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According to Jesus we need a guide to lead us in discovering spiritual truth. This word “guide” is sometimes used in reference to leading blind people. Jesus knew we could not discover spiritual truth on our own, so He sent the Holy Spirit.
I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. John 16:12-13
His job is to accompany us through life, through scripture, through prayer, and every other spiritual discipline. Our level of understanding should rise as we continually walk along with the Holy Spirit. It is not going to be one big display in which you get it all in a seven-week course. In other words, the work of the Spirit should be a gradual unfolding of truth in every believer’s life.
“He will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak.”
Ever gone anywhere via GPS? Insert your own joke here. But in general, we as a society have had to grow accustomed to using GPS systems. Now that we have grown accustomed to the idea of using them, we have adapted to using them more effectively. We know when a GPS will be reliable and when we just might be better off following road signs or reading a map.
The Holy Spirit works kind of like a GPS. He speaks to us and gives us the directional information we need at just the right moment. If we fail to follow His directions, it is not His fault. He can only speak what He hears from heaven. He cannot make our turns or force us to choose correctly. When we make a mistake, He can only say, “Make a u-turn at the next intersection.” It is our job to actually make the u-turn or course correction.
The Holy Spirit is our Guide, not our Consultant. When God speaks through the Holy Spirit, it doesn’t make much sense to push back or give Him ten reasons why His plan won’t work. This is an argument we can’t win. Resistance is futile! But we’ve all done it. We’ve all had times when we knew exactly what God wanted us to do, but we still decided our own wisdom was better than the Lord’s. Only later did we discover the Lord was correct all along. If you have pride issues like me…you just hate to admit it.
Here’s the problem. God doesn’t do consulting work. Never has, never will. He does God. When I treat Him as a consultant, He simply stops showing up in my life, in my church, and in my ministry. And it gets worse if I continue to choose to follow my own logic. God not only stops showing up, He also pulls back some of the light He’s already given. The negative law of reciprocity kicks in…Ouch!
This is what Larry Osborne calls “The Dimmer Switch Principle.” It has a profound impact on our spiritual life for both good and bad. Most of the time people fail to remember or even care about it. Yet, this principle is at work twenty-four-seven.
Have you ever had the Lord turn down the light of revelation in your life? This is why spiritual insights seem to come in spurts to most people. When we are growing, we stay tuned into the Lord and the dimmer is turned up! It seems we cannot keep up with all the revelations the Lord is pouring in our lives.
Then, when we reject the light of God’s word, the dimmer switch of God’s leading is suddenly turned low. This is why some people, who once possessed great spiritual insight, can regress to the point of mind-boggling foolishness. If your spiritual walk is one of many ups and downs, you need to remember how the Lord’s process works. Stay in the light!
It’s a simple principle. When we respond to the light we have, God gives me more light. When we reject the light we have, God takes away the light we already possess.
It is the Holy Spirit’s job to lead us into God’s light and God’s revelation. Our job is to stay in that flow. Whether you agree or disagree…Whether you like it or dislike it…Whether you understand or are totally confused. Remain obedient to the light you have been given.
Listen, we are living in a day and time when as a whole, God’s dimmer switch is being turned down. It is growing dark out there folks. As believers, it is imperative we allow our own personal light to be turned as high as it will go. We each need the guidance and voice of the Holy Spirit to lead us through these dark times. If not, we will become like Romans chapter 1.
Here Paul outlined the downward spiral of a culture when it turned its back on God. Three times in this passage he pointed out that the increasing moral decay of a society was the direct result of having rejected the truth they once knew to be true. In each case, God turned them over to even more depravity and darkness. In other words, the Lord put his hand on the dimmer switch and turned down the light.
Praise the Lord…The exact opposite is also true. When we respond to the light we possess, no matter how dim it has become, God grabs the light switch and turns the light up.