Introduction: We have discussed the gifts given by the Holy Spirit.
We have discussed the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our life. What else
does the Holy Spirit do for those who are willing to work with Him?
Have you ever felt impressed by the Holy Spirit? Have you ever felt
the Spirit was guiding your actions? Let’s explore what God has to
say about the practical leading of the Holy Spirit in the life of the
willing and attentive Christian!

  1. The Holy Spirit and Simeon

    1. Read Luke 2:25. What kind of a man is Simeon?

      1. Our text tells us that he is on a mission. What is
        it? (It is sort of a passive mission. He is waiting
        “for the consolation of Israel.”)

        1. What is the “consolation of Israel?” (The
          Messiah – Jesus.)

        2. Why would Jesus be called the “Consolation of
          Israel?” (When you are feeling bad, you need
          someone to console you. Israel (and humanity)
          had become enemies of God. Jesus reconciled us
          to the Father. Romans 5:10. That reconciliation
          not only consoles us, but it gives us joy!
          Romans 5:11.)

    2. What is significant about Simeon in the context of our
      lessons? ( Luke 2:25 – The Holy Spirit was upon him.)

      1. We have been having this discussion about why the
        disciples had to wait for the Holy Spirit until
        Pentecost ( Acts 1:4-5), and whether the Spirit was
        present before that. What does this text tell us?
        (This clearly shows that the Holy Spirit was present
        and working at an earlier time.)

    3. Read Luke 2:26-27. What, as a practical matter, did it
      mean for the Holy Spirit to be “upon” (v.25) Simeon? (The
      Holy Spirit did two things for Simeon. First, it revealed
      part of the future to him. Second, it guided his

      1. Let’s discuss this for a little bit. We often mention
        the Holy Spirit helping us to understand the Bible.
        We often mention the Holy Spirit convicting us of
        sin. Rarely does anyone tell me that the Holy Spirit
        has revealed some future event in their life to them
        or guided them to a certain place. Why do you think
        this is true?

      2. Simeon’s steps into the temple were guided by the
        Holy Spirit. Have you felt the Holy Spirit guide you
        to specific places? Have you heard the voice or felt
        the impulse of the Holy Spirit?(I did an electronic
        search of the Bible for the word “voice” and got 198
        matches. A large percentage of those matches referred
        to the voice of God speaking to humans to give them

      3. A week ago, my daughter and I were driving back
        together from Andrews University, where she is a
        student. We stopped at a rest area and a woman
        opened her car door and asked me for gas money. I
        gave her $10.00 – which seemed to satisfy her. When I
        was talking to my daughter about this situation, and
        how it made me uncomfortable because I was uncertain
        whether this was “need” or “fraud,” she reminded me
        of a prior incident years before at a rest area on
        that same toll-road. That time I saw a couple
        sitting in a truck and felt God was impressing me to
        give them money. I walked over to the truck, told
        them that God had impressed me to give them money,
        and handed them $20.00. They took the money, thanked
        me – but did not say anything about having prayed for
        money. I felt I had done God’s will, but was not
        sure. How can you know unless the other person
        confirms it? (My wife has had these impressions and
        has had them confirmed by the “donee.” Maybe the
        people in the truck were praying for more than
        $20.00. Seriously, I think the problem is that I am
        not yet so attuned to the Holy Spirit that I can
        clearly discern His message.)

    4. Read Luke 2:28-33. Did the parents of Jesus confirm the
      leading of the Holy Spirit in Simeon? (No. They were
      surprised (“marveled”) by this.)

  2. The Holy Spirit as Physical Guide

    1. Read Acts 8:26-39. Notice that we start out with an angel
      giving Philip directions to travel down a certain road.
      Then, in verse 29 we have the Holy Spirit giving Philip
      directions to stay near a chariot. What purpose is being
      fulfilled by the Holy Spirit?

      1. Since we have learned that the Holy Spirit can teach
        us, why didn’t the Holy Spirit just directly work
        with the Ethiopian? (God wants us to be co-laborers
        with him. In this specific case God absolutely needed
        a human partner because Philip ended up baptizing the

      2. What does Acts 8:39 teach us about the means by which
        the Holy Spirit can guide us? (This is literal
        transportation. Anyone recall “Beam me up, Scotty?”
        This is what I call real partnership with the Holy

    2. Read Acts 10:17-20. In this case the Holy Spirit seems to
      guide by being a simple messenger. Is there more to this
      than simply alerting Peter that he has visitors
      downstairs? (Read Acts 10:27-29. The Holy Spirit is used
      to correct a “law” that discriminates on the basis of race
      and religion.)

      1. What does that say about the law which Peter was now

    3. Read Acts 13:2-5. What new aspect of the guiding of the
      Holy Spirit do we see here? (This is more than just the
      Holy Spirit speaking to the mind of an individual. Here
      the Holy Spirit is speaking to an entire group. The
      direction is so specific that the Holy Spirit provides the
      names of individuals to the group and then tells those
      individuals where to go.)

    4. Read Acts 16:6-10. What do we learn about Paul’s first
      understanding of his mission? (He was not clear on what
      God had in mind. He had in mind something that God did not
      have in mind.)

      1. How does the Holy Spirit guide in this situation?
        (The text says that He “would not allow them” to
        enter Asia. Although it is not clear, this seems to
        be something more than just a word of advice.)

      2. Why would the Holy Spirit prevent someone from
        sharing the gospel in a new area? In the examples we
        have looked at so far, the work of the Holy Spirit
        was to lead persons to people who wanted to hear the
        gospel – not to keep people from hearing the gospel.
        (We read that the Holy Spirit had a better place for
        them to go. Paul went to Europe instead of Asia. If
        you read 1 Peter 1:1 we see that God used him and
        perhaps other means to reach the people in Asia.)

        1. What practical lesson do we learn from this?
          (Paul was a mighty evangelist, and Asia was a
          great open field for work. What is obvious to us
          is not always the will of God. God had in mind
          a different person for Asia and a different
          mission field for Paul.)

  3. The Holy Spirit as Spiritual Guide

    1. Read Romans 8:5-8. What can we do to be sure that the Holy
      Spirit guides in our life? (Paul teaches us to make the
      decision to “have our minds set” on what the Holy Spirit

      1. What does it mean, as a practical matter, to “have
        our minds set on what the Spirit desires?” (Paul sets
        out two alternatives. We can either set our minds on
        what our human nature desires or we can set our minds
        on what the Holy Spirit desires.)

    2. Read Romans 8:9. Are we alone in making the decision and
      summoning the will to “set our minds?” (No. We ask the
      Holy Spirit to come into our life and the Holy Spirit will
      then control our desires. But, the decision is ours to
      1. How important is a mind controlled by the Holy
        Spirit? (This verse tells us that we do not “belong
        to Christ” if we turn our mind over to be controlled
        by our sinful nature.)

    3. Friend, are you open and listening for the direction of
      the Holy Spirit in your life? Have you invited the Holy
      Spirit to live in your heart and mind? If not, why not
      confess this right now and ask the Holy Spirit to make you
      more aware of His leading?

  4. Next week: Life Through the Holy Spirit.