How do you follow the Holy Spirit? It’s an important question and sometimes I wish there were “Holy Spirit” cliff notes tucked into the Bible. Instead, learning to follow the Holy Spirit takes time and thankfully, God didn’t leave figuring it out, up to us. The Bible is full of guidance on following the Holy Spirit and today we’re going to look at 5 of those ways.
How do you follow the Holy Spirit?
There are soooo many examples and stories in Scripture, I could probably turn this into a list of 30+ ways to know you’re following the Holy Spirit. So why’d I land on these 5? I followed the steps in this post and
- opened God’s Word
- followed fruit
- focused on small things
- and did what I didn’t want to (things you know you should do but really don’t want to)
Let’s dive into these things a bit more…
1. You Spend Time in God’s Word
This is one of many places in the Bible that tells us to “meditate on God’s Word” and God’s instructions to Joshua are also His instructions to us. When we spend time meditating on God’s Word we learn how God wants us living our lives and handling everything life throws our way. Plus…
The Bible tells us everything about the Holy Spirit:
- who He is
- what He does
- and most importantly, the Bible shows us how Jesus followed the Holy Spirit.
When we’re following Jesus’ lead, we’ll be following the Holy Spirit but…
We need to spend time in God’s Word.
If you’d like to learn more about spending time in God’s Word, check out the below podcasts and posts.
- What has spending time in God’s Word taught you about living life as a Christian?
- Have you read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John?
- If not, consider reading those over the next several weeks.
- If so, how did you see Jesus following the Holy Spirit’s lead?
2. You Talk With Him
Prayer is one of the most important things we can do as Christians because it deepens our relationship with God and…
Through prayer, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us.
That is just mind-blowing to me.
I like to think of prayer like my Sunday mornings with my best friend. It’s a safe place where I can rejoice, pour out my heart, share my dreams, mourn about what I’ve messed up, express what I’m wondering about, and more. Prayer is a time where I can praise and worship God, confess my sins, bring the needs of others, and myself, to God, and it’s a time when I get to quiet my heart and mind and listen to God.
He even lets me throw a fit, get angry, celebrate, rejoice, and cry.
That’s because following the Holy Spirit is following God. If you’re walking in step with God’s Word and going to God in prayer, the Holy Spirit will only lead you into things that glorify God. So…
When your feet hit the floor, ask God what He wants for your day and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you through it. It’ll take practice, but next week we’ll talk about ways the Holy Spirit communicates with us so you can learn to recognize His voice.
- Is prayer an important part of your day?
- Why or why not?
- How has prayer changed your relationship with God?
- Look at the Bible verses I’ve listed here and then, think about prayer and the Holy Spirit…
- How could spending regular time in prayer help you follow the Holy Spirit?
3. You Become a Fruit Follower
This passage tells us what to look for when we’re wondering how to follow the Holy Spirit.
We follow the fruit.
This is because you can’t have fruit without the Holy Spirit.
Wondering if you’re supposed to help a neighbor move, buy groceries for the homeless person, or stop eating three servings of ice cream? Do those things reflect the fruit of the Spirit?
They do, they reflect love, kindness, goodness, and self-control.
Following the fruit involves weighing everything we think about doing, against the fruit of the Spirit. If it can’t be matched to a fruit, it’s likely not something the Holy Spirit’s leading us to do.
With some things, we don’t need to follow fruit because God’s given us specific instructions in His Word. With those things, we’re called to simply obey.
- How would following the fruit help you follow the Holy Spirit?
- This week, practice being a fruit follower every time something comes up and you’re unsure what to do (even things you don’t want to do).
Who knows what God will do and how He’ll stretch you as you follow the fruit of the Spirit.
4. You Do Small Things Consistently
God’s Word is full of instructions for life and James is telling us we can’t just read the Bible. We have to read it, take it in, and put what we read into action. That action is “being a doer of the word” and it often involves doing small things constantly. But…
Those small things are a big deal to God.
Jesus said, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much…” Luke 16:10a
A big part of following the Holy Spirit involves obedience to the little and big things in God’s Word. When we’re obedient with the small things God will entrust us with bigger things.
Whether it’s cleaning church bathrooms, checking your neighbor’s mail when they’re away, or being kind to a cranky boss, keep following the Holy Spirit and continue “being a doer of the word.”
- What do you think it means to be a doer of the word and how does it connect to following the Holy Spirit?
- Would you ask the Holy Spirit to help you be an obedient “doer of the word?”
My prayer is that you’ll be blessed in your doing and recognize the joy that comes from following the Holy Spirit’s lead.
5. You Do What You Don’t Want To
None of us like doing things we don’t want to do or things we’re uncomfortable or unfamiliar with but…(there’s always a but)
This can also be one of the ways we know if we’re being led by the Spirit. If our flesh response to something is “I don’t want to” we need to stop and check if it reflects the fruit of the Spirit or one of God’s commands.
If it does and the “still small voice” keeps speaking, it’s time to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading.
Over time you’ll learn to recognize these “don’t want to’s” and instead of trying to avoid them you’ll be quick to say “not my will but yours be done.”
I’ve found God uses these things to change me and make my wants and desires better reflect Him.
- Are there things you’ve felt you were supposed to do, but haven’t?
- If so, what and why haven’t you done them?
- When you check them against God’s Word and the fruit of the Spirit what do you find?
Major transformation happens when we follow the Holy Spirit and sacrifice our wants to God’s will.
My friend, following the Holy Spirit is the best place to be.
Galatians 5:25 says, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit” and my prayer is that you walk away from this post walking in step with the Holy Spirit.
So we can become better followers, the next post is going to look at ways the Holy Spirit communicates with us.
If you’re wondering if you’re following the Holy Spirit remember…
The Spirit of God will never lead us into anything that’s not God’s will.
Following the Holy Spirit doesn’t only involve “big, monumentous” things. He wants to lead us through every single thing in life, the little and the big.
Be encouraged my friend, Jesus left you with the Holy Spirit so you’d have the same power source and guide He had.
You’ve got the strength and power of Almighty God on your side and waiting to lead you through life.
If you’d like to look at additional Scripture that shows how to know you’re following the Holy Spirit click here.
Until next time meditate on Proverbs 20:27
“The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.”
Bible Verses about Following the Holy Spirit
1 Corinthians 2:9-13