfall it can be a brown surging mass close to overflowing. But one thing is always consistent—the direction of flow. It never varies. I have never looked down from the bridge crossing it and said to myself “Ah, the brook is going a different direction today, isn’t that interesting.” If it were, something would be seriously wrong! It always flows the same way. Its direction never changes. The brook follows its accustomed course and joins the River Ouzel, which in turn flows into the River Great Ouse, which eventually reaches The Wash at King’s Lynn. It does not go there in a straight line, it takes lots of twists and turns, not always the way you would think it would go, but the water always ends up in the same place—the North Sea.
Similarly, the direction which the Holy Spirit will take us in our lives will always be in one consistent direction—towards Jesus. The Holy Spirit will unfailingly focus on glorifying or testifying about Jesus, never Himself. In our Christian walk we look for guidance from the Holy Spirit but we do not get everything right and sometimes we go wrong. Ethical decisions are not always easy. Often we see more clearly in retrospect how we went wrong.
A good way to evaluate if we are yielding to the Holy Spirit is to ask ourselves if what we plan to do or have done glorifies Christ or testifies about Him. If the answer is yes, we are going the right direction. If it’s no, we aren’t.
Also, if what we have done does not show evidence of one or more of the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, found in Galatians 5:22-23) it is unlikely that those actions were prompted the Holy Spirit.
Even when we recognise in retrospect that we went wrong, we should realise that the ability to perceive this shows us that the Holy Spirit is helping us to evaluate ourselves and mature spiritually. In similar circumstances in the future we can follow the Spirit’s direction. In this process we recognise that we need to let our lives flow consistently in the direction of glorifying Jesus or testifying of Him.
Father, thank you for the focus which the Holy Spirit gives to our lives. Help us to seek to consistently glorify Jesus and allow the Him to produce His spiritual values in our lives.
Study by Harry Sullivan
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
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