This article is geared towards encouraging you and me to submit to be led by God. It’s what our faith in Christ Jesus entails inevitably.
The perverseness of Samuels’s sons revealed the distaste Israel had over God leading their lives 1 Samuel 8:1-9. Once the opportunity presented itself, Israel used it as a ploy to demand for a king as opposed to judges. Despite the Prophet’s warning, they insisted on having a king and appeared better off than when God was their King who led them. This became the start of Human kings reigning over Israel (the people of God). They now felt like other nations whose lives were not governed by God!
But in actuality both spiritual and temporal, Israel was far better off being led by the King, the God of their forefathers. They eventually learnt in hard ways that they were better off being led by God even though it necessitated them hearing His voice that they dreaded so much because of its correcting and purifying effect.
As Christians today, learning to be led by God as our King is fraught with many “risks”, so to speak. There is the perplexities, pains, wilderness etc and as such, the temptation is to ask for kings we can see and touch (persons we can blame when things go pear shaped or praised when the outcome is fine). As a result, we always have people to accuse and punish or give the glory which is duly due to God. This accounts for why what we can see and touch is always easier for mere humans to handle but it shouldn’t be so for the spiritual people of God. For, it is given to us to understand the things of God and walk in it with Him. Once we start being led by Him, to settle for anything less becomes suicide.
So, why are an overwhelming number of us Christians more comfortable with being led by kings today as opposed to Romans 8:14? This anomaly has created an ever increasing ambition for the position of kingship (nicknamed various religious titles) serving as a source of sophisticated, subtle and deadly power tussles in the churches.
“Mere men’s” affairs! Who is the greatest?! This problem was seen among Jesus’ disciples when they had not known Him after the manner of the spirit but only according to the flesh Matthew 18:1, 1 Corinthians 3:3-4. After Christ’ resurrection and Him indwelling them by the Holy Spirit, that carnal mindedness was renewed. And, so it is today with all who truly come to know Christ Jesus in spirit and truth.
Like Israel of old that appeared to have direction and respect resulting from having kings, we too assume the same will be true of us. In all sincerity, though deceptive, those being led today by “good and smart leaders (kings)” seem to make better and steady progress so long as they continue to be led. When one leader is out, they must move to another leader who serves as their guide and protector. Obviously, the benefits are huge—riding on the back of or, progressing based on the good will of the kings.
Unfortunately, this kind of progress is not exactly the same as making progress in learning to walk in and with the King of kings and Lord of lords, our savior, Christ Jesus.
To make progress in God through the Holy Spirit calls for faith, grace, and patience—this comes only by the increasing knowledge of Jesus Christ in our daily walk with Him 2 Peter 1:2, 3:18. If I may quote George H. Warnock and T. Austin-Sparks, ‘increase in the knowledge of Christ is utterly practical’.
Paul the apostle calls it “your moderation or reasonableness”. The exhortation is for us to read through the scriptures, praying as we confront our daily situations through the Holy Spirit’s instructions Isaiah 30:21, John 10:27. By taking one step at His instruction, the knowledge of Christ is gained. By continually keeping in step in this manner there is movement in the knowledge and glory of Christ attended by stability in His peace that passes all understanding 1Peter 2:21KJV, Galatians 5:25, 2 Corinthians 3:18, Philippians 4:5-7.
God has designed that through many trials and tribulations; the straight and narrow way should be walked and finished well by keeping this mind of Christ under all circumstances Philippians 4:8.
No shortcuts or hop, skip and jump! It is precept upon precept—meaning, step by step even if it is quick paced. The glory from this kind of progress can only be ascribed to the Spirit at work in and with the believer in Christ. This is why it is hugely accompanied with a repentant lifestyle (fruit of the spirit)
Note it is not “fruits but fruit” because it is being produced by the one spirit that indwells all true believers and all the fruit is one or, summed up as one (love). It is not surprising then that there are many progresses that are not progress in love but in fig leaves Matthew 21:19. This deception of fig leaves and its doom is what God is saving us from by leading us—even taking us through Jordan’s thickets and the valley of Baca Psalm 84.
Truly, by faith, with the hope that does not make ashamed, we must appear before the presence of God with love (Christ) 1 Cor 13:13. Nothing less will do. Therefore, even in the face of enormous wickedness rampaging both in the world and churches, we must submit to be led by God in Christ’s footsteps through the Holy Spirit’s power to the end Psalm 23:2, James 4:7.
If there be truth and light in this meditation, may the Holy Spirit help cause it to burn in our hearts and give us even richer truth and light to bless others.