How to Know You Are Led by the Spirit

The Holy Spirit teaches and guides us according to God’s plan and purpose for our lives. One of the ways He does this is by convicting us of sin. Another way is by speaking to our heart and the witness of the Spirit. “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit” (Romans 8:16).

As Christians, we learn to listen to the voice of the Spirit as we grow in our faith. Being led by the Holy Spirit is a major characteristic of all believers and a practical part of living the Christian life. To be led by the Holy Spirit is to be obedient to Him as we hear His voice and sense His urgings in our spirit.

Are You Being Led by the Holy Spirit?

  1. Is it consistent with the Word of God? The Holy Spirit won’t direct us contrary to God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20-21). We must study, know and hide the Bible in our heart to have His discernment and wisdom.
  2. Is it contrary to our flesh? Romans 8:13-14 says, “If you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” The flesh is contrary to the Spirit. Galatians 5:17 says, “The flesh sets its desire (wars) against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, for these are in opposition to one another.” The Holy Spirit’s leading will almost always go against our flesh.
  3. The witness of His Spirit. Romans 8:14-16 says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” The Holy Spirit will cry from within us saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”
  4. Taking the hard road. My mentor in the ministry taught us if there were two roads to choose from, one road hard and the other easy, the direction of the Holy Spirit will almost always be the hard road. Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
  5. Open doors and circumstances. Jesus said to the church of Philadelphia, “Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut” (Revelation 3:8). This must be balanced with the witness of the Spirit and the hard road scenario. Circumstances should only be a small indicator of whether we are being led by the Holy Spirit. At times adverse circumstances come from the enemy because we are going in the right direction. Only the voice of the Holy Spirit can give us discernment.
  6. Faith and assurances. There are no assurances when living a life of faith. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “We walk by faith, not by sight.” Even after Paul had a vision about going to Macedonia he said, “Concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them” (Acts 16:10). Even after receiving a vision, they had to step out in faith believing the Holy Spirit was directing them. Hebrews 10:38 says, “Now the just shall live by faith, but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”

Prayer: Lord God, I pray you would help me to be sensitive to your Spirit in every situation. Help me know when I’m being directed by you and give me the faith to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus name, Amen!