How can one be led by Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit)?
This question was asked in our group so I will share the response here.
Repentance and Baptism
Well, the Ruach will start working in us as soon as we come into covenant with YHWH through his Son by baptizing in the name of his Son (Acts 2:38). Through repentance and baptism, we are promised the gift of Ruach HaKodesh.
Act 2:38 Then Kefa said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yahushua HaMashiach for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Repentance Must be Sincere
Please note that this refers to sincere repentance and baptism. YHWH is not mocked and he knows our hearts. There will be those who baptize without sincere repentance.
For example, there will be those who baptize “because mommy told me to.” There will be those who baptize for carnal reasons (such as to get a partner)…and for other insincere, personal reasons.
Those people will not receive the gift of the Ruach as they did not repent sincerely as the early believers in Acts 2:37, who were “pricked in their heart” with conviction.
The gift of the Holy Spirit therefore requires:
- Conviction (Acts 2:37) which leads us to
- Repentance (Acts 2:38) and
- Baptism (Acts 2:38)
Cleansing ourselves for the Spirit
However, because of the free will that we have been given, YHWH’s spirit will not force itself to have its way in us. We MUST (through our free will) clear the way and make a place for the Ruach to have its way completely through us. We must make conscious decisions to cleanse our lives.
This is why being convicted of our wrongs leads us to repent, which is putting our sins before us and resolve not to repeat them.
Baptism is that act of faith in which a spiritual operation takes place in our lives and we are rewarded by being given the gift of Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) from the Most High.
Problem: The Old Man/Woman of Sin
Unfortunately, after baptism, the old man/woman of sin will tend to be there reverting to his old ways, his old desires, lusts, ambitions, cares, concerns. Our free will will want to will us backwards.
Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Delight in the way of YHWH
Even though we will now delight in the way of YHWH,
For I delight in the law of YHWH after the inward man:
The sinful nature will war against the way of YHWH
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Problem: Holy Spirit cannot lead a man of sin
This is a sure blockage to the Ruach which cannot lead a man of sin, because:
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
The old man must die
So we have a problem. The only solution is that the old man must die because:
For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Yahushua answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of YHWH.
Now if a living man is to be born again it means he must first die, which is why we have this:
Then said Yahushua unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his stake, and follow me.
Old Self denied
That denial of self is death to the old self. Picking up the stake (cross) is the willingness to take whatever trials come with the changes.
The next verse goes on to tell us why it is necessary.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake (Rom 6:7) shall find it.
Dead in the flesh, but alive in the Spirit
In effect, dead in the flesh, but alive in the Spirit through Yahshua, because…
For the law of the Spirit of life in HaMashiach Yahushua hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
But put ye on the Master Yahushua HaMashiach, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Rom 8:7 — Rom 8:8
Because the carnal mind is enmity against YHWH: for it is not subject to the law of Elohiym, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please YHWH.
Renewal of the mind
So we must deny the flesh and because we have denied the flesh, our minds can be renewed.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of YHWH
Free to be led by the Spirit!
Because our mind is now renewed away from carnal things and toward spiritual things, our spirit is now free to be led by Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) as stated here, in Yahuchanon 3:8…
The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
We have to make ourselves available
So being led by the Spirit is more a matter of making ourselves available to the Spirit by denying ourselves and making up our minds to walk in obedience to the word and to no longer be led by our own emotions, desires, lusts, etc.
Tarry at the altar?
By the way, it is not a magical go to the altar and tarry as some denominations teach. To test that doctrine, just ask yourself how many of those persons who claim to be “filled” actually display the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance) long afterward?
In my former Pentecostal denomination, it was a ritual one went through until once you speak in tongues, that’s it, you are filled with the Spirit. You are “Holy Ghost filled.” You “have the Holy Ghost.”
“The Holy Ghost” (as they say) more often than not, is not manifested in the lives of those who claim to have the Holy Spirit.
The truth is, it is an ongoing battle between flesh and spirit that never ends as long as we live (Gal 5:16-17, Eph 5:18-20). It takes conscious decisions on our part to make ourselves available so that the Spirit can have its way in our lives. The flesh must be contained.
If we are in the same old frame of mind, we will not change. Our minds will not be renewed. We will not be new creations. We will only be religious, going through the motions.
We must be born again (John 3:3).
Summary: How can we be led by the Holy Spirit?
Biblically, the process is as such; we will receive the gift of Ruach HaKodesh upon sincere repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38). However, our sinful nature will always want to bring us back to the old ways of sin (Romans 7:23). It will never relent. However, by killing the old man (Mat 16:24) and being born again of the Spirit (John 3:3), we are led into obedience to the word of truth (John 16:13).
The Ruach, now unhindered by the old man/woman of sin, will then lead us wherever it wills (John 3:8). Whatever YHWH wants us to do to achieve his will, we will do, because we no longer live to do our will, but his will, regardless of the cost. That is how one is led by the Ruach (Spirit).
Ideally, denying the old man (Mat 16:24) should be done at the same time of repentance. Sadly, this is not widely taught as it should, and so we find most persons unprepared for the battle that lies ahead after baptism. The urge to sin will come back with a vengeance because the sinful man was not denied.
Therefore most of us wage a losing battle against the overwhelming power of sin, to the point where the vast majority of us surrender to its power. We end up practising sin, still convinced that we will have a place in the kingdom.
Sadly, the Bible says no unrighteous person shall inherit the kingdom.