“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.“ (Rom.8:14 NKJV)
What does it mean to be led by the Spirit? We know we’re supposed to be, yet it remains a mystery to many blood-bought children of God. It shouldn’t be. I will share something very practical here that will help you start this God-filled journey of awesome wonder.
Simply put, being “led by the Spirit” is when your mind is instructed by your human spirit, connected to the Holy Spirit in heavenly places (Eph.2:6; Col.3:1-3).
But when we first come to Christ, we are led by our circumstances—life experiences, education, need for affirmation and love, woundedness, fears, insecurities, addictions, compulsions, etc. All of these things are what frame our reality.
Even though the Truth is that we are already “complete in Christ” (Col.2:10) and have been given “every spiritual blessing” (Eph.1:3), and “exceedingly great and precious promises,” and are “partakers in the Divine nature” (2 Pet.1:4), we don’t have a clue how to access these things.
So what God says about us seems like a fairytale, our current experience is our reality. Transformation comes when what God believes becomes real to us and everything else seems like a fairytale.
This is meant to be the normal discipleship process of every beloved son and daughter of God but, unfortunately, many stay stuck in their disconnected world, never experiencing the glorious life waiting for them in Christ.
This is why renewing your mind is critical to being led by the Spirit. It is the means to bring us from where we are (our experience) to who we are in Christ (our true identity).
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Rom.12:2a NKJV)
Bill Johnson said this about renewing our mind…
“The renewed mind is to work in conjunction with heavenly realities so that they can become manifest on the earth. It’s the renewed mind by which God manifests His Kingdom, His rule.”
It’s also been said that we create the reality around us that we carry within us, so a renewed mind is key to bringing these heavenly realities to us and through us.
Your current “mindset” is made up of thought patterns that create neural pathways in your brain. These thought patterns are what you perceive as real or trustworthy, even though they could be based on outright lies (called strongholds).
Picture these thought patterns as highways. And spiritual realities travel along those highways. Our thought life gives place to them, whether they be heavenly, demonic, or just humanistic realities.
New “highways” must be built before God’s heavenly realities can travel to us.
The problem is, when you come to Christ the current “highways” in your mind don’t go there! Instead, super highways are going to the old ghost towns of your past and default ways of responding to circumstances.
The vehicle to build these new highways is called FAITH. This is good news because we ALL have faith. Even atheists have faith. Everything we do right now is by faith.
Doubt is just having more faith in other things than what God says is true.
We’re now learning how to change the focus of our faith from what we believe to what God believes.
Watchman Nee, in his classic work, “The Overcoming Life” gave a practical three-step process for this faith-based transformation.
He called it “FACT – FAITH – EXPERIENCE.”
We start by applying FAITH to the FACTS–what God says is true, in spite of our current experience. Everything starts here and we have no hope of progressing until we apply “faith toward God” (Heb.6:1).
Faith is all the proof that we need to “see” what we don’t see (Heb.11:1). When we do this, the Holy Spirit can begin to create new “highways” where heavenly realities can become our EXPERIENCE.
Unfortunately, many apply their faith toward their experience (I prayed and nothing happened, therefore prayer doesn’t work, etc.), which only hardens their unbelief.
They remain the center of their own solar system by which God must orbit.
But we’re not to be led by our experience, we’re to be led by the Spirit, so we must not let our experience dumb down what God says, rather allow His Spirit to upgrade our experience to HIS reality.
Applying our faith to His facts leads to spiritual revelation, which leads to transformation, which is when our mind is renewed in a particular area. This transformation leads to incarnation, where our lives are now coming into sync with who we are in Christ.
This process is what the Spirit-led life looks like.