“Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!”
Growing up on the coast of California allowed my dad to take me deep sea fishing a couple of times a year. I always looked forward to those early mornings when he and I drove to the wharf and boarded the boat with our tackle to go fishing. It was always an exciting day to see how many fish we would catch, and then go home at night and have fresh fish to fry up for supper.
Most of the time, we went on the boat with a captain that had fished those waters for many years. As a captain and guide, he knew where to take us to get the most fish. We never came home from fishing with this captain without a good amount of fish that we could freeze for several months. Every once in a while, we fished with a different captain. Unfortunately, the other captains didn’t seem to know where to take us to get the same amount of fish as the one we used most of the time. The key to catching the most fish was to have the right guide who went back to the same fishing spots where he always caught fish.
In the verse above, God pronounced judgment against the prophets because they followed “their own spirit.” In other words, instead of going back to the tried and proven Scriptures, they always had to have something new to keep the people happy. These prophets were like the captains who always tried to find a new spot to find fish; their message came up like an empty fishing line, leading to disappointment and disobedience. Had these prophets followed the Spirit of the LORD instead of their own spirit, they would have had the message that the people needed to hear, and that message would have led the people to follow the old paths that lead to God’s blessings and fulfillment in life.
My friend, you must be careful about always wanting to have something new. Too many people follow their own spirit instead of the Holy Spirit. The problem with following your spirit is that your spirit is tainted by selfish motives. When you do what you desire instead of asking the Holy Spirit to guide your life, you will often find yourself following the flesh.
Christian, you must always remember that you are to crucify your flesh. Galatians 5:24 says, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” You can’t follow your spirit when you die to self because your spirit is dead. Until you learn to crucify the flesh daily, you will find yourself following the wrong guide to the wrong destination. Galatians 5:19-21 shows where our spirit leads when it says, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like…” When you follow the wrong guide, you will find it leads your flesh into these sinful ways.
The answer to following the right guide is to yield yourself to the Spirit of God daily. John 16:13 shows us what the Spirit will guide you to do when it says, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…” If you want to live your life according to truth, you must die to self and yield to the “Spirit of truth.” You will never be dissatisfied with where life takes you if you follow the “Spirit of truth.” My admonition to you is to be sure you are following the right guide.