The leading of the Holy Spirit
A student at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was writing a paper about Holy Spirit Leadership and part of her assignment was to interview a spirit-empowered leader that inspires her. It consisted of basically 2 questions: 1. How does Holy Spirit leadership work in your personal life, as well as your professional, and spiritual life? 2. Also, how has the Holy Spirit helped you develop in your leadership position?
Here are the answers I gave her.
1. How does Holy Spirit leadership work in your personal life, as well as your professional, and spiritual life?
The Holy Spirit has become my best friend and He is the one that makes the promise, that He will never leave us nor forsake us, real to me (Hebrews 13:5). Most of the time I don’t feel Him, but I have developed an awareness through revelation from the Word of God. As I spend time with Him on a daily basis, this awareness gets stronger and makes me sensitive to His voice and leading (Romans 8:14). This may include situations in normal life in which He wants me to minister to someone, or more general situations. I find that the Holy Spirit is interested in all aspects of our lives and He will seek to help us, if we allow Him to.
One thing I find is that the Holy Spirit gives me quick understanding and makes my intuition very sharp. In situations in which I humanly speaking wouldn’t know what to do, I often "intuitively" know what the right thing is to do. I believe this is an important way the Holy Spirit is leading us. He has shown me a way out of dangerous situations countless times. I am speaking here from experience to make a point, it is as if He partners with my intuition or lets say He makes my intuition very sharp. I don’t think that being led by the Holy Spirit is complicated. In most cases, it is also not some unusual spiritual experience. Although I did have unusual spiritual experiences, in most cases, the Holy Spirit is as gentle as a dove for me.
I also find that He can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30). I have been in situations where I was in a conversation with someone, and said something to a person that I shouldn’t have said. The way I knew that, was because I had a bad feeling. I felt it somehow in my stomach, and felt uncomfortable, this was the conviction of the Holy Spirit. When I repented and asked for forgiveness, this would lift off and I was fine again. I also believe, that spiritual growth is largely the result of responding to the dealings of the Holy Spirit. When He convicts me about something, then I want to respond, and realign myself with the path that He has laid out.
So, for me the leading of the Holy Spirit starts in my personal life and is just as integrated in my ministry life as He is in my spiritual walk. For me, it is all connected. Another important aspect of the role of the Holy Spirit in my life is, that He constantly reminds me of who I am in Christ. He helps me to remember, that God is for me, that He has a good plan, and that God is a good God. Even in times when I seemed to forget that, it was the Holy Spirit who reminded me, and never let go of me.
2. Also, how has the Holy Spirit helped you develop in your leadership position?
He has been my comforter in challenging times and also reminded me of Gods calling frequently. Especially in times, when I felt discouraged or wasn’t sure how certain things are going to work out, it was the Holy Spirit that encouraged me. Sometimes He also did this through other believers with whom I am in relationship with, but mostly He did it through the Word of God, by either bringing a promise back to my remembrance or showing me something that I haven’t seen before and illuminates it, the next step would be that I apply it, which then brings about transformation in my life and ministry.
I especially need the leading of the Holy Spirit when going to certain places to minister. I seek to obey the general command of Jesus from Matthew 28, which is to go into all the world and make disciples, but then the role that I play in that largely has to do with the Holy Spirit leading me. To God be the glory, in the last 1-2 years alone, we saw multitudes come to Christ and new churches planted through my ministry. I believe I was led by the Holy Spirit to do that work. I have never made a big mistake in ministry or missions, and I believe it has to do with the Holy Spirit. If I would just try to put on a big project somewhere without the leading of the Holy Spirit, I think it could easily fail. So, the leading of the Holy Spirit is especially important in evangelistic efforts and missions, as well as His restraint at times.
Here is balance, because I don’t believe we need to feel specifically led at all times. It is important, to just read the Word of God, believe it, and do what it says. This should be the lifestyle and the basis of all ministry. However, there are also various degrees of assignments, tasks, and so on. For example, there are situations, in which I needed to prepare more in prayer, than in others, and needed to seek the Lord more on that matter, than in others. Generally speaking, bigger assignments need more preparation and more specific leading of the Holy Spirit, and believing what He has said always needs to be the basis.
Another example that I find is important to mention is, that the Holy Spirit leads me oftentimes in very specific ways when ministering to the sick. How this works is, that I start of by simply obeying the general command of Jesus to heal the sick (Matthew 10:8). As I do that, I find oftentimes that I’m led by the Spirit very specifically and this largely influences the manifestations of Gods Spirit, as well as how many people can receive instant healing and so on. For example recently on an evangelistic campaign, on the first night before I was ministering, the following happened, as I was standing on the platform.
God said to me, “Do you see that boy in the wheelchair over there?” I said “Yes” - and I felt my heart going out towards that boy and was moved with compassion. God said, “He has a spirit of infirmity and he needs a miracle.” I said, “Ok, i can pray for him later.” To which God said, “I don’t want you to pray for him later, I want you to get down from the platform and work the miracle. The anointing in which I will be using you is called "the working of miracles" - this means you will have to do something. It is my power that will be at work, but you will have to follow my instructions.”
I began to minister a few minutes on healing and asked that they bring the boy. As I began praying in the name of Jesus, in the moment when I said "Get up now" - I felt a release of power in the supernatural realm as if someone would punch with his fist against a wall. The boy got up, began to walk, was able to move and bend. This one miracle did something in this region, and many deliverances, miracles and salvations followed.
I always seek His leading in ministry situations, but I also will say this, that we shouldn’t wait for His leading before we obey Him. If I don’t feel led, I simply do what He has told me already in His Word. And the Holy Spirit always confirms the Word, makes it come alive, and uses it to lead us into all truth (John 16:13).
I did mention that above somewhat already, but it is also important to mention for me that the Holy Spirit keeps us from error and from mistakes. We all can make mistakes, but it seems that He supernaturally has kept me from bigger mistakes, without me doing a lot. I think this is the grace of God, that just keeps us, because He is committed to finish the work that He has started in and through us (Philippians 1:6).
Philipp J. Schmerold, April 2019