Three Ways the Spirit Leads: The Inward Witness
The Spirit of God leads us in three primary ways. The first and most common way is the “inward witness.” Romans 8:14 says:
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
If you’re a son or daughter of God, then you are to be led by the Spirit of God. Verse 16 tells us the primary way that’s to take place:
The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.
This inward witness is distinctly different from the other ways God brings direction to our lives. It is basically a deep inner sense of agreement. I’ve heard some ministers describe it as a “green light,” a “go ahead” signal, or a peace that confirms within you what you are doing.
I could give many examples of this. One of the most meaningful ones for me has to do with when I’m flying, particularly overseas, in an area where the navigation systems aren’t as good as they are in the United States. On occasion, if I didn’t have a good feeling about my positioning, I’d call up the GCI [ground controlled intercept] site (radar sites scattered all over the place that the military uses primarily for directing its airplanes toward whatever mission they have). I’d say, “Give me a position check.”
They’d respond, “We show you 50 miles southwest of Bangkok on the 243 degree radial…” or something like that.
I’d respond, “Whew, my equipment is okay.” Their confirmation always brought a sudden, inner sense of peace and agreement that said, “Hey, I’m all right.” That type of feeling is what the inward witness is like—an inner sense of agreement or confirmation regarding your decisions that are in line with God’s will.
Another example is when you’re driving in a city you don’t know very well, but the person sitting beside you does. When you come to an intersection and say, “I think I turn left here,” and the other person says, “Yeah. That’s correct,” it’s a confirmation. You’ll have peace knowing your direction has been confirmed.
The inward witness will not only confirm you are on the right course, but it will let you know if you are considering the wrong option. The Holy Spirit will provide a “check” or “red light.” You’ll have an inner sense of “Don’t do it” that you would be very wise to heed.
So the inward witness provides a sense of confirmation or caution on the inside of you. What’s the second way the Holy Spirit directs us? I’ll talk about that in my next blog.
About Mac HammondMac Hammond is senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, a nondenominational church located in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. Pastor Hammond also hosts the Winner's Minute and the Winner's Way television broadcasts and has authored several internationally distributed books . Mac Hammond is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living. Mac Hammond graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 1965 with a Bachelor's degree in English. Upon graduation, he entered the Air Force with a regular officer's commission and reported for pilot training at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia. Mac received his wings in November 1966, and subsequently served two tours of duty in Southeast Asia, accumulating 198 combat missions. He was honorably discharged in 1970 with the rank of Captain. Between 1970 and 1980, Mac was involved in varying capacities in the general aviation industry including ownership of a successful air cargo business serving the Midwestern United States. A business acquisition brought Mac and his wife Lynne Hammond to Minneapolis where they ultimately founded Living Word Christian Center in 1980.
Mac Hammond is senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, a nondenominational church located in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. Pastor Mac Hammond also hosts the Winner's Way television broadcast and has authored several internationally distributed books. Mac Hammond is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living.
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