How does God’s Spirit Help us make Good Decisions?

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Triune God. He has many attributes that assist a Christian in being more God-like. For instance, the Holy Spirit imparts knowledge (1 Cor. 2:10-11), love (Rom. 15:30), intelligence (Acts 13:2), is a comforter (Jn 14:26) and teaches or unveils God’s Word to believers (Jn. 16:13-14; 1 Cor. 2:10; Neh. 9:20). In this essay, I will specifically explain how the Holy Spirit guides Christians.

Let me first start by mentioning passages that have been misinterpreted in recent times. For example, Romans 8:14 and Galatians 5:8 indicate that the Spirit leads us to make decisions. This has led people to support extra-biblical guidance in decision making. However, the focus of these passages is not on decision-making; rather, it is walking righteously in the spirit’s strength.[1] Thus, people should not be receiving any revelation outside of what God’s word teaches.

The Holy Spirit will never contradict God’s word. So if one thinks they are being led by the Spirit, they need to make sure to “test the spirits” to see whether they are from God (1 John 4:1). The Bible declares that many false prophets are out there to deceive us. Even our arch-enemy, Satan, masquerades as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14). Thus, it’s important as believers to be like the Bereans and examine the Scriptures every day to see if what others tell you align with God’s Holy Scripture (Acts. 17:11).

One might ask, then, how does one make decisions based entirely upon the Scriptures alone when not every verse has an application to it? I would argue that all verses can be applied when one is familiar with the Spirit of God. For instance, Psalm 73:24 says, “You guide me with your counsel” and John 17:17 says God will “sanctify us by His truth; His word is truth.” Therefore, when we meditate on God’s Word and allow Him to counsel our hearts, God will lead us and guide us in our relationships.

For instance, let’s say a person is trying to decide if he should get married or not. The Scripture does speak about celibacy (Gen. 2:18; Matt. 19; 1 Cor. 7). However, if the person has a desire to get married, it’s a good thing. He should then apply the principles of marriage according to 1 Corinthians 7:9. This indicates that believers should only marry believers—being unequally yoked is a problem. God calls us to marry only in the Lord. So even if you hear some audible voice telling you it may be okay. It’s not okay.[2]

Consequently, when referencing Scripture, one can determine important life decisions. If they are called to singleness, then there are passages that accept this way of life. If they are burning with lust, then that individual hasn’t been given the gift of celibacy. They should get married since “if they cannot control themselves, it is better to marry than to burn with passion (1 Cor. 7:9).”

In the end, the Holy Spirit will guide you in the Christian life. That is His role. He will never leave you or forsake you. Moreover, his advice will always match up with what God’s word says. Therefore, the best way to understand God’s will is to meditate on His Word and pray for the Holy Spirit to lead. When we trust in God’s word and the prompting of the Holy Spirit, we can never go wrong.

Let’s pray.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for providing the Holy Spirit—our comforter, teacher, and friend. Holy Spirit, lead us into your truth and grace. Convict us when we stray from the narrow path which leads to life. We give you all the praise, glory, and honor. In Jesus name. Amen!

[1] Jay Adams, A Theology of Christian Counseling, p.26.

[2] Ibid. 27

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