“And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went.”
A person says, “I was led of the Spirit to…” Often when I hear this statement, it is more of an excuse to do something they wanted to do than it was about the Spirit of God actually leading them. Sometimes when I hear this statement, I walk away from the person knowing it wasn’t the Spirit of God that led them because what they wanted to do the Holy Ghost would never lead a person to do.
In the verse above, Ezekiel talks about the Spirit leading the angels of God to do a work. The leading of the Holy Spirit never changes; how He led the angels in Heaven to do a work is how He leads a believer in their life. Let me point out several ways that the Holy Spirit leads.
First, the Holy Spirit always leads forward. The Holy Spirit always leads forward because that is a faith direction. A faithless and fearful direction is always backwards; therefore, you must be Spirit-led if you are going to have the faith direction in your Christian walk. You will know if the leading is the Holy Spirit’s leading if it is directing you to a faith-forward direction.
Second, the Holy Spirit never leads you to be sidetracked from God’s will. The verse above says that as they followed the Spirit that they “turned not.” In other words, the Spirit of God never leads you to do something that may be a good cause or reason, but it’s not what God has called you to do. God has called the believer to spread the Gospel, and anything that would pull you away from God’s commission to the believer is not the Holy Spirit’s leading.
Third, the Holy Spirit always leads up. In verse 20, the Spirit of God “lifted up from the earth.” You will find that the Spirit of God never leads you away from God’s Word. The Holy Spirit does not lead you to leave your church to move to an area where there is no good church to attend. The Holy Spirit will not lead a believer to date or marry someone who is not saved or is not serving the LORD. The Holy Spirit always leads you to obey the Scriptures. If what you are doing contradicts the Scriptures, you can be assured that it is not the Spirit of God leading you.
Fourth, the Holy Spirit leads you to stand. In verse 21, the Spirit of God led the angels to stand. You will always find that the Holy Ghost always leads a believer to stand for truth. One reason so many churches are filled with fleshly believers is because they never stand for anything. Many churches are afraid of losing people for taking a stand for right, and the Spirit of God wants nothing to do with that church. This ecumenical movement that all must get along with each other contradicts the scriptural command to stand, and it is what leads churches to compromise. I am not saying that you have to be a jerk to be Spirit-led, but you must stand for truth if the Holy Spirit is going to lead you.
Fifth, the Holy Spirit always picks you up. In Ezekiel 2:2, the Spirit of God picked Ezekiel up and told him to stand. The Holy Spirit does not lead a believer to sit in self-pity; rather, He leads them to stand and serve God in a faith-forward direction. The Holy Spirit wants to lead you, but you must get over yourself and follow Him as He leads you to serve God to reach the lost for Christ.