Everything Might Be Smooth Outwardly, But How About Inwardly
Sisters, when you are about to go shopping you need not pray, “Lord, should I go shopping or not? If I should not go, give me a sign.” There is no need for you to pray in this way.
You should not say, “O Lord, if You do not want me to go to the department store, prevent me.” Never pray or think in this way. Do not think that if the Lord does not stop you from going shopping that you have the leading of the Lord.
Everything might be smooth outwardly, but how about inwardly? Perhaps after you have parked your automobile and while you are walking toward the door of the department store you have no peace within. Instead of being inwardly strengthened you feel frustrated.
However, since everything is smooth outwardly you proceed. Inwardly, however, the closer you get to the store, the emptier you feel. You may be able to justify yourself by outward things: by the fact that you have the money; that your husband, who is afraid of you, is agreeable; that the weather is excellent; and that there is little traffic.
You say to yourself, “Don’t you believe that God is sovereign? All things are working together for good.” I do not inquire about the outward things. I ask about your inward sensations.
Although everything is positive outwardly, INWARDLY, you are empty and weak. You do not have the anointing, the watering, or the inward peace.
The Leading Of The Spirit Is Within You
What does this mean? It means that the leading of the Spirit is within you, in your inner life. Unbelievers do not have the divine life that is within us. The divine life within us leads us constantly, NOT BY SIGNS or indicators, but by giving us an INWARD SENSE, feeling, or consciousness.
Thus, Paul says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” If you are led by outward things, it does not prove that you are a son of God. However, if you are led by the inward sense of the divine life, it indicates that you are a son of God.
We are the sons of God because we have the life of God. Why are worldly people not the sons of God? Because they lack the life of God.
To Obey The Inner Sense Of Life
When you sisters are about to go to a department store, although everything may be clear outwardly, you need to obey the inner sense of life. As you approach the entrance of the store, something within may tell you, “Go back.”
You do not hear an audible word, but you have the SENSE OF DARKNESS, WEAKNESS, AND DRYNESS as you are about to enter the store. Since you are a son of God, you have such an indicator from the inward life.
You have something that people in the world do not have. Because you have the life of God, you have the leading which issues from that life. This leading indicates that you are a son of God. This is the reason that in verse 14 [Rom. 8:14] Paul says that as many as are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.
The Leading Of The Spirit Comes As You Walk According To The Spirit
Where is the leading that Paul mentions in verse 14? It is in verses 4 and 6
[Rom. 8:4, 6]. The leading of the Spirit comes as you walk according to the spirit and set your mind on the spirit. If you walk according to the spirit and set your mind on the spirit, you will find that you have the leading of the Spirit. You will have the consciousness that you are walking, behaving, and living according to the spirit.
You should not violate this inner sense or disobey this inward consciousness, for it is truly the leading of the Spirit. When you have this sense within, it means that you are being led by the Spirit.
Therefore, to set your mind upon the spirit is to be placed under the leading of the Spirit. The inward life gives you the sense, even in small things, of whether or not you are under the Lord’s leading. Thus, we are led of the Spirit by walking according to spirit and by setting our mind upon the spirit.
Therefore, the leading of the Spirit mentioned in verse 14 is not derived from the outward environment, but from the inward sense and consciousness of the divine life.