If you want to be led by the Holy Spirit, you should know that the way the Holy Spirit directs us is often totally contrary to natural reason or wisdom. Paul states this paradox very clearly in 1 Corinthians 2:12– 14:
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God . . .
Notice there are two sources of spirits: one from God, one from this present world order. The one that comes from this world order is not the Spirit of God, it’s another kind of spirit. Paul goes on:
“. . . which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.”
So, the wisdom that comes by the Holy Spirit is not couched in the language of human wisdom. Paul goes on to say:
But a natural man [a man who’s limited to his own natural understanding without the Holy Spirit] does not accept the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised (NAS)
So while we are merely in our own natural reasoning and understanding, no matter how highly educated or sophisticated or cultivated we may be, we cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God. In fact, they are foolishness to us. That doesn’t mean they are foolish but it means that may seem foolish to you.
For it is written: [Paul is quoting from the Old Testament] I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside. [That’s God speaking. Then Paul asks:] Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (NAS)
That’s a very solemn thought today because so much of the church is bowing before the altar of wisdom of this world but God has made that foolish. I think the strongest fortress of pride in natural man is that which comes through the cultivation of his own intellect. We have to come to the end of all that natural reasoning and reliance on your own intellect and your education, humble and abase your mind before God and acknowledge that what you have is not divine wisdom. And then the Holy Spirit will begin to impart to you divine wisdom.
What may seem foolishness to men could be a great power from God.
Dear God, You are the Creator of the entire universe. Once science lead people to marvel your wonderful works and mysteries but somewhere in time, we decided that science and human knowledge were to be trusted over Your revelations. How foolish! But I also acknowledge my own tendency to rely more on my own strength and knowledge than on You. Forgive me, Father. I repent today and choose to yield to Your Word and Spirit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
This devotional is taken from: The Holy Spirit in You
Also recommended: How to be Led by the Holy Spirit