A few years ago, I made it to the top of Mt. Bierstadt. While it was a personal achievement, it wasn’t like I was climbing Mt. Everest! I didn’t have to practice or buy special equipment. And … I didn’t need a Sherpa – one of those guys who guides climbers to the top of Everest.
While it’s fine climbing Mt. Bierstadt without a guide, it would be more than foolish to try Everest on your own … in fact, it would likely be fatal.
Now, you’re probably thinking: “Uh, Ken. I know that. I would never try to climb Everest on my own.”
While that may be true of literal mountains, here’s what I’ve seen in over 30 years of working with people:
- Couples navigate the challenges of marriage without a guide.
- Students battle addictions without a guide.
- People try to be good Christians without guide.
While we have free will to act and to choose, we are not to be self-directed followers of Jesus.
There is good news. God gives us the Holy Spirit to guide us into all the truth.
What does it mean to be a Spirit-led person? Does it mean you follow your feelings? Fortunately, Jesus explains what it means.
12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.” – John 16:12
One reason I believe Jesus to be the smartest person who ever lived is his understanding of human nature. As any parent knows – there is only so much a person can learn through listening. There are some truths we only learn by experiencing them.
Personally, I’m glad that Jesus doesn’t back up his truck and dump everything on me all at once. “Here’s EVERYTHING you need to know. Now get busy!” When Tonya gives me more than two things to pick up at grocery store, do you know what happens? My brain shuts down.
Even though he doesn’t give us everything at once, he knows we will need help with what he does give us.
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. – John 16:13
What does this mean? Does it mean that if you’re in high school or college you don’t have to study for exams? (Sorry students). Not at all. But what does Jesus know that we need don’t know?
He knows that we need the Holy Spirit to guide us into his truth because following him doesn’t come naturally to us. We grow up with distortions of the truth, or half-truths, or no truth at all.
How we understand discipleship is a good example. What is discipleship? It means we study Jesus as our teacher and learn from him. But what are we learning?
Discipleship is not learning from Jesus how to live his life. I am learning from Jesus – through the Holy Spirit – how to live my life as if JESUS were living my life. I’m not learning how to walk on water. I’m learning how to be kind to my critics by asking how would Jesus respond to my critics?
This is why it’s so important to not separate your life into departments. Over here is my family, work, weekend hobbies, and my church life. Following Jesus is way of life, not something we do once a week.
Jesus uses the word guide to illustrate how this happens. It’s not that HS simply tells us the truth. He guides us into the truth. What happens as you spend time in God’s Word? Or as you connect in a group with other Christ-followers? An evolution of understanding is happening.
It’s not that God’s truth changes. Your understanding of it does.
The truth of mathematics doesn’t change. Everyone starts with 2+2=4. Some of you continued to learn and as you did, your understanding of math changed. You now understand how to read a pro forma statement or program computers. But, you didn’t go straight from 2+2=4 to understanding how interest rates work.
This is why I’m glad Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would be my guide. Following Jesus starts with believing in him. But that’s not the end. Spiritual maturity isn’t simply believing in Jesus. It’s believing what Jesus believed. And that’s only possible through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
What will be the result? Jesus will be glorified in you.
14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” – John 16:14-15
Dwight Moody planning a trip to England. A person objected, “Why do we need this Mr. Moody? He’s uneducated and inexperienced. Who does he think he is anyway? Does he think he has a monopoly on the Holy Spirit?” Another pastor spoke up and said, “No, but the Holy Spirit has a monopoly on Mr. Moody.”
As your pastor, what do I want for you? Nothing less than for the Holy Spirit to have a monopoly on your life.
Experience and Background
- 25+ years of senior leadership experience
- masters in business administration (mba)
- presenter at the WFX National Conference
- former president, Church Planters of the Rockies
- helped start 2 for-profit tech companies
To get a better feel for my style and personality, you can watch past sermons on our YouTube channel.
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I’ve written a few books that might help! You’ll find books on preaching, leadership, Ephesians, as well as my first novel. Follow this link to learn more.