Following the Spirit’s lead

The Spirit does not explain all things pertaining to His direction. If we presume or demand background knowledge in order to understand the scope or requirements of the Spirit’s appointment we have made a terrible mistake. As independent Americans we think it’s reasonable to have knowledge and explanations of our assignments before we begin. In school, work and at home we are given much information to secure our voluntary cooperation in our assignments. In our experience and society this is all normal behavior and expectation.

However, God is not asking for our volunteer cooperation as He is Supreme Sovereign God, knowing all things. His servants don’t question or expect to be given an overview, background or objectives of the operation or task as if they were independent agents. Faith is required in our relations with God. Faith is not based on facts and knowledge, but belief and trust in the person. God told Abraham to go to a place He would show him, and Abraham obeyed with faith and set out. God called Moses to go to Pharaoh and He was gracious to Moses by giving Him encouragement, Aaron as a helper, and some tools and information, but these were things Moses needed to know. When we are given a charge by the Spirit, we must respond in faith with the first step. Where additional information is necessary we will receive it at the right time. Any significant amount of reasoning, questioning or analysis of potential alternatives, indicates that we are not responding with faith and this opportunity for blessing and God’s glory will not involve us. Our part in God’s work is usually very small and when we respond in faith all we need is provided.

Two actual situations illustrate these truths. We were on the lake returning to our boat slip and found another boat in it. As we got closer  we discovered they had mechanical problems and just pulled in our slip hoping it was empty. I backed up to the end of the dock and secured our boat. Two desperate older women explained that the engine just quit and would not restart. I got in their boat and tried the starter, which turned over rapidly, but didn’t start. I asked, “Where is the choke?” The lady showed me the fuel bulb and the fuel line connection which was leaking. I knew air was getting into the line and preventing fuel from reaching the engine. I told her it was a simple five dollar repair and that if she would squeeze the fuel bulb, the engine would start and they could make it back to their slip. I told her that it might begin to die again, but to keep pumping the bulb. The woman who owned the boat stated that her husband died a few months earlier and normally would have been there to help. They made it back and were glad. 

The next day, I was waiting in our car while my wife went into a store. As I looked across the parking area I saw a car with its hood up. A lady was walking around looking under the hood and trying to do something about her car. I wondered if it would start and whether I should go offer help. She had a cell phone and said something to a person who walked near her. I sensed that I should offer help, but had no confidence that I could help if the car wouldn’t start. Then I remembered, I have jumper cables. As I continued to watch, think and decide, she closed the hood, sat in her car, started it and left. She probably just needed to know where to put oil in or something simple, but I would never know for sure, she was gone. I ignored the Spirit and reasoned away all faith.